By Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Hj Ghulam Kadir
The cost of animal feed has been rising as the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis has disrupted the export of raw materials from the production countries. This situation affects livestock farmers and contributes to the rise in prices of meat in the market. Livestock farmers are urging the government to control the cost of animal feed which has increased by at least 30 per cent from that of last year.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has developed a new technology, which can reduce the prices of animal feed. Our newly-launched technology for animal feed pellet formulation for beef cattle, unveiled at our Transfer of Technology Seminar and Exhibition (TOT) 2022 recently, uses oil palm products and by-products which can lower the high production cost of animal feed. Furthermore, this technology ensures that the formulation does not compromise the nutritional value of the feed pellet.
MPOB’s animal feed formulation contains more than 80 per cent of palm-based ingredients which include palm kernel cake (PKC), empty fruit bunch (EFB) and crude palm oil (CPO), a complete nutritional component for the growth of beef cattle by the nutrient specification.
Our innovative animal feed is an alternative to others that use expensive imported raw materials. We utilise our very own palm-based raw materials that are available in the country and throughout the year. Most importantly, the use of oil palm products and by-products provides cost savings for the production of the beef cattle feed pellet. Hence, this animal feed can be sold at competitive prices in the market.
Many formulations of feed pellet for beef cattle that are available in the market use a single ingredient from oil palm by-product, which is palm kernel cake. Our innovative technology utilises other oil palm-based materials that are suitable to be used as raw materials in ruminant ration such as EFB and CPO.
The use of EFB in our feed formulation is novel to the market and has lowered raw material costs without compromising the nutritional value of the feed pellet. MPOB has successfully created a technology which uses oil palm by-products to produce quality feed pellets for beef cattle.
Another technology we launched at our TOT 2022 is the formulation and process for the manufacturing of red palm oil-enriched functional cookies which can be used to supplement children with vitamin A deficiency or malnutrition and as a healthy snack.
Red palm oil, the functional ingredient in the formulated cookies, is naturally rich in phytonutrients which include carotenes, vitamin E, phytosterols and squalene which are known to possess various health-promoting properties.
Carotenes are very sensitive to light and heat. One of the important factors in this technology is that MPOB has optimised the production process control and fit-for-use packaging material to best retain the carotenes up to the shelf life claims.
The current product was initially used in the conduct of our nationwide clinical trial designed to investigate the nutritional status of vitamin A deficient primary school children in Malaysia.
By transferring this technology, we hope that many could benefit from the nutritional properties of these cookies by being able to purchase them directly from the retail centres.
MPOB also offers expertise for tailor-made formulation concerning the Malaysian dietary guidelines with specific nutrient enhancement. In addition, we also provide consultations to suit the existing types of machinery or premises of those who are keen on the technology. MPOB can also assist them throughout the production course. Technical support is available to support those who are interested in exploring this product. Red palm oil-enriched functional cookies are cost-friendly as it can be an addition to their existing product lines. These cookies have a great potential to be commercialised with their unique phytonutrient content as its selling point.
Apart from the two newly-launched technologies, MPOB’s other technologies available for commercialisation include quality crop materials, palm fertiliser formulations, disease and pest control techniques, farm machineries, manufacturing technologies and formulations of palm-based food and non-food products.
The use of technology and innovation is important to drive the progress of the country’s palm oil industry. This important role has been led by MPOB through research and commercialisation of technologies covering the entire chain of the palm oil industry since it began operations in the year 2000. The production of palm-based value-added products in the food and non-food sectors has the potential to generate high income for the industry and further strengthen the country’s economy. MPOB's research focuses on the production of technologies that can solve problems and meet the current needs of the palm oil industry.
To date, MPOB has unveiled a total of 711 technologies of which about 32 per cent comprising 227 technologies and innovations have been adopted and commercialised by local industries and entrepreneurs.
The commercialisation of MPOB’s technologies provides business opportunities in win-win situations between technology providers and industry players as well as entrepreneurs involved in the production of products and services. The production of consumer products by palm-based industries using local raw materials can save production costs and is supported by the expertise and research facilities offered by MPOB.
The process of commercialisation can be a challenge, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises as they have to meet the standards set for safety and consumer interests. In this context, in addition to the commercialisation of technology, MPOB also assists in intellectual property management, providing expertise through consulting services and laboratory facilities as well as pilot plants for testing and production of competitive products.
MPOB also introduced three new services at the recent TOT 2022, namely; SawitSecure 2.0. Digital Management of Pests and Diseases of Oil Palm; Land Suitability Evaluation and Management for Oil Palm Plantations; and Determination of Total Chloride in Crude Palm Oil and Secondary Oils.
SawitSecure 2.0. Digital Management of Pests and Diseases of Oil Palm provides important information on pests and diseases of oil palm trees. The application also provides guidelines for managing the most serious oil palm tree diseases in Malaysia, namely Ganoderma and bagworm diseases.
Land Suitability Evaluation and Management for Oil Palm Plantations is a digital spatial database to identify suitable areas for the initial selection of plantation sites and as a guide for more systematic planning for the oil palm industry. This database provides benefits as it can improve the implementation and adaptation to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), eliminate further land expansion/clearing and promote sustainable development of oil palm cultivation; and avoid new opening of oil palm plantations on peatlands and encroachment on forest areas.
Determination of Total Chloride in Crude Palm Oil and Secondary Oils is a simple and reliable method for the detection and determination of total chloride content in crude palm oil and secondary oils. The method developed can help local and international food safety organisations to regulate the level of safe amount of chloride, especially in the food industry.
TOT Seminar and Exhibition is MPOB’s annual event to introduce its new technologies and innovations related to the palm oil industry which are developed by its researchers for commercialisation. Our TOT provides opportunities for industry players as well as local entrepreneurs including micro, small and medium enterprises to commercialise the results of MPOB research which will contribute to the development of the country's palm oil industry.
MPOB, as the research agency responsible for the development of the country's palm oil industry, is strongly committed to producing technologies and innovations that impact productivity efficiency, improving the quality of palm oil and the sustainability of the country's palm oil industry.
Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Hj Ghulam Kadir is Director-General of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.