Improser in feedmeal venture with Felda


  • Business
  • Tuesday, 28 Jan 2003

BY LIEW LAI JING

A BREAKTHROUGH in biotechnology by Improser Group Sdn Bhd in using palm oil kernel for chickenfeed holds promise of reducing the country's dependence on the import of soya and corn. 

“At the moment, Malaysia imports almost RM6bil worth of food and food related products annually. With our technology to process palm oil kernel, which is considered a waste product now, Malaysia can produce chicken feed locally and sell at a fraction of the cost of the feedmeal,'' said its president and chief executive officer Henri ten Have. 

Improser has teamed up with the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) to start a plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor, to produce Orgafeed. 

Noca Sep SA sales and marketing director Jerome Theobald (left) exchanging documents with Henri ten Have, witnessed by Improser Group chairman Datuk Ariff Awang.

He was speaking to StarBiz after the signing in Kuala Lumpur recently of a corporate agreement between Improser and French company Nova Sep SA, Nancy for the extraction of mannase, a by-product in the making of the feedmeal. Improser will start manufacturing the feedmeal in Johor in the first week of next month. 

The production capacity of the Pasir Gudang factory, which entailed an initial cost of RM13mil, is 40,000 tonnes per annum. 

“We will later upgrade the plant to a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum,” Ten Have said. 

In view of the potential of the feedmeal industry, valued at RM2.3bil a year, Improser's production would be solely for the local market, he added. 

In addition to being an immune system modular of the gut for the chicken, which reduces the mortality rate of poultry, mannase has pharmaceutical usage such as in insulin, steroids and taxol (used in the treatment of ovarian cancer). 

According to Ten Have, only 3 pharmaceutical companies currently produce mannase synthetically, namely Pfizer, Unilever and Roche. 

Nova Sep is a specialist and owns the proprietary extraction and purification processes that separate mannase from the feedmeal using chromatography.  

Improser expects the commercial production of mannase by December but has not decided where to locate the factory. 

“The biggest challenge is to form a team and find new applications for mannase,” Ten Have said. 

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