Animal production engineering and nutrition
Research carried out within the "Animal production engineering and nutrition" axis focuses on domestic animals breeding, on their reproduction and on their adaptation to specific needs.
The primary objective of animal productions concerned is to provide the human population with food biomasses of animal origin that contribute to meeting human nutritional needs and are produced from essentially vegetable resources available in natural or cultivated ecosystems and derived from the agri-food industries.
Food biomass of animal origin is based wholly or partly on the production of milk, meat and eggs by various ruminants, herbivores, monogastric animals and domesticated and selected birds. In addition, and particularly in developing countries, livestock play other very diversified and important roles: non-food production, agronomic, economic, energy, social, cultural and religious roles and contribute significantly to the fight against poverty.
The specific themes studied within the axis are:
- Food and functional value of new ingredients in livestock;
- Improving digestive efficiency to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock farming;
- Integrative management of forage resources in cultivated ecosystems and sustainable management of grazed ecosystems;
- Estimation and exploitation of the genetic potential of domestic animals using the latest methodological advances, especially those based on genomics, to improve the sustainability of animal production;
- Exploitation of livestock biodiversity to adapt systems to global changes: climate, food resources, etc.;
- Improvement of the nutritional and functional qualities of animal products for humans and the impact of animal products on human nutrition;
- Use of animal models for human nutrition research (development of new ingredients: carbohydrates, new protein sources, etc.);
- Interactions between the gastrointestinal flora, the animal, its food and its immunity;
- Development of new decision-making tools at farm, supervisory and government level to strengthen the sustainability of the animal sector;
- Exploitation of the integrative potential of livestock with other productions at farm level (agroforestry, integrated systems, etc.);
- Modelling of animal production systems also integrating non-animal components (plant, soil, economy) at farm and territory level to develop decision support tools in terms of models for the development of livestock systems.
The axis consists of the following entities:
- Genetics, Genomics and Numerical Modelling Laboratory (GGMN)
- Laboratory of Animal Production Systems, Range Management, Food and Nutrition (SPAGPAN)
- Functional and applied biology laboratory (BFA).
Responsable de l'axe : Professeur Yves Beckers
Secrétariat : Cécile Russo
Passage des Déportés, 2 - 5030 Gembloux