FRA LeciMax compensates for lower energy and amino acid content

Proper emulsification plays a key role in fat digestion and nutrient absorption and consequently growth performance. New trial results show that FRA LeciMax is a potent emulsifier. Energy and amino acid content of the diet could be reduced in combination with FRA LeciMax without affecting animal performance.

As genetic improvements continue to increase the growth potential of broilers, it has become common practice to include fat and oils in broiler rations to support the nutritional requirements accompanying this increased growth potential. The addition of fat and oils increases the dietary energy content and consequently the feed efficiency, thereby yielding a maximal growth at the lowest feed costs.

However, as the capacity to digest and absorb fat increases with age, young broilers have a limited capacity to digest and absorb fat. Young broilers produce insufficient amounts of bile acids and pancreatic lipase which are needed for a proper fat emulsification and fat digestion and nutrient absorption. The addition of emulsifiers to the feed might overcome these physiological limitations.

Emulsifiers

Some of these emulsifiers are based on hydrolysed lecithin (lysolecithins) which have become important feed additives. Lysolecithins are obtained by hydrolysing native lecithin derived from vegetable sources like soybean oil and act as biosurfactants. Lysolecithins are known to improve nutrient digestibility by supporting fat emulsification and enhancing enzymatic potential by the formation of an oil-in-water emulsion. Lysolecithins also improve nutrient absorption by the formation of small mixed micelles. Mixed micelles are defined as spherical aggregates formed by amphiphilic (both water loving and fat loving) molecules and fat digestion products. These mixed micelles transport the fat digestion products to the enterocytes for absorption. Small mixed micelles can move more readily through the aqueous gut environment as compared to larger mixed micelles and therefore improve nutrient absorption. Additionally, the specific lysophospholipid lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), interferes with the cell membrane of enterocytes, changing its curvature resulting in an enhanced nutrient absorption. Altogether, an improved animal performance is obtained.

Technical emulsifiers like polyethylene glycol ricinoleate (PEGR) are mainly used in the pelleting process of feed production where they, due to their capacity to emulsify fat, promote an oil-in-water emulsion and maintain pellet quality. However, in contrast to lysolecithins, technical emulsifiers do not interfere with cell membranes directly, thereby they do not improve nutrient absorption at membrane level. A combination of a technical emulsifier and lysolecithins might overcome this.

Trial results

Reducing the energy and amino acid content both by approximately 3% without the addition of an emulsifier resulted in a significant lower broiler performance. The addition of 500 g/ton FRA LeciMax to the low nutrient diet improved broiler performance significantly in terms of body weight, weight gain, feed intake and FCR, up to a level equal to the positive control diet. Hence, FRA LeciMax on a low nutrient diet can increase both the available energy and the digestible amino acid content of the diet. All other emulsifiers (products A, B and C) showed some significant improvements in overall broiler performance compared to the NC group. However, unlike FRA LeciMax, none of these emulsifiers resulted in equal overall performances as the PC group except for the overall FCR as there was no significant difference among the FCRs of the PC group and emulsifiers. Therefore, FRA LeciMax has been shown to be the most effective emulsifier as compared to the other emulsifiers used in this trial.

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