After a period of testing, we can now make the announcement: we are now, via Ca Minerals, supplying the feed industry with very pure and finely-ground calcite as a carrier in premixes for the production of milk replacers. The product is currently being used at a globally operating market leader in animal feed and fishmeal. In light of the company’s sustainability and innovation priorities, a further reduction of its CO2 footprint is highly important. For AquaMinerals this is yet another fine example of how the drinking water sector, thanks to a focused effort, can make a high-quality and sustainable product.
About Ca Minerals
Ca Minerals develops high-quality calcium products from sustainable sources for feed, food and pharma, as well as for technical applications. AquaMinerals has been working with Ca Minerals for two years now, in a collaboration that has so far been particularly fruitful. For example, last year we could already announce that calcite pellets were being used in pecking stones, which contribute to the welfare of chickens and chicks in poultry farming.
The development path
Raw materials for feed have to meet very strict requirements, particularly in the case of premixes in milk replacers. This applies most of all to the purity of the calcite, the hygiene and the pellet homogeneity. This was obviously not something we succeeded in accomplishing all at once. The drinking water utility, WML, made modifications to the process at the source, thereby increasing the calcite’s purity. Then, late last year, the GMP+ certification was obtained, thus confirming that the product is hygienic, and that this property is well safeguarded. But a pure and hygienic pellet is not all there is to it. These applications require a very finely-ground product. Following considerable detective work, Ca Minerals found a technique of making such a product in an efficient and energy-saving way. The finely-ground product was then tested in different mixes and applied for a lengthy period of time. This effort met with success and clients are now regularly supplied with the product.
The supply chain
As noted, the calcite pellets are generated by drinking water softening processes at WML. They are then stored and transported, in accordance with the mentioned GMP+ requirements, to a site where they are finely ground under the same strict quality constraints. Ca Minerals serves the market with silo trailers (33 tonnes), big bags or 25-kg bags.
Sustainable and reliable
The origin of this stream – the softening process in drinking water production – guarantees a qualitatively and quantitively reliable calcite supply. Moreover, it is a far more sustainable alternative than the current source, namely: marble quarries in Italy, where its extraction damages the landscape and its supply involves long transport distances. This extraction is in any event diminishing, so that the material is becoming scarcer. In short, we have an innovation with only positive points.
Source photo: Ca Minerals