NEW research has shown that incorporating a feed enzyme into broiler diets can reduce carbon footprints by up to 3.3%.

Alex Sly, nutritional advisor at Elanco, said that a lifecycle assessment (LCA) was carried out to evaluate the Elanco’s Hemicell XT contribution to reducing carbon emissions.

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When incorporated into diets, it found the product breaks down the performance-impacting compounds, β-mannans, resulting in less wasted energy and enhanced “Intestinal Integrity”, a measure of gut health.

It, therefore, reduces feed costs while improving animal health and product sustainability.

“The LCA looked into two key areas. The carbon emissions produced during the manufacturing of Hemicell XT, as well as the environmental impact on calorie removal within livestock diets,” she explained.

This type of insight is becoming increasingly essential for producers and processors looking to demonstrate their environmental credentials to retailers and commit to carbon emission reduction targets.

Net zero targets

To reach net zero targets, Ms Sly said there is not a “one size fits all” approach and a series of incremental improvements will be required, with Hemicell XT playing a part in the solution.

Explaining the results from the LCA, she said: “We carried out the study in line with the ISO 14040/14044 standards, where we compared two rations of feed, a control ration and one which was reformulated to include Hemicell XT.

“By including Hemicell XT in the broiler feed ration, we were able to remove 60 kcal/kg ME, which led to a reduction in carbon footprint ranging from 2.7 to 3.3%1,” said Ms Sly.

“This trend was also experienced in pig diets, with 55 kcal/kg ME able to be removed, resulting in the carbon footprint of the reformulated diets dropping by 1.2 to 4.2%1, depending on the scenario.”

The carbon footprint of 1kg of chicken is approximately 3.3 kg CO2eq1.

Around 70% of these carbon emissions are generated by feed, which demonstrates the significance of reducing the carbon footprint of the ration on the overall footprint of the meat product.”