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Congrès AlgaSciences: algae for better animal farming and plant growth

04-06-2018

Attended by more than 120 participants, the 1st edition of the Congrès AlgaSciences was successfully held at the Breizh Algae School in Le Linio, France.

The Breizh Algae School (Saint-Étienne-du-Gué-de-l'Isle, France) opened its doors on Tuesday, May 29, to celebrate the first edition of the Congrès AlgaSciences, Olmix’s scientific seminar on how algae can improve current animal farming and plant growth techniques and strategies.

Attended by more than 120 professional experts, not only was the event an excellent opportunity to get valuable technical updates through high-level conferences and scientific workshops, but also to exchange innovative ideas and opinions, and discuss some of the most recent trends in both animal and plant production.

After a warm welcome by Hervé Balusson, Olmix CEO & President, the event officially kicked off. It was only then that Dr Maria Matard-Mann (Research Projects Manager, Olmix Group) delivered the first conference of the day: ‘The world of algae’, where she highlighted the extraordinary properties of marine algae and their potential for animal and plant health:

“After the Amazon rainforest, algae are the second lung of the planet. Macro-algae are rich in many unique components and have very diverse nutritional and biological properties. In plant growth, for example, some algae extracts contribute to both plant nutrition and health thanks to their biostimulant effects on one hand, and their eliciting properties on the other, leading to the stimulation of plant defences. On the other hand, marine sulphated polysaccharides possess diverse biological properties such as immunity enhancement that can be used to improve animal health and welfare. Their potential is huge! Olmix Group has developed innovative and unique technologies to extract several active components from macro-algae and develop a full range of algae-based solutions at the service of animals, plants and humans”, Dr Matard-Mann said.

Animal Care Plenary Session

After that, participants had the chance to choose between two conference programmes: Animal Care or Plant Care, both offering various presentations from renowned international speakers.

Drawing the attention to Animal Care, the plenary session started with the lecture of Dr Delphine Le Roux (ENVA Maison-Alfort), who focused her speech on the actors of immunity at the intestinal level and the potential influence of nutrition on it. The immune system is a very complex organization, known as “GALT” (Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue) in the intestine:

“The immune system is very complex and involves many mechanisms of maturation and communication between cells, particularly at the level of the intestine. Some dietary compounds have the capacity to interact with it and be used as a very potent tool to better and safer raise animals. A targeted use of specific polysaccharides can activate the immune response; algae extracts are good candidates with their content in unique active polysaccharides. We count on the research work of Olmix Group to gain some more knowledge in this area”.

Dr Le Roux concluded her speech highlighting that ”the GALT guarantees intestinal homeostasis, but cannot be dissociated from the intestinal microbiota and vice versa”.

Dr Delphine Le Roux (ENVA Maison Alfort) at Congrès AlgaSciences.

Dr Delphine Le Roux (ENVA Maison Alfort) at Congrès AlgaSciences.

To underscore Le Roux’s speech, Mrs Danièle Marzin (Marketing & Innovation Director, Olmix Group), contributed to the programme through an overview of Olmix’s new alternative to reinforce animal’s natural defences, ‘Algimun®’:

“Algimun® brings together two unique specific Olmix marine algae extracts: MSP® BARRIER (patent pending) and MSP®IMMUNITY (patented by Olmix), acting respectively on intestinal mucosa integrity and immune response modulation, properties which were scientifically proven in collaboration with INRA among others and that work in synergy in the intestine”, she said. Included in the animal’s feed, Algimun® allows to support animal’s natural defences, helping them to face daily challenges to secure and optimise their growth while improving farm benefits!".

If immunity was the topic to discuss during the first half of the session, the second one was focused on the still challenging subject of mycotoxin risk. In this context, Dr Isabelle Oswald (INRA Toxalim Toulouse) was the next to go on stage to deliver a presentation entitled ‘Fusariotoxins and intestinal health’, where she shed light on the main challenges related to the presence of mycotoxins in feeds:

Mycotoxins are a problem everywhere in the world, including in France. They are not exclusive to tropical countries. Talking about fumonisins and DON, they affect the integrity of the intestinal wall and they reduce its barrier function against pathogenic invasions. Moreover, we have to take into account that co-contamination by several mycotoxins is the rule, not the exception! This has to be deeply studied and should be taken into account for regulatory recommendations”, Dr Oswald said.

To close the Animal Care plenary session, Mrs Julia Laurain (For Feed Product Specialist, Olmix Group) showed the latest updates on the Olmix’s tools to fight mycotoxin risk:

“Olmix has been working on mycotoxin risk for 15 years along with several professional associations and experts and we have come up with a global strategy to face this challenge, providing tools to support producers from diagnosis to reliable and effective solutions. Myco’Evaluator and Myco’Screen to qualify the problems and define the needs followed by Myco’Calculator to optimize the use of our wide spectrum algae-based toxin binder  MT.X+ and MMi.S”.

Plant Care Plenary Session

At the same time, the Plant Care Plenary Session counted on the presence of 4 speakers to shine a spotlight on the global agricultural issues for tomorrow and the new production techniques as well as on the Olmix’s natural strategies for “integrated plant health management”.

Thus, Mr Didier Blin (Plant Care Product Manager, Olmix Group) and Emmanuel Bausson (Specialized Crops Product Manager, Olmix Group) first shared with the audience the contribution of the Olmix Plant Care division to the sector and its innovative technology.

Emmanuel Bausson said: “The biostimulants and biological activators of soils developed by Olmix are tools for farmers and distributors who want to move toward agroecology", whilst Didier Blin explained that "these biosolutions support effectively the new agronomical practices to boost the quality of soils, quality of plant nutrition and resistance capacity of plants to attacks. This approach is fully in line with the objectives of a productive and ecologically respectful agriculture".

Mr Didier Blin (Olmix Group) at Congrès AlgaSciences.

Mr Emmanuel Bausson (Olmix Group) at Congrès AlgaSciences.

Therefore, sustainability and biodiversity are a priority for Olmix Group, since both aim at improving the soil condition, which is considered to be the new engine for agriculture development. That was precisely the focus of Samuel Dequiedt (INRA Dijon) during his presentation ‘The key role of soils in the evolution of production patterns’:

“The soil is not a mere support for agricultural production but a whole biological ecosystem. Biodiversity is the only warranty of productivity and stability. In fact, all agronomic practices that promote microbial diversity contribute to agroecology, and soil microbial diversity improves plant recovery after water stress”, he explained.

Last, but not least, Mr Jérôme Alix (Crops Product Manager, Olmix Group) shared the latest updates on the Olmix Plant Care portfolio to optimize and regenerate soils: Explorer and Akeo.

“Olmix offers a wide range of solutions for better management of soils. For instance, the Explorer range stimulates root growth and mycorrhization. This has a high impact on production and helps to reduce the use of fertilizers. On the other hand, Akeo, our root biostimulant for industrial blending, optimizes mineralization and improves the efficiency of fertilizers.”.

In the afternoon, the Plant Care Plenary Session went on and, at the same time, several Animal Care technical workshops divided by species were held at the Breizh Algae School.

Check the best moments of the afternoon

The Congrès AlgaSciences was closed on Wednesday, 30th May, with a factory visit and a tour along the coast of Brittany (France), where participants could appreciate the wide diversity of marine algae present on Brittany seashore and collect fresh marine algae!

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