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News from Biochem

Trace elements ensure good broiler growth and reduce environmental impact


A high absorption capacity of trace elements in the intestine is essential for their efficacy as well as for broilers performance and health parameters. Biochem E.C.O.Trace® products increase bioavailability through the use of glycine metal chelates, thus exploiting the properties of organic bonding forms. At the same time, the targeted use of these products reduces environmental impact.

A needs-based supply of trace elements is important in various performance and health parameters for broilers. Zinc is one of the trace elements that plays a key role. In addition to growth rate and carcass quality, zinc influences bone development and stability, immune status and footpad health. High absorption capacity in the intestine is important for maximizing the efficacy of trace elements added to the broiler feed. Lower zinc excretion minimizes environmental impact. Taking both factors into consideration, organic trace elements offer distinct advantages over inorganic trace elements. Biochem fully utilizes these benefits in its E.C.O.Trace® product line.

High bioavailability with glycine metal chelates

Biochem's basic approach to achieving high bioavailability of trace elements is the use of glycine metal chelates that bind the respective metal ion to the amino acid glycine – an organic source. This uses the good ligand property of the amino acid. At the same time, the small size of the glycine allows a high metal content in the compound.

This stable chemical structure keeps metal ions, including zinc, copper, manganese and iron, from being released in the acidic pH environment of the stomach. It also reduces the formation of insoluble complexes between the metal ions and other organic molecules (e.g. phytates) in the digestive tract. "This reduces absorption antagonisms between the minerals and improves the utilization of trace elements in the feed," explains Biochem Product Manager Annika Mählmeyer. At the same time, the glycine-bound trace elements are effectively transported to the intestinal wall. "The improved performance parameters demonstrate that the E.C.O.Trace® products ensure a very good intestinal absorption rate."

Figure 1: Zinc content in tibia and feces of 40-day-old broiler chickens Figure 1: Zinc content in tibia and feces of 40-day-old broiler chickens

A research study conducted by the University of Osnabrück shows that the concentration of zinc in tibia bone material is significantly higher when zinc glycinate is added to the feed with E.C.O.Trace®. The excretion of zinc is also lower at lower dosage levels, which reduces environmental impact.

Homogeneous and fine granules for excellent processing

E.C.O.Trace® products have a homogeneous, fine granule structure with minimal dust formation, excellent flowability and easy dosing. The advantages of E.C.O.Trace® include high bioavailability, good environmental compatibility, and outstanding processing qualities. The product line offers zinc, manganese, copper and iron – essential trace elements that play a key role in broiler chicken performance and health parameters.

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