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A new generation of inorganic trace elements

tue, 25 jun 2013
One of the problems with regular trace elements is the very low availability of copper and zinc to the animal. Zinc and copper quickly bind to feed components such as phytate, oxalate and fibres, forming indigestible complexes in the intestinal tract. In general, a large part of the zinc and copper from feed ends up in the manure. However, a new generation of trace elements has recently become available.

In addition to the traditional inorganic copper and zinc sources, hydroxy forms of zinc and copper are now available. The trace element in these molecules is bound through a strong covalent bond instead of an ionic bond such as in sulphate and oxide, so that indigestible complexes are less quickly formed. This is because the ‘hydroxy’ trace elements are insoluble at neutral pH.
Various experiments have shown that the availability of the hydroxy forms of copper and zinc to the animal is higher than from sulphates and certainly better than oxides. This also offers the possibility to apply a lower dosage in the feed which will subsequently lead to a reduction in the excretion of zinc and copper in the environment. Sulphates from trace elements are, to some extent, hygroscopic (attract water) and, in high concentrations, can have an adverse effect on the stability of vitamins in a premix. The ‘hydroxy’ trace elements are not hygroscopic and will not have adverse effects on vitamins in the premix. Fats also remain more stable. Furthermore, more phytate will remain available for the phytase enzyme because it does not bind to trace complexes.
Nuscience will be pleased to advise you about the use of these hydroxy trace elements in premixes.