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To support the launch of gender-testing machine, Evonik has made an investment in the biotechnology start-up, In Ovo through its venture capital unit

FEAG evonikEvonik invests in the biotechnology start-up, In Ovo through its venture capital unit. (Image source: Adobe stock)

Evonik Venture Capital was first invested in the Leiden, a Netherlands based company in 2018, providing support for a technology that helps solve one of the egg industry’s ethical problems.

Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik Venture Capital, said, “In Ovo has reached a crucial milestone with the successful scaling up of its unique technology. Since we first invested and partnered with In Ovo in 2018, the ethical problem of culling chicks has gained attention and calls for a solution have become louder.”

The German government has introduced legislation mandating that no chicks can be culled after January 1, 2022. In Germany, estimated 40mn day-old male chicks from laying-hen hatcheries are killed annually, and the global figure is thought to be about 6.5bn. Poultry farms don’t rear the male animals because they can neither lay eggs nor grow sufficiently for meat production.

In Ovo developed a method for determining the sex in the egg that is particularly fast and reliable and can be readily integrated into the workflow of large hatcheries. In Ovo’s first gender typing machine has been screening eggs at high speed, in a commercial hatchery, since December. 

In Ovo is best placed to meet the demands for a combination of early testing and fast testing, which hatcheries need. In Ovo can identify the gender of eggs by day nine after incubation starts, working towards earlier identification. 

Evonik products and services in the field of animal nutrition play a key role worldwide in the production of healthy and affordable food with conservation of natural resources and a reduced ecological footprint. 

Emmanuel Auer, head of Evonik’s Animal Nutrition business line, said, “With Evonik’s support, In Ovo is bringing its proven technology to the market at exactly the right time. The cooperation with In Ovo fosters animal protein supply to retail thus helping the stakeholders in the value chain to achieve their own goals for sustainability.”