SOUTH AFRICA - South African cattle are being fed “peanut brittle” style coated vitamins to ensure nutrient absorption.
A US patent has been issued on the coating of vitamins and micronutrients in a vitamin solution dried into long thin sheets.
All ruminants can benefit from the Kansas State University breakthrough, say researchers.
South African animal feed company Afgrifeed, holds the license for the cellophane-like sheets, which start out as isolated corn or wheat proteins solubilized in water or ethanol.
"It produces something that looks like peanut brittle on a microscopic level," said Professor Jim Drouillard, of Kansas State University.
"You've got the hard candy part and then these little lumps that represent the peanuts inside the candy.
“In our case, the peanuts are choline or whatever vitamin we've added, and the candy portion is a protective film that forms from the solute."
Protection offered by the protein-based film coating prevents premature digestion of nutrients by gut bacteria.
Strong acids then dissolve the coating once the product passes the rumen.
Researchers say the product can be sprinkled onto feed. Another option is to spray the substance in a powder form.
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