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Fifteen Years of Driving Profits Naturally: The History of Amlan International

Dan Jaffee profile with Amlan International logo.

Oil-Dri® Corporation of America has been active in the animal health market since the 1980’s with products designed to help feed flowability and pellet binding. But in 2007, Oil-Dri took a leap — a well-informed, scientifically-backed leap — further into the animal health market with the registration of the Amlan International brand and the official launch of their animal health business. Fifteen years later, Amlan International is a successful global brand that helps poultry and livestock producers optimize intestinal health and add value to their operation. So why did Oil-Dri, a company founded on a garage floor oil adsorbent, decide to invest in animal gut health solutions? And what does the future look like for Amlan?

Creating Value for Animal Health Producers

Consumer demands and concern over antimicrobial-resistant pathogens have created a global push toward antibiotic-free and natural animal protein production. But this change in production has also created the need for natural solutions to help manage the health and productivity of flocks and herds. As Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri and President and General Manager of Amlan, explains, Oil-Dri saw the opportunity to create value for animal protein producers by leveraging an Oil-Dri-owned mineral to develop novel, natural feed additive solutions under the Amlan brand.

“We realized there was a market need, and Oil-Dri had an incredible natural solution to the problem. Our clay naturally does amazing things; but then when we combine our clay with our multi-million-dollar research investments, in our core lab and our new microbiology lab, we’ve been able to do some incredible things. And we’re really just at the beginning.”

—Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri, President and General Manager of Amlan

As the animal health business of Oil-Dri, we take full advantage of the benefits that vertical integration brings, including control over the quality of our mineral and ensuring consistency of supply for our customers. We also leverage the 80 years of Oil-Dri mineral science expertise, and we share the values and business ethics of Oil-Dri.

A Broad Range of Natural, Value-Adding Products

Amlan started with just two products, sold internationally outside of North America — biotoxin binding Calibrin®-Z and aflatoxin-binding Calibrin-A. Both products are made from our single-source calcium montmorillonite that undergoes proprietary thermal processing tailored for each product. It’s our mineral’s natural properties and our proprietary processing technique that make our mineral-based products stand out from other clay additives in the market.

Investing heavily in research and development has allowed us to expand our international product range by combining natural ingredients with our mineral to develop synergistic intestinal health solutions for production animals. This included the 2015 launch of Varium® for poultry and NeoPrime® for swine, which help reduce the level of pathogenic challenge in the intestine, strengthen and energize the intestinal barrier and stimulate intestinal immunity. The technology behind Varium and NeoPrime is patented in Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, the European Union, the United States and China, with other countries pending.

Most recently we expanded our international product portfolio with the launch of Phylox® Feed, a natural alternative to anticoccidial drugs and vaccines and NeutraPath®, a natural pathogen-control product (available in select markets). In 2021, Amlan also launched a broad portfolio of products specifically for North American producers. And we’re not done — we have more innovative products in our research pipeline that will continue our efforts to optimize animal intestinal health and provide value for producers.

Your Animal Intestinal Health Partner

Innovative products are a great start for a new business, but we see customers as partners, not numbers on invoices, so we also needed knowledgeable technical service specialists and a strong sales team to support our mission of creating value for our customers. Our team helps customers achieve their production goals by integrating rations with the best Amlan solutions for each situation. As Dan Jaffee mentions in the video below, this includes trialing products first to show customers the true value Amlan can bring to their operations.

Growing Our Future and Yours

Our goal for the future is to continue investing in innovation to continue developing natural solutions to industry challenges that can help producers drive profits naturally. You can hear Dan’s thoughts on the future of Amlan in the video below. Everyone at Amlan shares Dan’s excitement about the intestinal health solutions we are bringing to the animal production industry and the value our products offer for producers. To learn more about Amlan, our innovations and our team, visit our Who We Are page.


Complete Control Over Mineral Supply Safeguards the Quality of Amlan International Products

Amlan company values infographic

As the animal health business of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America, Amlan International’s scientifically proven products are backed by Oil-Dri’s 80+ years of experience in mineral science. Amlan has access to the hundreds of millions of tons of mineral reserves that Oil-Dri, based and operating in the USA, selectively mines, processes and sells in a diverse range of industries throughout the world. Vertical integration allows Oil-Dri and Amlan to own every step of the production process and consistently deliver reliable non-medicated solutions to support animal protein producers around the world as they look to optimize animal health and production economics.

Safe Thermal Processing

The single-source raw material used in Amlan products is an all-natural mineral ingredient that contains high-capacity opal-CT lepispheres. This mineral is selected because its properties allow for thermal processing that is specifically talilored for each product. Thermal processing ensures the minerals’ structural integrity and optimizes the products’ broad utility, ultimately helping producers achieve normal animal health and meet their production goals.  

Independent Assessments for Regulatory Requirements

Each quarter, all Amlan product lots are assessed by an independent laboratory to ensure they comply with  regulatory requirements. These analyses ensure the mineral is below any established regulatory levels for dioxins (PCDD/F+PCB) and heavy metals (lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury) in feed or food. This report is available upon request by contacting For both performance and safety, Amlan also performs extensive core drilling analyses of their raw material and selectively mines the highest quality raw materials for use in their products.

High-Quality Manufacturing Standards

All Amlan products are made to the highest industry standards for non-medicated feed additives to ensure their safety and consistent performance. Amlan’s quality systems are audited and certified annually by independent parties to demonstrate compliance.

Approved Feed Ingredients Only

Amlan’s feed additives only use ingredients that are approved for use in feed products by major regulatory bodies such as the U.S. FDA or the EU. This helps to secure the safety of the animal and, as Amlan’s products are developed for protein-producing animals, ensures end consumers are safe too. Amlan is proud to carry the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) seal of approval on many of its products. OMRI Listed® products are approved for use in certified organic operations under the USDA National Organic Program.

High-Quality, Safe Products Are Paramount

Along with following ISO-9001 standards and a certified HACCP system, Amlan is also a certified International Safe Feed/Safe Food plant. This voluntary and independently certified program designed for the total feed industry establishes comprehensive standards of excellence that go beyond existing regulations to maximize food and feed safety. This certification assures customers that Amlan’s products are safe, healthy, trustworthy feed solutions. For all applicable products and production facilities, Amlan also meets the requirements set forth by FAMI/QS — a certification created exclusively for specialty feed ingredients and their mixtures. Many countries require the FAMI/QS certification to sell market specialty feed ingredients within their borders.

Mineral Technology Is the Amlan Difference

Amlan’s proprietary mineral technology is the foundation of their innovative products. In fact, multiple governments, including the United States, the European Union, China, Korea and Indonesia have recognized the unique mineral-based technology within Amlan’s products Varium® and NeoPrime® and have issued a patent for the products’ modes of action.

By leveraging their owned, unique mineral technology and committing to the highest quality standards, Amlan develops innovative and reliable natural, mineral-based feed additive solutions for poultry and livestock. To learn more about Amlan’s products, visit

ABF Poultry Production Best Practice Series: Air Quality

Antibiotic free poultry air quality infographic

An effective poultry house ventilation system is essential for keeping litter dry, ammonia levels low and creating an environment that promotes healthy and efficient birds. This also includes managing the temperature and humidity to keep birds near their thermoneutral zone which will help drive weight gain and maximize feed conversion. Here, we take a closer look at what our industry experts consider air quality best practices for antibiotic-free poultry producers, as part of our series on strategies for producing antibiotic-free poultry.

Achieve Low Moisture and Ammonia Levels

Removing moisture from the poultry house is key for birds that are healthy and performing at their potential. Maintaining air movement, with fresh air coming in and stale air moving out, helps keep the floors and litter dry. As mentioned in our previous post on house environment and biosecurity, dry litter reduces the risk of disease and helps ammonia stay at acceptable levels.

Monitoring ammonia levels is an important factor for protecting bird health. If ammonia levels are too high it can irritate the birds’ nasal passages, trachea and eyes and cause dermatitis in paws, leading to poor performance. To keep birds safe, electrochemical, colorimetric or dosimeter tubes are available to monitor ammonia levels. Products can also be added to the litter to help minimize ammonia concentration, but keeping the litter dry (e.g., no leaking water lines) and providing adequate air flow and ventilation are important first steps.

Wet droppings due to poor intestinal health can also contribute to increased moisture and ammonia levels in the litter. Preventing enteric diseases, such as coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, can help reduce the occurrence of diarrhea or wet droppings. Enteric diseases were traditionally controlled by antibiotics, but with the increase in antibiotic free production, natural alternatives are now available that can help maintain intestinal health and integrity.  

Maintain Thermoneutral Zone

Birds should be kept near their thermoneutral zone so that they are not cold or heat stressed and are better able to cope with other stress, such as pathogens in the environment. Controlling air temperature and humidity in the house is a large task as not only does the weather impact them, the birds themselves put out their own BTU which contributes to the overall heat and moisture in the house. 

If available, controllers can program fans and heating systems to try to maintain the temperature and humidity within a set range for the birds’ age. However, parts of the ventilation system can break, so it’s important to regularly perform a manual check to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

While it is important to keep birds warm in winter, it is also important that enough fresh air is introduced into the house to keep ammonia and moisture levels low. Once the cold air enters the house, negative pressure should be used to warm the air, then exhaust it, thereby picking up moisture and helping to dry the floor. Producers should consider the most efficient way that this can be achieved in their system.

In hot weather, large fans at the end of the house can push air movement through the house at more than 500 feet/minute. This fast air speed creates a wind chill that can drop the “feels-like” temperature by at least 10 °F. Other methods to keep the birds cool include evaporative cooling cells and foggers which create a fine mist over the birds. These need to be maintained well to avoid creating wet areas in the house. The water used in these systems should be good quality to avoid mineral build-up in the lines causing damage and introducing pathogens to the birds. More information on water quality can be found in our water quality ABF best practices post.

Back-up generators and emergency plans are essential for protecting birds and the farm from disastrous consequences in a power outage. Without adequate ventilation and air movement, the environment inside the house can become dangerous very quickly, in both cold and hot conditions. Houses are usually sealed tight to ensure efficient heating/cooling, but this means that humidity and temperature can increase very quickly during power failure, as well as CO2 levels and water vapor from the birds.

Providing an optimum poultry house environment with adequate ventilation, the right temperature and humidity for the birds’ age and low contaminants in the air is key for maximizing bird performance. Amlan is dedicated to developing next-generation technology to help poultry producers keep birds healthy and maintain productivity for life. Check our Education Center for other posts in our ABF production best practices series.

ABF Poultry Production Best Practice Series: House Environment and Biosecurity

Antibiotic free poultry sanitation hygiene infographic

All poultry farms should maintain effective house sanitation and biosecurity practices to produce healthy and productive birds, but this is even more important when the goal is antibiotic-free (ABF) production. Here, we take a closer look at what our industry experts consider as best practices for house environment when producing ABF broilers, as part of our series on strategies for producing antibiotic-free poultry.

A Healthy Start to Life

Producing healthy flocks begins at the hatchery. It is important that the chick is provided a clean environment right from the start, and this includes while it is still in the egg. The hatchery should be kept clean, disinfected often and there should be no contamination on the egg pack. If in ovo vaccination is used, sanitary conditions are crucial to keep infection and 7-day mortality rates low. Keeping the chick’s stress low during transport and transition to the farm is also important for a healthy, productive bird.

Starting with a strong, healthy chick is important, as weak chicks are more likely to succumb to pathogens and have higher mortality rates. Once the chicks arrive at the house, they should immediately be provided with high-quality nutrients, which includes fresh, clean water as well as feed. Water quality best practices are discussed in another post that is part of our strategies for producing ABF poultry series.

Another important factor in producing a strong, healthy chick is a healthy breeder. A healthy breeder produces a better egg (e.g., superior shell quality) which means a safer start for the chick. To keep breeders healthy in a ABF system, feed additives can be used instead to ensure peak performance.

Effective Litter Management: Time Consuming but Essential

Litter management is critical to keeping birds healthy and productive and reducing disease challenges. The ideal litter has a depth of 3 to 4 inches and has low moisture and ammonia levels. When choosing an appropriate litter (e.g., pine shavings, rice hulls, hay, wheat straw), it is important to consider how well it absorbs moisture and if it can contaminate feeders easily.

In some cases, litter can be reused if any caked/wet litter is removed first. Wet litter can be prevented by managing water nipples, lines, pressure and height correctly and monitoring for leaks regularly. An effective ventilation system is also important for keeping litter dry, ammonia levels low and birds healthy. We will discuss the importance of air quality in a future ABF best practices post.

Our industry experts recommend allowing 14 days between batches to get the litter dried out. They also recommend windrowing (piling into rows) the litter during this time. While it is time expensive, windrowing heats the litter (it should be at least 130 °F or 54 °C for 3 to 4 days), reducing the pathogen load and infestation of insects such as darkling beetle, while allowing the surrounding floor to dry.

It’s also recommended that once a year the house is cleaned to the ground, disinfected, the floors salted, and dust removed as much as possible. Some producers may notice that the first batch of birds in the house after an annual cleanout does not perform as well, since the beneficial bacteria are also removed when the litter is completely removed.

Biosecurity Is Key

The biggest risk to introducing pathogens and disease to a flock is people, especially those responsible for the flock’s day-to-day management. To avoid infecting the flock, visitors to the farm should be limited and personal protective equipment should always be worn. This can include boots, mask, hair nets, coveralls and gloves and using footbaths between houses. Even though boots worn in the houses should be left at the farm, it is good practice to use disinfectant spray on shoes and floorboards when arriving at and leaving farms. Any shared equipment and the tires of vehicles should also be sprayed with disinfectant when moving between farms. Ideally, equipment that is used often should be purchased for and remain at each farm. 

Rodents can also carry pathogens into the house and infect the flock. Even if the house appears sealed, rodents may still find a way in. Insects can also be an issue, particularly for long-lived birds (25 to 65 weeks). Therefore, it is advisable to have a pest control system in place. Wild birds like ducks and geese can also introduce pathogens (e.g., avian influenza) into the flock by contaminating open water sources (e.g., ponds) or through foot traffic.

Managing poultry house environmental conditions and biosecurity takes a lot of time and resources but is essential for keeping flocks healthy and production profitable. Amlan is dedicated to developing next-generation technology to help poultry producers keep birds healthy and maintain productivity for life. Download a helpful, printable guide that summarizes the above best practices here, and check our Education Center for other posts on our ABF production best practices series.

ABF Poultry Production Best Practice Series: Water Quality

Chicken poultry antibiotic free steps Amlan International

In poultry production, water is considered the most important nutrient by far, yet water quality is often overlooked. Broilers typically consume at least 1.5 pounds more water than they eat in feed, so it’s important to have water that is low in microbial contamination with acceptable mineral levels. Monitoring water quality is particularly important in antibiotic-free (ABF) production systems to keep birds as healthy and profitable as possible. Here, we take a closer look at what our industry experts consider water quality best practices for ABF poultry producers, as part of our series on strategies for producing antibiotic-free poultry.

Testing Water Quality

Samples should be collected regularly to assess water quality, as the status can often change. Our industry experts recommend testing water at least annually to determine if is safe for birds to drink and if there are any issues that need correcting. Water quality should be assessed regardless of the source (i.e., municipal, well, pond), as even city water could have issues that can affect bird performance. Both the microbial contamination (e.g., E. coli) and mineral content (e.g., iron and sodium) of the water sample should be tested.

Microbial Contamination

Water can be a vector for bacteria and other pathogens, leading to significant health issues and production losses. A poultry house water line provides ideal growing conditions for pathogens as the water is often nutrient rich and in a warm environment. The risk of microbial contamination can also increase if flood water enters ponds or wells. Wild geese and ducks could also be a source of pathogens, if the water supply is from surface water (a pond).

Microbial contamination can lead to the formation of biofilm (slime) on the surface. Biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms connected by an extracellular matrix that is attached to a surface (e.g., pipes and storage containers). As well as a health issue, biofilm can also block nipples and reduce water flow.

Mineral Composition

Excessive mineral content, particularly sodium and iron, can be an issue with some water sources. Too much sodium can cause flushing in the birds and iron can form deposits and clog the water lines. Hardness of the water (calcium and magnesium concentration) can also cause scale to build up in the lines and cause issues such as leaking nipples. Water leaking onto the litter can create further problems such as increased ammonia production.

If minerals levels are high, nutritionists may be able to formulate for mineral imbalances. However, this is usually more expensive than treating the water, particularly for large production companies where producing a specialty diet for a single location is not economically feasible. Sand filters could be used to remove some of the iron, however reverse osmosis or a larger filtration system may be needed for removing other minerals.

Cleaning Water Lines

Water lines should be flushed regularly, particularly after using water-based supplements. The lines should also be thoroughly cleaned between flocks to remove biofilm and scale buildup. Typically, hydrogen peroxide or chlorine-based products are used. The selected products should be appropriate for the application and the manufacturer’s directions followed to ensure adequate cleaning and to prevent damage to the water lines. After cleaning, the lines should be flushed well. Water storage tanks should also be cleaned regularly to prevent mold and other pathogens growing in them.

Water Consumption

Water consumption should be monitored carefully as the amount of water consumed directly affects weight gain and feed conversion. If water intake decreases, feed intake also decreases, and productivity declines.  A decrease in water consumption may indicate an issue with water quality.

Other Water Usage

Availability of good quality water is also important for non-drinking purposes, such as cool cells used for evaporative cooling. The water lines supplying the cooling cells need to be clear and flow fully to allow the cells to work correctly. Evaporative cooling is addressed further in our next post on best practices for ventilation in ABF poultry houses.

Protect Birds From Pathogens and Biotoxins

To defend against waterborne pathogens, birds need a healthy intestinal environment that can mount an effective immune response and prevent pathogens and their biotoxins entering the circulatory system, causing disease. As well as health issues, pathogens can also cause morphological changes to the intestinal lining, decreasing the surface area available for nutrient absorption. Fortunately, natural alternatives to AGP are available to support a competent immune system, maintain intestinal integrity and promote performance.

Using high-quality water in poultry production systems is essential to keep equipment running smoothly and maintain bird health and performance. Amlan is dedicated to developing next-generation technology to help poultry producers keep birds healthy and maintain productivity for life. Download a helpful, printable guide that summarizes the above best practices here and keep checking our Education Center for other posts on our ABF production best practices series.