A solution for rising feed costs

For more than a year now, the drastic increase of raw material prices has been causing an enormous challenge for poultry farmers and nutritionists. These rising feed costs increase the need for feeding practices that make more efficient use of nutrients in the feed. Now more than ever, there is an urgency to reduce feed costs.

High inclusion rates of fats and oils are used in broiler feeds to ensure a rapid growth that matches their genetic potential. However, broilers are known to produce insufficient levels of bile salts and pancreatic lipase and therefore cannot optimally digest and utilize these feeds. On top of that, these high fat feeds are costly which makes low fat feeds more attractive as they are cheaper. Yet, these feeds usually lead to lower animal performances.

What if, through smart reformulation, the level of fats and oils can be lowered while maintaining performance? Emulsifiers based on hydrolysed lecithin, also known as lysolecithins, offer such an opportunity.

Lysolecithins improve nutrient digestibility through better emulsification and increased enzymatic potential. They enhance nutrient absorption through improved mixed micelle formation and membrane permeability. Lysolecithins make it possible to reformulate feed by reducing energy and amino acid levels, without reducing animal performance.

Trial results

For an effective fat digestion and utilization, and thereby animal performance, a proper fat emulsification is key and therefore choosing the right emulsifier is important.

The effect of four different emulsifiers on broiler performance at 35 days was tested at an independent research facility in Taiwan. The emulsifiers tested were either based on lysolecithins (FRA LeciMax), two combinations of lower lysolecithin levels with a synthetic emulsifier or a synthetic emulsifier alone.

Not only the type of emulsifier but also the level of lysolecithins play an important role in determining the efficacy of emulsifiers. FRA LeciMax is the most potent emulsifier of the four products used in this trial. This is explained by its higher level of lysolecithins and the advantages lysolecithins have over the use of synthetic emulsifiers.

It can be concluded that adding lysolecithins to broiler feed results in a higher nutrient availability and utilization. It is now possible to reduce energy and amino acid levels while maintaining animal performance and saving feed costs.

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