Optimalising the lipid digestion
Modern raising of broilers uses energy-rich diets with up to 10% fat. For piglets, lipids are also a major component of their weaning feed. To promote the performance of these animals, it is essential that these lipids are easy to digest. Next to the selection of good quality lipid sources, it is possible to optimize the digestibility by the use of a nutritional emulsifier.
Before non-polar fat can be absorbed by the aqueous, polar contents of the small intestine, it first needs to be emulsified with bile salts. The capacity of producing bile salts is often the limiting factor for the digestion of lipids in young animals. With an appropriate emulsifier, it is possible to promote the digestion and efficient use of energy in young animals.
To be able to stabilise mixtures of oil and water, emulsifiers consist of a hydrophilic component and a lipophilic component. The balance between this hydrophilic and lipophilic component is shown by the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB). This balance is classified on a scale from 0 (mainly lipophilic) to 20 (mainly hydrophilic). The lower the HLB, the more fat-soluble an emulsifier is. The higher the HLB, the more water-soluble an emulsifier is. Since the intestine is mainly an aqueous environment, in which fat needs to be dissolved, a product with a high HLB value is desired to promote fat digestion in piglets. Bile salts have very high HLB values as well. With an HLB of 17-18, Vitamul is a nutritional emulsifier perfectly adapted to its site of action. The HLB of Vitamul is much higher than that of known emulsifiers such as lecithin and lysolecithin