Last Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2017
What are the feed additives?
A feed additive is any substance or group of substances in a pure form or as an added substance or mixture to forage or mixture of essential fodder. It is often added in
small quantities and that to meet the specific needs, and is required that these additions be safe and have no adverse effects on animal or human health when used.
All animals need good and healthy nutrition if they are to grow to achieve the best results and thus, animal feed is of great importance if this is to be achieved in practice. Animal farms feed are derived mostly from the main feed components such as wheat, corn and soybean, but if this is the only feed the animals get they will not grow well, and will suffer from a lack of some basic nutrients. The nutritional needs of farm animals are well understood and can meet all needs through dietary supplements directly in a concentrated form. The quality of nutrition is not only affected through the content of nutrients, but also by many other aspects, such as delivery of feed and hygiene, and the content of factors that hinder the benefits of the feed, the ability to digest the feed and palatability, and the impact of feed on intestinal health to name a few. Feed additives provide a mechanism by which not only aspects of nutritional deficiencies are corrected but also aspects which in turn affect the animal's growth rate, health and well-being are improved.
Types of feed additives
In general, a feed additive is a product that provides a special effect or fulfills a special need in the form of a relative concentration. For example, vitamins may be of animal, and mineral or vegetable origin and are used either in its natural state or usually in concentrated form. Some of vitamins are produced through fermentation processes as well. Feed additives tend to be present in certain categories, which describes its role in feed or in animals, and are listed below. These categories along with some examples of additives that fall within these categories are as follows.
1. Added-Technology additives.
This category refers to a group of additives, which affect the technological aspects of nutrition. This does not directly affect the nutritional value of the feed, but may indirectly affect it by improving its handling characteristics or hygiene. One example is the addition of an organic acid to preserve the feed.
2. Sensory additives.
This refers to a group of additives that improve the palatability or taste which in turn affects the amount of voluntary feed intake by stimulating appetite, and usually these products have impact through flavor or color.
3. Nutritional Feed additives.
These additions provide specific nutritional items needed for optimal animal growth rate. For example, vitamins, amino acids or trace elements in most cases these additions are simply a concentrated food items placed in the natural ingredients of the diet.
4. Animal care Additives.
These additives improve the nutritional status of the animal, not through the addition of specific nutrients, but rather by enabling the utilization of feed items in the diet to be more efficient. Examples of such additives or enzymes added to feed directly, beneficial microbial materials, both improves intestinal conditions, and thus can extract more nutrients from the diet. In this regard, often products that will improve the nutritional value without the provision of food materials directly. Other additional materials used for the environmental benefits as well as providing for animal husbandry and others are used in order to improve specific physiological functions.
Feed additives Can be also divided into:
1. Feed Additives include animal fats and vegetable oils and amino acids prepared industrially (methionine - lysine) and mineral elements and vitamins, and is added for the purpose of completion of nutrients or energy needs.
2. Non-feed items additives are added for different purposes other than fulfilling nutritional needs. These items include growth promoters, antioxidants and antifungals. Non-food additives are added to the feed to protect the components from damage and oxidation, and some additives are added to increase feed conversion rate or improve production.
Non-feed additives are divided into the following sections:
1. Binding Substances: These are substances that bind the feed components and help the granulation and pelleting process examples of sodium bentonite - hemicellulose - molasses.
2. Flavors taste improvement: These products improve the taste and flavor of feed and make it more palatable. Examples of some herbs containing volatile oils have an acceptable odor.
3. Antifungals and anti-mycotoxins: These additives are added either in liquid or solid form to limit the growth of fungi, and they contain:
- Organic Acids individually or combined with each other (Propionic Acid - Sorbic Acid - Acetic Acid).
- Organic acid salts (sodium propionate - potassium sorbate).
- Copper sulfate. Inorganic bonds (natural minerals) are also used to bind mycotoxins and prevent it from being absorbed in the intestines of birds and include Zeolite - Bentonite - Calcium salts - Anhydrous aluminum silicate (HASCS).
4. Antioxidants: These are compounds that are working to protect fat in diet especially in the case of the high proportion of unsaturated fat. Which would lead to the protection of vitamins
5. Colorants And Pigments: These are materials that contain a high content of carotenoids Xanthophyll and acceptable to give the skin and egg yolk such as corn and clover
6. Enzymes: These are complex protein compounds that are added in order to improve the digestion of all carbohydrates and fat and protein.
7. Probiotics: The addition of microorganisms such as good bacteria and their bi-products that work on modifying the microbial balance of the digestive tract of a birds and animals by exclusion and compete with harmful bacteria resulting in improved productive performance and feed conversion ratio of both broilers and laying hens through
- Preserving the natural microflora in the intestines.
- Increase the activity of digestive enzymes.
- Increase the ingested quantities and digestion ratio.
- Neutralization of harmful substances excreted in the body and improve the immune system.
Probiotic products may contain a mixture of lactic acid bacteria and live yeast (Prebiotics), leading to increased efficiency of the role of probiotics. The role of probiotics is similar to the role of antibiotic and chemical growth promoters to reduce the number of harmful bacteria, but it is characterized in that it is non-toxic and does not lead to bacterial resistance as it does not leave any residue in the meat, as in the case of chemicals.
Mycotoxins and Anti-Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins negatively affect birds and animals of all kinds
1. Inhibition of the immune system in birds and animals, which leads to an increased chance of infections both viral and bacterial and vaccination failure.
2. Negative effect on production, which leads to decreased of weights in broilers and also the decreased of egg production and fertility in layers and, which leads to huge economic losses in the farms.
3. Mycotoxins serve as a gateway to any injury when the open field for any enemy invades another bird's body and his injury.
4. Not to take advantage of the nutrients found in their rations, as well as lack of access to good percentage of the medicines used in drinking water in birds.
For anti-mycotoxin on the market there are two types:
1. Chemical Antitoxins: in the form of organic acids such as propionic, citric, tartaric and malic etc. which converts toxins into non-toxic materials and that gets excreted outside the body through diuretics by the kidneys.
2. Biological Antitoxins: which works through biological materials such as cell walls, such as Beta glucan and Mannan Oligosaccharide and extracts of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus
The way Betaglucan and Mannan Oligosaccharide work is by adsorption of mycotoxins as these materials are carbohydrates and sugars that adsorbs toxins and converts it to non-toxic materials that gets excreted from the body also have the ability of fermentation and secreting enzymes that have the ability to break down mycotoxins.
Use of organic acids in nutrition
Recently interest has grown and focus on adopting natural growth promoters as a safe alternative to traditional growth of a class of antibiotics stimulant for growth which is used mostly in the form of feed additives in order to stimulate growth and prevent infection
What are the organic acids
Organic Acids are short-chain fatty acids, mostly used for several decades for the purpose of food preservation and to prevent the growth of microbes. These have been recently proven that they can be used in the field of animal and poultry production as an effective and safe alternative to antibiotics to stimulate growth and strengthen the immune system and prevent infection in a variety of gastrointestinal disease by adding it to animal feed or drinking water.
How do Organic Acids Work
There is a general mechanism for all organic acids action that applies to all organic acids in addition to special characters to some special group of individual organic acids.
The role of the organic acids is maintaining the natural balance of microbial content inside the digestive tract, particularly the intestines delicate balance between beneficial bacteria and flora and harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, etc.
The benefits of using enzymes in feed
Role of enzymes in poultry nutrition
- Poultry do not produce enzyme for the hydrolyses of these non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) present in the cell wall of the grains.
- Addition of enzymes specific for a given feed formulation will enhance the bioavailability of above feed components.
- The exogenous enzyme in feed additive, can complement to endogenous enzymes in the digestive system during adverse climatic condition and at an early age, to give an increase role of digestion.
- The production of endogenous enzymes may be a limiting factor due to various reasons depending on the age, health, type of feed, environment etc.
Use of Enzymes in Feed
- To enhance the feed intake and efficiency growth rate & productivity, by overcoming many nutritional problems and correcting digestive disorders especially when birds are crowded.
- To increase the energy value of cereal feedstuffs. More nutrients are made available by hydrolyzing fibrous material.
- To minimize excreta, watery dropping and ammonia.
- To reduce anti-nutritional products like tannins, saponins and goitrogens.
- To provide choice of raw materials. For eg. Barley, which was not earlier used, is now successfully used with enzymes.
- To promote faster growth by increasing feed efficiency and promoting weight gain.
- To increase egg production and hatchability in layers.
- To reduce early mortality due to the problems associated with harmful molds and aflatoxin in poultry feeds.
- Enzyme-added feed provide additional option where certain feedstuffs are in short supply.
- Readily available materials can be advantageously utilized.
- Price advantage over more traditional and inexpensive feedstuffs can be taken.
- As growth promoters, feed enzyme additives hold promise to lower the overall production costs while improving the performance of birds.
- The genetic potential of birds can be explored, enabling them to consume more quality of feed to achieve maximum growth and production.