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Tall oil – a feed for the 21st century

A FINNISH company says resin from pine trees is the key additive for healthy animal feeds.

Exhibiting at EuroTier 2018, Eija Volkonen, Manager (R&D) at Suomen Rehu spoke about the wonder ingredient which has performed successfully in different countries.

The idea of Progres® comes from an old Finnish folklore tale  which says if you rub pine oil into wounds, they will heal faster.

Progres® is a novel patented feed innovation – the only resin acid product in the global feed market. It supports the gastrointestinal integrity and function of animals in a scientifically proven way.

It is a sidestream of the paper industry. It needs just 500g per tonne of animal feed and costs

“We are the first company in the world to use Tall oil in animal feeds and it really does have an effect,” said Eije.

“Our field trials show it can help to heal animals.”

Due to its unique mode of action, Progres® has shown consistently excellent results in different countries and production conditions.

The product demonstrated a statistically significant effect in 70% of the trials completed by independent institutes. In both institutional and field trials Progres® has constantly improved:

  • the growth and feed conversion of broilers
  • the final slaughter weight and feed conversion of veal calves
  • sow’s and piglets’ performance

Progres® is based on rosin, the natural defence mechanism of coniferous trees. It is produced from tall oil, a co-product of pulp production, using a specific refining process. The bioactive compounds of the product is measurable and heat stable.

Finland has plenty of trees to produce Progres®. Around 74 Per cent of the country is covered in pines.

Proges® is a very Finnish product – a fact the company is very proud of. The website says:

“Pure nature, high standards in animal welfare and good performance of animals in production systems are making Finland very interesting place for companies around the world.

“We are very proud to tell our customers Finnish philosophy in animal production and we have been taking in small groups of people to Finland to show them the Finnish way of doing things.

“Our collaboration with domestic agricultural companies is very good and we are very happy, that together with them, we can take people to see farms to show in practice how it’s done.

“We believe that approaches practiced routinely in Finland, are required and achievable for other countries also.

“Global responsibility in animal protein production forces companies to find new solutions and concepts to meet the challenges of the future, demands from consumers and retailers and to utilize in optimal ways the genetic potential of animals.”

Progres® directly supports intestinal integrity and favourably modifies intestinal microbiota. This results in improved performance and welfare of animals in different production conditions.

Progres was discovered by Juhani Vuorenmaa who wanted to know if he could use pine oil resin as he had heard about it through Finnish folklore.

Woodsmen would rub the resin into open wounds and watch it heal the cut.Progres® has been awarded with the Prize for Innovations, which is bestowed biennially by the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland.

The Federation said: “Progres®, a feed ingredient developed by Forchem and Hankkija from tall oil, may be used to replace antibiotics in feed to improve the sustainability of livestock production and food purity. Progres® has already been awarded several patents and it is extensively used to address the global need to replace feed antibiotics in livestock production.”

Proges®also won Best Idea for 2017 taking 43 per cent of all votes on the Netherlands Association of Veal Farmers’ website.

Juhani Vuorenmaa (R & D Director) said: “On a personal level, this was a remarkable acknowledgement of our persistent work for replacing feed antibiotics and for producing more sustainable and safer food.”