2004 Winner: Industrial Research
World Leader In Enzyme Technology Benefits Animal Feed Industries
When Owen Jones was selling animal feed to farmers after he graduated from university, he was struck by their interest in enhancing their feeding programs with more natural ingredients. Today the company he founded in 1984, Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS), develops novel enzyme supplements for animal feed that help farmers improve production while reducing environmental contaminants.
Improving Animal Health
Calgary-based CBS is the world leader in enzyme technology and its application in the aquaculture, livestock and poultry feed industries. Enzymes are natural, safe additives that help animals absorb more nutrients from their feed. Some animals lack the enzymes necessary to digest certain components of their feed. To address this, CBS develops enzymes by a process that identifies and extracts indigestible components and matches them with an enzyme complex that hydrolyzes them to improve digestive efficiency.
CBS’s proprietary enzyme supplements help animals digest some proteins, carbohydrates, fats and phosphorous that would otherwise be wasted. They also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in excretions. By helping animals absorb more nutrients from their feed, the supplements allow farmers to raise healthier animals for less money, saving an estimated $50 million per year in Canada alone.
The company is also working to develop natural immune system enhancers aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics to promote growth. CBS sells commercial enzyme premixes to Canadian and multinational feed manufacturers around the world. The company’s success is due in large part to its rigorous scientific approach to enzyme development and the solid research data it can provide customers to back up its claims.
CBS has developed a strong research partnership with Dr. Bogdan Slominski, an internationally recognized biochemist with the University of Manitoba Department of Animal Science, who serves as CBS’s director of R&D. The company publishes its research results in peer-reviewed journals and presents papers at international conferences. CBS and Dr. Slominski won the 2002 Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Conference Board of Canada.
CBS plans to use its NRC/ASTech prize to hire a student to work with Dr. Slominski to enhance the feeding value of oil seed and wheat diets through enzyme supplements. The project will involve chemical evaluation of commercial wheat and oil seed feed samples and testing the effects of various enzyme preparations in the laboratory and later in field trials with broiler chickens and pigs.