Due to their intrinsic chemical structure, fats and oils are highly susceptible to oxidation processes.
As a consequence of lipid oxidation, the nutritional quality of animal feeds is compromised. The main effects are degradation of essential ingredients, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and pigments, among others. At the same time, fat and oil oxidation negatively impacts feed palatability and encourages the production of unhealthy compounds like free radicals or aldehydes.
All consequences of lipid oxidation will negatively affect animal performance and health status.
The inclusion of specific antioxidant compounds in animal feeds can prevent, or slow down, lipid oxidation. This will guarantee premix and feed quality, and will improve their shelf life. A complete range of antioxidant products is available in both liquid and dry forms, and formulated with synthetic or natural sources. Moreover, dry antioxidants are also offered in different concentrations for specific application needs.
Ethoxyquin-free (EQ) antioxidants are aligned with the new regulations and market demands.
Antioxidant Production Technology and Particle Size
There are various criteria for selecting the most effective solution to control the oxidation of fats and oils.
Differentiating antioxidants, while few cost-effective active ingredients are available for their formulation, is a difficult task. Looking only at the product labels, it would seem easy to conclude that all antioxidants available on the market are equal. Antioxidant products with even apparently similar formulas can have significantly different efficacies, due to diverse production processes.
Both dry and liquid antioxidants are manufactured using different processes.
- For dry antioxidants, products have small and uniform particle size. Dry antioxidants are also characterized by an even distribution of all active ingredients in each granule. This results in a better distribution of antioxidants when applied to treated feed or premixes, thus guaranteeing a high efficacy at a lower dosage.
- For liquid antioxidants, a stable blend of polar and apolar antioxidants perfectly mixable in oil and fats, which are easy to spray on the dry substrate.
Fat and oil oxidation impact on animal performance and health
It is widely reported in scientific literature, and confirmed by end-customers, that rancid fats negatively impact animal and economic performance by:
- Reducing both feed intake and efficiency
- Lowering the available energy from lipids
- Destroying fat-soluble ingredients such as vitamin and pigments
- Reducing fat nutritional quality (polyunsaturated fatty acids are more sensitive to oxidation)
- Increasing animal exposure to toxic compounds such as aldehydes, with negative effects on animal productivity
- Increasing exposure to free radicals, resulting in increased oxidative stress
In a conservative assumption, lipid oxidation can be responsible for a 2% reduction in metabolizable energy of vegetable oils or for a 1 % reduction in feed intake. These reductions will add cost to tonnage of oil and feed.
The use of an effective antioxidant can prevent or limit the costs, and thanks to low inclusion rate, this is reached with a significantly low expenditure.
Cost Effective Way to Control Lipids Oxidation
The use of an antioxidant products is the best way to protect raw material, premixes and finished feed from the negative effects of oxidation.
Antioxidants react faster than lipids or vitamins, and this explains their ability in controlling and delaying the oxidation process. The lipid oxidation cycle involves different stages and actors. Thus, for the best efficacy and protection, an ideal antioxidant product must be formulated to guarantee a wider spectrum of protection, including:
- Metal chelators to bind metal reactive ions responsible of the initiation phase,
- A synergistic blend of molecules with ability to scavenge free radicals thus preventing peroxides formation
- An appropriate carrier to guarantee antioxidants stability, flowability, mixability in dry or liquid substrates.