The last PRPI 2011 (19 - 21 Jul 2011) [Pameran Rekacipta dan Inovasi] by UPM showed a product launching of feed additive for chicken from probiotic metabolite which has the ability to replace the use of antibiotics in chicken feed with the smart collaboration from the industry with UPM researchers, Dr Foo Hooi Ling and Dr Loh Teck Chwen. Well, I was there, taking care of the booth and snap2 here and there for all 3 days. It was tiring, but full of flavours :D
Believe it or not, from all of the response, I can summed up that the Malaysian chicken eaters are concerned with the safety of the broilers consumed (Inject or not? medicated or not? halal or not ho? giggles) because in their minds and hearts has been ingrained with the fact that the current chickens or broilers with antibiotics aren't good for health (a.k.a. injected chicken), although they don't even know why. Price is placed second, although the price of chickens is definitely on the rise (right now is about +-MYR7.50/kg as compared to last year +- MYR 6.50/kg). This half literacy is acceptable, at least they know whats good and whats bad for them. That is why this product is viably marketable especially when the operational costs might be lower or similar to current conditions.
It is important for the locals to know what izzit that make a chicken sooo expensive as well as unsafe.
Expensiveness comes from,
a) Imported chicken feed
b) Price of antibiotics (subjected to fluctuations)
c) others (not sure myself)
Unsafe is due to,
- uncontrolled application of antibiotics as growth promoters
I think, work has been done by many local researchers on finding a new type of feed to replace the current cornmeal feed imported (and I would not quote this due to lack of reading and references, and this is not even a scientific paper, just a humble personal opinion), either its ongoing or completed, I'm not sure myself. Hence there's no worries, solutions could be obtained, the problem is how long would it take to obtain viable results. And of course, when will it be commercialized.
About antibiotics..err..that is kind of a common thing right now for chicken rearers. Many misunderstandings about the meaning of antibiotic chickens can be heard especially during the ongoing of PRPI 2011. Let me clarify you folks with layman terms with some real hard facts;
a) The locals assume that antibiotic chicken, ubat, ayam cucuk or injected chickens are all in the same category. The answer is NO. Injection must be done to all chickens for immunization against easily occuring diseases with a substance that is not the antibiotic (forgive me, i cant remember what it is, my friend who's working on monogastric animals told me this..vaccine ke?) . Currently, this substance is inserted into the broilers or layers via their eyes through the usage of eyedrops to avoid stress to the animals. This process is a must to all chickens, only 2 times in their lives if I'm not mistaken.
b) Antibiotic is in injection form. NO, chicken rearers don't inject their chickens, everyday or whatever, it comes in a big fat 'happy meal'. Its in the food my dear. And they don't even have the power to segregate between the two coz its prepackaged by the chicken feed manufacturers.
c) Ei? I thought antibiotic is good one..I eat when I got fever one..why in chicken its bad haa? The question now is antibiotics has been given to chickens DAILY via their food, in high doses. Detection can be as high as 0.1% while the real need is only about +-0.02%. As what we know, antibiotics originates from fungi, which possessed the ability to eliminate all bacteria, not just harmful ones. Nonetheless, bacteria could develop resistance to it. When the residues of antibiotics enters a human body, the bacteria present will develop resistance towards this substance which in turns rendering the antibiotic useless when you're sick. Bear in mind, in present day, not many strong antibiotics present that could combat bacteria. This is in line with bacteria traits as they have the highest adaptive ability to survive. That is the reason why you're still sick even when you've taken antibiotics. And that is why Dr said you must finish it if you started to take it.
During all 3 days, we provide free non antibiotic chickens to the participants for tasting just to let them know the tastes aren't compromised when you use this additive as compared to the norm. Everyone was happily eating especially when the chickens were cooked in ginger as well as fried (laughing).
In today's scientific scenario, it is clear that it doesn't favour the research fields as it supposed to be. The government supplied taxpayers money for research weather its in fundamental or application field in the forms of research grants, but follow up has not been done in terms of commercialization of those wondrous findings. Only recently (as in 1 week ago =___=) that the minute increase in commercializing research product is seen. The truth is, the process of securing an industrial partner has been painstakingly troublesome and was only realized within these 2 years. From consumers' feedback, it was pretty positive; asking, "Where can I buy the chicken". So the problem right now is how fast a product can reach its consumer right? That is why the product 'orang kampung' that has been repeatedly spoken by the TNC, Prof Ir Dr Mohd Saleh Jaafar were so successful. Think. Why is commercialization made so difficult? What do we lack? A govermental/private body who's ravaging enough to bridge the two? The lack of interest from the industry? Always, my ma would ask me to find the research product featured in local newspapers, saying its good for health and such. I tried my hardest, but its just not on the supermarket shelf. (sigh)
What I would like to address right now is that it took 12 years for the study to reach this level and at last by 1-2 years, marketable. Why is something good so slow?
This is what all of us in Malaysia can expect; a better healthier chickens for consumption in a few years ahead. We should be more alert about the latest advancement of science since it could make us live a more livable life. Really.
More info can be read on Mosti's page, Utusan as well as Bernama, on 15th and 20th July on the land acquisition in negeri sembilan, the upacara pecah tanah officiated by N.9's MB and the latest PRPI exhibition. Have a go and read some to fill cha up :)