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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.

 

IPSF Presentations Further Support Phylox® Feed as Natural Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

Phylox® logo with microbiology background.

Coccidiosis is the most significant disease affecting poultry production, costing the global poultry industry approximately US$3 billion annually. Not only does coccidiosis damage the gut, resulting in reduced efficiency and profitability, but it also contributes to the development of other enteric diseases like necrotic enteritis. Traditionally, antibiotics or synthetic chemicals were used to control coccidiosis; however, consumer concerns over chemicals and drugs in the food chain have reduced their use in recent years. Therefore, poultry producers need a natural, research-backed alternative to chemical coccidiostats and antibiotics — like Phylox® Feed.

Phylox (available in select international markets) is a synthetic blend of bioactive phytochemicals that decreases the negative production and health effects of a coccidia challenge. The ingredients in Phylox contribute to its multiple modes of action which include damaging the coccidia cell structure, boosting anticoccidial immunity and improving general gut health.

Multiple studies have proven Phylox decreases gut damage in Eimeria-challenged broilers, resulting in improved growth and efficiency. Further analysis of some of these trials was presented at the 2022 International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF) in Atlanta, Georgia, as a six-trial meta-analysis comparing Phylox to a control diet in Eimeria-challenged broilers. Research was also presented at the 2022 IPSF on how Phylox affects the immune response and gut microbiome of broilers during a coccidia challenge. Summaries of these two IPSF presentations and links to the abstracts are below.

 

A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

A meta-analysis of six in vivo trials that compared the performance and health effects of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis and fed either Phylox or a non-supplemented control diet was conducted. Persistent effects of Phylox on growth performance, fecal oocyst shedding and intestinal lesion score were examined.

Phylox improved gut health and performance while also decreasing coccidial lesion scores and oocyst shedding. Less gut damage means improved nutrient use — supporting greater weight gain and feed conversion. Two of the experiments included treatment groups that contained ionophores or anticoccidial chemicals for comparison. In these studies, Phylox delivered gut health results similar to salinomycin, nicarbazin, and Maxiban™ (narasin and nicarbazin), as determined by coccidial lesion scores and feed conversion.

This study supports previous research that shows the potential of Phylox as an alternative to the traditional coccidiostats in poultry production. The results are particularly noteworthy in an era when use of these traditional products continues to be reduced in favor of natural non-antibiotic and non-chemical solutions.

 

A Novel Approach to Coccidiosis Control

This research explored the potential effects of Phylox on host coccidial immunity, the composition and structure of the gut microbiome, and intestinal integrity of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell phenotype, ceca-cecal tonsil cytokine mRNA expression, gut microbiome of cecal content and duodenal/jejunum histopathology were examined.

Phylox Maintains Intestinal Immune System Protection

Most of a chicken’s immune tissue is in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep pathogenic substances out while allowing nutrients in. IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with potent immunosuppressive effects. Coccidia can exploit these immunosuppressive properties, to help them survive in a relatively hostile environment, by increasing IL-10 during a challenge. This decreases the bird’s immune response just when it is needed. However, in this study, Phylox kept IL-10 from increasing during a coccidia challenge, stopping the coccidia from interfering with the bird’s immune response.

Preserved Microbiome Diversity

A disruption to the balance of the gut microbial community is often associated with a loss of microbiota diversity (Mosca et al., 2016). In the Phylox study, Eimeria challenge decreased the α-diversity (the mean species diversity at a local site) of the cecal microbiome, but Phylox returned it to its normal, unchallenged state. This result was for both richness (the total number of species) and evenness (the amount of each species). Additionally, feeding Phylox increased the relative amount of Blautia and L-Ruminococcus — producers of short-chain fatty acids that help the gut and the immune system maintain consistency regardless of challenges.

This study demonstrated that, in addition to damaging Eimeria cell structure and functional integrity, Phylox helps host defense mechanisms by boosting protective immunity against coccidial infection. This multimodal mechanism of action of Phylox contributes to an enhanced resistance to coccidial infection and improved bird productivity.

For more information on these studies or to trial Phylox Feed yourself, contact us at info@amlan.com.

The Culture Behind Our Mineral Science

The culture behind our mineral science.

We’re innovators of natural mineral-based feed additives that optimize intestinal health and add value for animal protein producers. But that’s not the entire Amlan story. We’re grounded by our family roots, backed by vertically integrated mineral expertise and we bring mineral-based solutions to the animal production industry that are distinctly ours.

About Amlan info graphic.

Sustainability, Health and Antibiotic Reduction

Revista Poultry World Gráfico de texto Jaffee

Source: Fabian Brockötter, Poultry World, March 29, 2022

During the 2022 IPPE, Fabian Brockötter, Editor in Chief at Poultry World, spoke with three industry decision-makers about what dynamics are influencing decisions in the U.S. Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America and President and General Manager of Amlan International, spoke with Fabian about the increasing trend of antibiotic-free production and the need for natural non-antibiotic solutions.

Read the full article

Amlan Brings Value-Added Mineral Alternatives to Livestock Industry

Amlan team with Rural Radio Network logo graphic.

Source: Susan Littlefield, Rural Radio Network/KRVN, January 27, 2022

Oil-Dri® Corporation of America launched their first mineral-based product in 1941, and since then the range of unique minerals mined and processed by Oil-Dri have been used for many applications across diverse industries, including animal health. In an interview with Susan Littlefield from Rural Radio Network/KRVN, Amlan teammates Reagan Culbertson, Director of Strategic Branding and Communications, and Dr. Wade Robey, VP of Marketing and Product Development, discuss the history of the mineral technology that is the core of Amlan products. They also describe how Amlan’s mineral-based feed additives optimize gut health in poultry and livestock and improve production economics.

Listen to the interview here.

The Distinctive Properties of Our Biotoxin Binder Calibrin®-Z

Calibrin-Z binding with Amlan logo info graphic.

Proprietary mineral technology is the foundation for Amlan’s innovative value-added products for animal protein producers. In this article, we take an in-depth look into the mineral technology used in our all-natural feed additive Calibrin®-Z and its unique properties that are the Amlan difference.

Consistent, Controlled Mineral Supply

The physical and chemical properties of a mineral can differ depending on where it is mined. That is why — to ensure consistent quality — Amlan only uses a single-source mineral in our products. Amlan is vertically integrated as the animal health business of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America, allowing Amlan and Oil-Dri to control every step of the production process and reliably deliver safe, high-quality products.

Calibrin-Z: Our All-Natural Broad-Spectrum Biotoxin Control Product

Calibrin-Z protects poultry and livestock health and performance by binding intestinal pathogens, bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins and polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. It is composed of a single ingredient — our proprietary mineral technology, thermally processed to create the specific physical and chemical properties that give Calibrin-Z its powerful mode of action.

A Network of Interconnected Pores

The distinctive properties of Calibrin-Z include a high surface area and extensive porosity. More than 99% of Calibrin-Z’s total surface area is internal due to the product’s structural properties. This means that targeted molecules can migrate via interconnected networks of capillary channels towards internal binding sites. These physical features provide Calibrin-Z with a high adsorption capacity for binding a broad range of mycotoxins, bacterial pathogens and their toxins.

Layers Within Layers

The mineral in Calibrin-Z is a particular type of phyllosilicate (“phyllo” meaning sheet) and is primarily calcium montmorillonite with amorphous opal-CT lepispheres and other minor and trace minerals.

Phyllosilicates consist of silicon, oxygen, magnesium and water molecules, and either aluminum or iron atoms. The aluminum, iron or magnesium atoms form octahedron structures, whereas the silicon forms tetrahedrons. These formations give the mineral a nano-scale structure of a 2:1 layer of octahedrons between tetrahedrons. Between the 2:1 layers are interlayers of water molecules and cations (Figure 1). Various positively charged sites in the mineral structure — interlayer cations and broken edge octahedral units — provide the adsorption sites.

Structure of Mineral in Calibrin-Z Binding Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 1: A progressive view of the structure of the mineral in Calibrin-Z down to the nano-scale layers.

Proprietary Thermal Processing

Typical montmorillonites have water molecules between the mineral layers that make the pores and surfaces hydrophilic for adsorbing hydrophilic (polar) molecules (e.g., aflatoxins) but do not bind hydrophobic (nonpolar) molecules (e.g., zearalenone and fumonisin). However, the montmorillonite used in Calibrin-Z undergoes proprietary thermal processing that uses an optimized temperature and time to allow adsorption of hydrophilic and hydrophobic toxins (Figure 2).

Thermal Processing of Calibrin-Z Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 2: Thermal processing of Calibrin-Z allows binding of hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules.

Thermal processing eliminates most of the water molecules from the mineral in Calibrin-Z, making it more hydrophobic. The process is carefully controlled since excessive heat that completely dries the mineral — removal of the interlayer water molecules — would destroy Calibrin-Z’s binding capabilities. The naturally occurring opal-CT lepispheres help maintain the layered sheet structure of the mineral during processing and provide Calibrin-Z’s high binding capacity (Figure 3). Amlan’s proprietary processing method also avoids the use of harmful chemicals typically used by other companies preserving a natural composition.

Structure and Processing of Calibrin-Z Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 3: Naturally occurring opal-CT lepispheres maintain Calibrin-Z’s structure during thermal processing (removal of a controlled amount of interlayer water molecules).

A Variety of Binding Mechanisms

Calibrin-Z’s binding forces include hydrophobic interactions, chelation, electrostatic attractions, hydrogen bonding and van der Waals forces. Thermal processing allows an interaction between both polar hydrophilic molecules and non-polar hydrophobic molecules and the inter-mineral layer. This is the method used to adsorb mycotoxins to Calibrin-Z.

Bacterial exotoxin binding to Calibrin-Z occurs through molecular ion exchange mechanisms. For example, a part of the Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin electrostatically anchors (tethers) to either the positively charged broken-edge sites (exposed alumina octahedra) or the positively charged interlayer cations of Calibrin-Z.

Molecular conformation change mechanisms are also possible binding methods. Large exotoxins can distort their molecular structures or conformations to adsorb themselves onto macro-surfaces within the pore spaces.

Compatible With Nutrient Availability

While Calibrin-Z excels at binding biotoxins, its binding abilities do not interfere with the absorption of important nutrients in the diet. It is possible that some minor quantity of nutrients could temporarily be absorbed into Calibrin-Z’s pores. However, this is via weak thermodynamic and kinetic interactions that are readily reversible. Therefore, nutrients can travel in to and out of Calibrin-Z particles based on concentration gradients in the gastrointestinal tract.

A 42-day swine study conducted by SAMITEC in Brazil, examined the performance of pigs fed a common basal diet (Control) and Calibrin-Z included at 5 kg/MT, a level that is 10 times the recommended dose. Even at this very high inclusion rate, Calibrin-Z had no adverse effects on nutrient availability, supporting equivalent weight gain and feed conversion.

Body Weight and Calibrin-Z Info Graphic | Amlan International

The proprietary mineral technology used in Calibrin-Z is what sets it apart from other companies’ mineral-based products. For more information about Calibrin-Z and how it can help protect your animals from the deleterious effects of biotoxins, contact us at info@amlan.com.

A Q&A with Dr. Wade Robey

A text graphic with a profile picture of Dr. Wade Robey.

Meet Dr. Wade Robey, VP Marketing and Product Development, as he answers questions about Amlan, the industry and the science behind our products. In this short video, Wade discusses how Amlan’s mineral technology meets the needs of global poultry and livestock producers and their consumers while stressing the importance of a natural approach to this demand.

WATCH VIDEO

Binding Bacterial and Fungal Toxins

Calibrin-Z logo with chickens in background.

Source: Poultry World, February 25, 2022

One of the biggest challenges for the poultry industry, especially after the removal of in-feed antibiotics, is bacterial enteritis, and in particular, necrotic enteritis caused by pathogenic Clostridium perfringens. Add production losses associated with mycotoxin-contaminated feed, and you have two industry challenges that need a natural control solution.

Calibrin-Z from Amlan International provides natural protection against field challenges, optimizing animal performance and boosting your bottom line. It is a highly efficacious, mineral-based feed additive that adsorbs a broad spectrum of bacterial toxins and mycotoxins in the intestinal tract of chickens. Unlike comparable products, Calibrin-Z binds both polar and nonpolar mycotoxins as well as bacterial toxins like alpha-toxin and NetB toxin that are produced by C. perfringens.

Read more here.

PoultryWorld article page 1

PoultryWorld article page 2

The Amlan Team Is Expanding, but the Dedication to Our Values Is Stronger Than Ever

Oil-Dri and Amlan logos with team members graphic.

As the animal health business of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America, Amlan International shares more than Oil-Dri’s millions of tons of mineral reserves — we also share Oil-Dri’s values and ethics. As the Amlan business continues to rapidly grow, so does our team of talented professionals focused on providing mineral-based solutions for our customers — while maintaining their strong ethical values.

The Family Values of Oil-Dri

Nick Jaffee, the grandfather of the current Oil-Dri President and CEO Dan Jaffee, founded Oil-Dri in 1941 with the very same values we live by today. Oil-Dri’s tight-knit inclusive culture means teammates are more like family than colleagues, which can be credited to Oil-Dri’s focus on integrity, approach and vision.

  • Integrity: We emphasize honesty, ethics, diversity and compassion, and support healthy lifestyles with a strong work-life balance.
  • Approach: Centered on collaboration, communication and transparency, our open and accessible corporate structure and culture start at the top, which is why we have a thriving, close-knit global community.
  • Vision: As a family-owned and family-operated company, each decision is made with future generations in mind.

Respect and Trust Are Key

Amlan employees strive to be positive, honest and open-minded to maintain trust in each other and, more importantly, earn the trust and respect of their customers. As our business continues to expand throughout the world and we welcome more team members to Amlan, we continue to uphold these values.

Our Growing Amlan Family

An example of our growing Oil-Dri and Amlan family is our expanding team in China. We recognize that the animal protein market there is growing rapidly, so we’re meeting this demand with the addition of several team members and an expansion of our logistics operations. Our new teammates and investment in our infrastructure in China will help support our mission of providing excellence in technical and customer service that keeps pace with the increasing animal protein demand in this region.

We have also invested in a secure product supply chain for our customers in China by operating multiple logistics centers. The warehouses are located in Tianjin, which supplies the northeast; Shenzhen in the southeast; and Chongqing, which supplies central and southwest China. The supply hubs allow us to quickly adjust to any shifting product demands within the country.

Continued Growth Around the World

Our team continues to grow in other regions and countries around the world, including Indonesia where a patent was recently issued that protects the novel, mineral-based formulation used in Amlan’s existing natural feed additives, Varium® for poultry and NeoPrime® for swine (not available for sale in the U.S.). With the world’s fourth-largest population, the expansion of Indonesia’s sales and technical service team, together with the patent issuance, allows us to better support Indonesian producers, helping them to achieve their production goals and meet the demand for high-quality animal protein.

We have established a strong North American team, as well. Stay tuned for some exciting North American news!

 

Oil-Dri’s core values were passed down to Dan Jaffee from his grandfather and father, and Dan strives to instill these values in all Oil-Dri employees, including the Amlan team. As we continue to grow, we know that our relationships with our customers will prosper too, due to our strong belief in these core values.

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