Feedinamics: an unprecedented tool to calculate the nutritional value of raw materials online

After the success found by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and Association Française de Zootechnie (AFZ) “Tables of Composition and Nutritional Values of Feed Materials” published in 2004, commonly known as the "Green Book,” the AFZ has published in September 2017 in collaboration with Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition Europe and the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), the new tables of composition and nutritional values for INRA, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and AFZ.

These new tables are totally accessible at no charge and can be consulted in English and French at www.feedtables.com. Like the “Green Book,” these new tables allow nutritionists and formulators to know the average nutritional values of more than 300 raw materials described according to 260 nutritional criteria. They are based on a database of nearly 3 million of values and they take into account the latest advances in animal nutrition. Of course, these new tables incorporate the latest work carried out at the INRA for establishing the new ruminants feeding system. The given values are part of a statistics regular control and the considerable number of data makes it possible to generate equations of transition between the different parameters when necessary. Although colossal, this work has its limits and since 2013 the AFZ wanted to go beyond of what these classic tables may offer.

The AFZ started a research project looking to determine from chemical composition data of raw materials, equations for predicting the nutritional values. The originality of this works resides in the fact that the equations are specific for each raw material or group of raw materials and it makes possible to determine the composition and the nutritional values for a raw material on demand. This gives formulators the possibility to know the nutritional interest of their own raw materials and not just to base on average values. This work was achieved thanks to the granting of a Research Tax Credit. The only missing peace was to put this tool at the service of users through an online platform. 

Today this is possible thanks to the technology RMLINK developed by A-Systems, publisher of the formulation software Allix. This technology allows the online dynamic calculation of the nutritional values of raw materials. A-Systems puts on services a website that enables to calculate dynamically the values of raw materials through the parameterized equations. Once the raw materials are valued by the user, this can export the results as a CVS file or if he possesses a license of Allix formulation software, to access in a transparent way to the site. The calculated values are directly integrated in the Allix formulation software, without needing to pass through import or export of data. Each supplier of tables of raw materials can thereby have an interactive tool allowing its users to adapt, in terms of parameterized equations the raw material which he has.

From the raw material analysis data entered by the nutritionist into the application, all the relevant equations are activated, and it allows the user to quickly determine the complete nutritional profile of the raw material. This nutritional profile can then be exported as a csv file or to a formulation software.

This application, leaned on the website www.feedtables.com, will be available on subscription. It is set to develop to receive eventual valuations of raw materials according to more and more criteria, adapted to many animal species, and integrating regularly the latest researches from around the world.

The AFZ wishes to increase the outreach of its know-how in terms of qualification of raw materials, and put it at the service of a community of users the widest possible, both in France and abroad. The application is available in French and English.