Formulation and variability of raw materials in feed
Animal feed is formulated by the formulation system aiming at achieving the lowest cost, combining the necessary quantities of the ingredients available (raw materials) to meet the nutritional requirements of the target animal. The formula must be flexible to guarantee the minimum cost and meet the animal's requirements.
Table of Contents
- 1 IMPORTANCE OF THE QUALITY OF THE ANALYSIS OF RAW MATERIALS
- 2 FORMULATION AS PART OF A WHOLE
- 3 CONCLUSION
Animal feed is formulated using the formulation system with the objective of achieving the lowest cost, combining the necessary quantities of the available ingredients (raw materials) to meet the nutritional requirements of the target animal. The formula must be flexible to guarantee the minimum cost and meet the requirements of the animal.
The variation in raw materials in terms of price, quality and availability affects the composition of the feed.Â Therefore, knowing the precise chemical composition of the raw materials available is vital to establish the most accurate and reliable formulation of feed and thus provide a diet that meets the needs of animals.
The chemical composition of raw materials, such as cereals, varies depending on the harvest area, since different genetic varieties are used depending on the soil type and climatic conditions.
IMPORTANCE OF THE QUALITY OF THE ANALYSIS OF RAW MATERIALS
The basis of the quality of animal feed is the fertility and the quality of the soil in which the gran is grown, and also the environmental conditions (e.g. humidity) at harvest time will be of great importance.Â In the case of raw materials that are processed, the characteristics of the process and subsequent storage should be considered.Â That is why quality parameters must be studied before feed formulation and manufacture.
When the quality parameters vary, the contribution of nutrients that the raw materials make to the feed is affected, and for our goal of formulating according to animal requirements (at the lowest cost) it is important to know the composition and variability of nutrients in raw materials.
Within quality analyses, microbiological control in raw materials and compound feed is also of particular importance, a high load of microorganisms produces losses in nutritional quality and contamination by toxins (fungal, bacterial, etc..).
To this end, the raw materials used in the composition of the final product are subjected to a series of laboratory analyses: NIR (near infrared spectrum), chemical analysis, microbiological, anti-nutritional factors, mycotoxins, etc.
On the other hand, the industry studies the nutrient requirements of each species and animal category.Â Thus, we know the essential nutrients for the growth of each of them and are able to formulate the feed accordingly.
To meet these requirements and do so at the lowest possible cost we have to combine the available raw materials and choose, among these, the best price and quality.Â This is one of the biggest challenges in formulating.
As a first step, it is important to determine which nutrient provides mainly each raw material, in order to select the ingredients and use the right amounts.
Secondly, knowing the variability of these nutrients in the raw material allows us to use levels that assure that they supply the necessary amount, considering that the input of a nutrient in excess means an extra expense and, on the other hand, a contribution below the necessary one negatively affects the performance with consequences in the cost as well.
Variability of maize and soybean meal according to source:
As an example of this variability, there are two ingredients with high inclusion rates in the diets in America: maize and soybean meal.Â As mentioned above, climatic and soil conditions are the main factors that have an impact on the variability of the composition, therefore, it is to be expected that, depending on the country of origin, there will be differences, as observed in the tables below.
Soybean meal is mainly used in feed as a source of protein, and, while differences in crude protein are significant, the greatest impact on the formula is the difference in essential amino acid levels.
As we can see, in terms of the amount of essential amino acids, we can consider the same quality of corn.Â However, environmental conditions at the time of harvest can imply a significant change in the composition of the corn.
Another important aspect is the dynamics of the international cereal trade, it takes months (even years) from harvest to consumption of the cereal, which increases the deterioration of raw materials and the chances of fungi growing and producing mycotoxins.
In addition, the United States have a large grain reserve to ensure the supply in the event of a large contingency, so they sell the oldest grain (more deteriorated) to other countries, especially to Latin America.
Looking at these variations, it is clear that we must have the quality analyses of a representative quantity of samples to know the variability of the critical nutrients provided by each of the raw materials, and then adjust the matrixes of our formulation program to meet the nutritional requirements at the lowest cost.
FORMULATION AS PART OF A WHOLE
Quality control analyses and subsequent correction and updating of formulation matrixes must be accompanied by field-appropriate conditions that ensure we reach maximum performance.
Optimal gastrointestinal functionality is essential for sustainable animal production.Â The effective functionality of the gastrointestinal tract and its health are important factors in determining animal yield (growth, milk production, meat and egg quality).Â Several complex mechanisms are involved in the functionality and health of the gastrointestinal tract over which we can interfere with the use of additives such as pronutrients.
Frequently, the formulas do not meet the high requirements of the production animals, or the challenges animals face make them unable to assimilate these nutrients. When this happens, the use of specific technological additives is recommended.
– Botanical preservatives
Microbiological control of raw materials and feed is essential to reduce the loss of nutrients caused by excessive growth of bacteria and fungi.Â This prevents the reduction of the nutritional value of raw materials and compound feed.
ALQUERMOLD NATURAL is a natural preservative developed by BIOVET S.A. It has broad-spectrum bactericidal and fungicidal activities thanks to combining the cimenol ring (active principle from a botanic origin) and citric acid.
The cimenol ring is found in aromatic plants commonly known by their preservative properties. The effect of the cimenol ring can be boosted by combining it with citric acid (Alquermold Natural). These two compounds act synergistically, since citric acid generates pores in the microbial membrane facilitating the entry of the cimenol ring into the microorganism resulting in the destabilization of the plasma membrane and death by osmotic shock.Â The combined action of these two active compounds has been patented by Biovet S.A, a company that has studied this mechanism of action through its R&D department.
When ALQUERMOLD NATURAL is included in feed, controls the growth of pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridium, Staphylococcus, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium and Candida. In the digestive tract, it has a microbiocidal activity against pathogens, promoting the balance of the intestinal microflora.
In different field trials the use of this type of additives in chickens was shown to improve the profitability of the holdings as it improves the final weight (+8%), the conversion rate (-6%)Â mortality (-15%).Â If these improvements were expressed by one million broilers, 236 ton more meat would be produced and 316 ton of food would be saved.
– Exogenous enzymes
Exogenous enzymes specifically interact with different substrates and cause their rupture, so that molecules of nutritional value are released and absorbed through the intestinal mucosa.Â Exogenous enzymes increase the bioavailability of nutrients, facilitate the attack of endogenous enzymes on nutrients, inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria,Â prevent digestive alterations and improve production parameters.
The commonly used exogenous enzymes are:
- Carbohydrase (amylase, betaglucanases and xylanases): They are enzymes indicated to improve the digestibility of starchs and the NAP fraction (non-amylaceous polysaccharides) of cereals.
- Proteases (subtilisin): These enzymes improve the digestibility of proteins.
- Phytases: They release the phosphorus stored in the grains in the form of a phytate.
BiovetÂ has theÂ ALQUERZIM line, which is composed of products that combine exogenous enzymes that improve the digestibility of compound feed while lowering formulation costs by reducing the inclusion of certain nutrients.
Depending on the species two main lines have been developed:
ALQUERZIM PORCINOÂ is intended for pigs as an optimizer of digestion in compound feed containing maize, sorghum, barley, soybeans, wheat, rice and rye.
ALQUERZIM AVIARÂ is formulated for poultry as an optimizer of digestion in compound feed containing barley, wheat, rice and soybeans.
Intestinal conditioner pronutrients
Pronutrients are complex molecules of plant origin that improve intestinal physiology, whose mechanism of action has been studied by Biovet S.A. and is based on the metagenetic mechanism the stimulation of gene related with specific functions in enterocytes.Â They act as an external stimulus by increasing the synthesis of functional protein by the enterocytes, which is reflected in greater regeneration of the cells of the intestinal mucosa increasing the absorption of nutrients.Â They also improve tight junctions between enterocytes, key to good intestinal integrity.
“A conditioned and complete mucosa will allow maximum use of the nutrients present in the formulation”.
Field trials in chickens showed that pronutrients help to obtain better production rates, better conversion rate (- 8%), higher weight (17%) and lower mortality (-5%).Â These improvements expressed by one million broilers mean 100 more tons of meat and 20 tons of feed saved.
Pronutrients comply with the requirements of laws and consumers, do not generate resistances, do not need withdrawal period and leave no residues in meat, milk and eggs.Â Suitable for organic production.
Biovet S.A has patented this technology, which is marketed as Alquernat Nebsui.Â It is available in premix and liquid and suitable for birds, pigs and aquaculture.
The influence of temperature, humidity and storage conditions lead to the presence of variable amounts of mycotoxins in raw materials and feed.Â Among the damage caused by mycotoxins, there is the damage they produce in the intestinal mucosa reducing the absorption of the nutrients present in the formulation.
The use of a mycotoxin binder ensures optimal absorption of nutrients.Â Silicoglycidol isÂ a mycotoxin-binding molecule patented byÂ Biovet, S.A., which is the world’s first patent for mycotoxin binders.Â It is composed of a silica polymer to which a heat and ion treatment is applied to optimize its structure to bind mycotoxins.Â With this treatment it is possible to to increase the adsorption surface of Silicoglycidol, expand the spectrum of action to make it effective against all mycotoxin groups and have an optimal adsorption rate at low doses.Â The adsorption mechanism of Silicoglycidol is based on hydrogen bonds between its oxygen molecules and those of mycotoxins.Â This type of chemical bonds are very stable and prevent mycotoxins from being released when conditions vary throughout the digestive tract.
Different field trials in chickens showed that the application of Silicoglycidol also improves production parameters, mortality (-3%), conversion rate (-1.08%)Â and final weight (0.39%), compared to the use of other binders. This represents a profit expressed by one million broilers of 10 more tons of meat and 51.8 tons of feed saved.
Animals used in intensive production nowadays have high nutrient requirements. Raw materials need to be of high quality but are, are subjected to variability due to genetic, environment, harvesting, storage and processing conditions, among other factors.Â Therefore, it is a must to know the technical aspects that compensate these variations and, then, to provide the optimal conditions in the field so that the genetic potential of the animals and the quality of the raw materials are reflected into a high performance.
Knowing the perks and drawbacks of a formulation will help to optimize it in the most efficient way thanks to the wide variety of technological additives that are at our disposal.