From the American Sheep Industry newsletter
A candy-like coating that protects vitamins and other micronutrients given to ruminant animals from being prematurely digested by bacteria in the animal's digestive system has been issued a U.S. patent. The coating, which is compared to peanut brittle, was developed by Kansas State University researchers Jim Drouillard, professor of animal sciences and industry, Tom Herald, food chemist and adjunct professor of grain science and industry, and Matthew Greenquist, former graduate student.
The coating provides an easy, inexpensive method for delivering undiluted dosages of vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients to livestock, a K-State announcement said.
Researchers looked at how to create a barrier against the microbial activity in the rumen, which also contains billions of microorganisms. They developed a relatively simple and inexpensive solution. An isolated corn or wheat protein is solubilized in water or ethanol. The vitamin or other nutrient is then added to the solution. Next, the solution with vitamin is dried into cellophane-like sheets or spray dried into a powder form. Once dried, the material can be sprinkled onto the feed.
Researchers found that the protein-based film coatings are effective barriers against premature digestion of nutrients by the gut bacteria. Once the material bypasses the rumen and ends up in the gastric portion of the animal's stomach, strong acids in the stomach dissolve the coating, releasing the nutrient so the animal can absorb it.
U.S. Patent No. 8,828,421, “Method for Encapsulation of Orally Ingested Materials to Alter the Site of Digestion, Site of Action, or Stability,” was recently issued to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing technology transfer activities at the university. The patent currently is licensed to Afgrifeed, a South African animal feed manufacturing company.
Source: American Sheep Industry
Posted by Jami Howell