Not All Rumen-Protected Products Are Created Equal

Posted: February 6, 2024

Podcast Topic

This episode is from a webinar presented by Dr. Clay Zimmerman, Director of Technical Services at Balchem.

Guests:

This episode is from a webinar presented by Dr. Clay Zimmerman, Director of Technical Services at Balchem.

Episode 96: Not All Rumen-Protected Products Are Created Equal

Dr. Zimmerman begins with an overview of Balchem’s microencapsulation technologies in both human nutrition and health and animal nutrition and health businesses. (0:31)

Encapsulation is a generic term, and huge differences can exist between products that protect the same compound. Balchem’s microencapsulation technology consists of packaging a substance in a lipid capsule for protection. Encapsulates can differ in design, technology, and performance. When it comes to performance in ruminant encapsulates, stability in feed mixing and TMRs and animal performance are evaluated. (6:50)

Lipid encapsulation usually comes in one of two forms, a matrix encapsulation or a true encapsulation. A good analogy for matrix encapsulation is chocolate chip cookie dough, where some active compound is always at the surface. In the rumen, this leads to reduced protection and stability. True encapsulation, often called single-layer or multiple-layer encapsulation, is analogous to an m&m where there is no active compound at the surface, and this leads to greater protection and stability in the rumen. (12:00)

So why do we encapsulate nutrients for ruminants? In general, for targeted delivery within the gastrointestinal tract of the animal because rumen fermentation often results in massive breakdown of most of these important compounds. For example, choline chloride is almost completely degraded in the rumen. (18:30)

When developing or improving rumen-protected products for nutrients such as choline chloride, methionine, lysine, or niacin, the primary goal is to protect them as much as possible from ruminal degradation while achieving post-ruminal absorption. Once prototypes have good ruminal stability and good intestinal release, the next step is feed and mixing stability. Dr. Zimmerman goes on to showcase different research techniques for evaluating encapsulates in these three areas as well as in animal performance. (20:39)

In summary, there are many differences in encapsulated products for dairy cows, due to the design of products; types, amount, and composition of coatings; manufacturing differences; and differences in nutrient content, bioavailability, and feed stability. True encapsulates, or multi-layered coating products, are preferred for ruminant applications due to their higher levels of ruminant and feed stability. Four really important features of a good ruminant encapsulate are good ruminal stability, good nutrient bioavailability, feed and TMR stability, and ultimately biological performance. (47:05)
Dr. Zimmerman then answers questions from the webinar audiences about in vitro techniques and bioavailability, coating ingredients, the importance of base diet for rumen fluid donors in in vitro techniques, variation in products from in vitro to in vivo results, how long it takes to develop a new encapsulated product (Balchem spends years and even decades researching before a product release), and why nutrient contents differ so much in similar encapsulated products on the market. (49:58)


Please subscribe and share with your industry friends to bring more people to join us around the Real Science Exchange virtual pub table.


If you want one of our new Real Science Exchange t-shirts, screenshot your rating, review, or subscription, and email a picture to [email protected]. Include your size and mailing address, and we’ll get a shirt in the mail to you.

For more information on our Real Science Exchange and Webinars visit our website at Resources – Animal Nutrition & Health (balchem.com).

en_USEnglish