The Raghavan Report Healthy eating in Asia: How can the global grain industry be a part of it by Raghavan (‘Ragha’) Sampathkumar Healthy eating in Asia: I am continuing from my last column about the event focusing on indigenous seed varieties of field crops and trees. I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of interest and attention it gained with the urban audience. For an agribusiness professional like me, nothing would be so exciting than this. In the current scenario of information overload, consumers hardly care to understand the logic and science behind tradition, customs, culture or even their own behaviour. However, when an event like this can draw the attention of urban educated masses, it is definitely a great platform to disseminate correct information that they otherwise will never be interested in seeking. It was a great opportunity for general public including young parents who brought their children to make them aware of different food crops such as millets, minor cereals, and pulses like horse gram, which used to be essential components of the diets of their generations. The kids were obviously excited and roamed around the stalls and got first-hand experience in learning about food production. It also struck me that these kinds of indigenous cultivars from every country must be recorded and information must be made available to the researchers and academia so that breeders, for example, can pursue crop improvement programs. The private sector also has a role to play here as it can further develop the varieties through using advanced techniques and commercialise. In this way, both the consumers and the farmers get benefitted. In the recently concluded World Agricultural Forum in Singapore, similar points were raised to promote awareness among consumers since public perception now-a-days, perhaps plays the most important role in policy making. It is important for the agri-food industry to promote awareness among consumers about the facts and science behind any technology and how it helps them in their everyday lives in terms of reduced price and/or enhanced nutrition. This is a shared responsibility in the agri-food value chain and cannot be left only to the production sector as the grain trade industry stands to gain when correct policies are made based on solid scientific data. On the other hand, if not proactively addressed, lack of understanding and awareness can lead to confusion and negative public perception only to prevent useful technologies getting regulatory approvals. When consumers have limited or no understanding on technologies such as genetic modification, marker-assisted breeding or CRISPR, obviously they will not be able to understand the implications of these technologies in their lives. They end up assuming they are not gaining anything but the producers and the industry is profiteering at the expenses of their health and the environment. Hence, it is really important to put efforts, time and investments in creating opportunities for fair and transparent dialogue between the consumers and the industry to clear the air about the benefits of these technologies. Further, with the explosion of social media, they are often bombed with false information about any innovation from sources that have vested interests. This creates confusion and leads to resistance. Events like the above mentioned ones could be utilised as platforms to spread the facts and help bust myths about technologies in agriculture. asmalltownkid.wordpress.com Raghavan (‘Ragha’) Sampathkumar is a seasoned food and agribusiness professional with 360 degree understanding of the complex political, socio-economic, environmental and cultural perspectives of the Agri-Food value chain. He has more than 13 years of experience working in various subsectors of food & agribusiness including agro commodities, international trade, agri-inputs, biotech, and animal nutrition sectors across Asia-Pacific. 18 | August 2017 - Milling and Grain
European commission authorises enriched yeast
allemand Animal Nutrition has announced that the European Commission has authorised its selenium-enriched yeast. (Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCYC R397) as a nutritional feed additives. It will come with a minimum selenium content of 3,000-3500 mg/kg for all animal species (Regulation (EC) No 634/2007). Both ALKOSELR397 3000 and ALKOSELR397 2000 (formerly ALKOSELR397, minimum Se content of 2,000 mg/kg) will be now available for the EU feed producers; both are guaranteed to contain 97- 99 percent of organic selenium and at least 3150ppm and 4700ppm of selenomethionine respectively (63%). ALKOSELR397 3000 is the first Selenium enriched yeast with guaranteed minimum selenium content of 3,000 mg/kg available in the EU market. Optimal quality of our selenium enriched yeast Monika Korzekwa, Product Manager Antioxidants for Lallemand Animal Nutrition commented, “Since the initial authorisation on the European market ten years ago, we have committed to ensure our customers the consistent and optimal quality of our selenium enriched yeast. Its benefits in various animal species are now largely documented and endorsed by its users. The combinations of different seleno compounds (mainly selenomethionine as well as other compounds such as selenocysteine) are even shown to be more bioavailable than inorganic sources and synthetic selenomethionine products.” They are produced in Lallemand’s own yeast plants in Grenaa, Denmark and Montreal, Canada, from the selected yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCYC R397.