Antioxidant Solutions for Fats and Oils in Animal Feed

Various fats are used in the feed industry as a source of increased energy in the animal's feed. While the addition of the fat increases the energy of the feed, it also adds to the feed's instability. Fats are readily oxidized, which rather than adding to the feed's value, actually decrease its usefulness. Fully oxidized feed may even have a detrimental effect on animal health and performance, ultimately negatively affecting your business’ financial bottom line. In order to avoid these problems and still maintain the benefits of adding fat to feed, antioxidants are often added to the feed.

Lipid oxidation is responsible for the deterioration in quality

Purchasing good quality fat is the first step to limiting the potential impacts of oxidation. However, high-quality fat can easily be negatively impacted due to handling and storage conditions. Time of storage, application of heat and the mixing of different lipid sources all have direct implications to the production of peroxidation compounds. 

Management practices implemented often focus on the amount of time fat is exposed and susceptible to oxidation. Unfortunately, this practice does not take into account the layer of fat residue, which coats the inside of the tank, or the sludge build up at the bottom of the tank.  These residues contain high amounts of free radicals which, once mixed with new fat, disperse and immediately promote oxidation of the new fat. 

Effects of Oxidation: 

    •  Degradation of energy content
    • Reduced availability of amino acids
    • Destruction of critical nutrients such as vitamins
    • By-products (aldehydes and ketones) cause off flavour and smell resulting in reduces intake
    • Reduces broiler skin pigmentation
    • Reduced egg yolk pigmentation
    • Impaired immune system due to effects of peroxides on cells

    Methods Used for Testing Oxidation and Antioxidant Effectiveness

    Antioxidants are substances that delay the onset of oxidation by binding to oxygen molecules and make them unavailable to free radicals. They are also able to react with propagating and initiating free radicals and form non-relative substances.

    There are several methods through which oxidation can be accelerated and oxidative stability can be analysed. Chemical methods are used to measure peroxides, hydroperoxides, free fatty acids and decomposition products. 

    Kemin Customer Laboratory Services (CLS) can assist you by: 

    • Quantifying the level of oxidation in fats, oils, and feed: When quantifying the level of oxidation in fats, oils, and feed, certain primary and secondary products of oxidation can be analysed.
    • Evaluating the stability of a matrix to assist in choosing the proper antioxidant at the proper application rate: Evaluating the stability of the matrix can be accomplished using oxygen bomb or oxidative stability index (OSI). These methods analyse the amount of time for oxidation to occur under pro-oxidative conditions. These results can be used to choose the proper antioxidant system at the proper application level.
    • Analysing the amount of residual antioxidant in a matrix: Identifying the level of antioxidants present allows for the determination of residual antioxidants in the matrix. As antioxidants work, they absorb free radicals and thereby sacrifice themselves to prevent the destruction of unsaturated lipids.

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