The firm offers nutritional ingredients for hen feed to boost animal health as well as its Premi brand test to boost the safety of eggs for consumers. It also makes ingredients that improve the processing quality of egg products. "By creating a more transparent offering, the benefits of DSM products and services are clear to the whole value chain. Increased safety for consumers, increased animal health and increased value of egg and egg-products," said Theo Verleun, industry manager at DSM Food Specialties. DSM's integrated range of products offer economic benefits to processors, said Verleun. Using its Optimum Vitamin Nutrition (OVN) complex in feed, processors can strengthen the egg, resulting in up to 20 per cent less breakage during transport, according to the company. The average size of the eggs can also be increased by 25 per cent. Using the ingredient does not result in any increased cost in feed for the animals. DSM's ingredients such as Carophyll Check also impact the colour of egg-yolks, allowing processors to manage the shades of colour for different applications. "An egg-nog with pale yellow colour has no value compared with a dark yellow colour which has much more value," said Verleun. The proper use and management of diagnostic tests results can also significantly reduce the risk of human illness, he added. DSM's Premi Test diagnostic testing kits screen for antibiotic residues and antimicrobial substances. It also offers PremiTest Salmonella which can detect 72 Salmonellae serotypes within three days. Eggs and egg products are the most frequent sources of salmonella cases in the EU, according to a recently published EFSA document. About 30 per cent of hens in large scale laying flocks in Germany were found to be infected with salmonella in a 2004-5 survey by the country's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). DSM's integrated egg processing concept also includes MaxapalA2 and MaxapalG04, which are fermentation-derived enzymes that can be added at the final stage of egg processing to improve whole egg and egg yolk emulsification properties and desugar egg products before spray drying. Using the enzymes also increase safety of egg-products as they allow for improved pasteurization that helps to reduce infection risk. "The introduction of our Total Concept is an industry first and underlines DSM's commitment to the egg and poultry industry," said Verleun. "We aim to build on the extremely positive feedback we have received so far."