The growing global livestock production is moving away from antibiotic growth promoters and coccidiostats, means that the industry will therefore face new challenges impacting gut health. As a consequence, gut health management has become a key focus in the livestock production, especially under heat stress conditions.
Beside nutrition, biosecurity, cooling systems, ventilation, bedding materials, water quality and availability, stocking density are playing of course a deciding role.
The role of betaine and its physiological functions
Over the last years, the use of betaine in animal feed diets has moved from selective utilization, to that of a core ingredient in key feed formulations for poultry and even ruminants. The increased use of betaine in animal diets has been driven by producer demands, to counter performance challenges under heat stress conditions especially in poultry as a methionine and choline sparing tool. But the truth is, that betaine is more than a methionine and choline sparing tool. The benefits are the result of betaine’s role in two main physiological functions: its osmolyte property and acting as a methyl group donor.
Both functions of betaine play a key role, particularly when animals are under challenging conditions, which include dietary changes, heat stress, temperature stress (fluctuation between the day and night temperatures) and pathogenic challenges, mainly coccidiosis often with wet litter as a consequence. This in turn can lead to further severe complications like respiratory disease, or pododermatitis. The fact is, that the higher the challenges, the higher the demand is on methyl groups. In such conditions, the mineral and water balance might be disturbed and the cell wall integrity potentially damaged.
Energy is one of the major dietary cost factors in poultry production and osmoregulatory responses are highly energy consuming processes. Betaine, being involved in the energy metabolism, can reduce the energy required for the osmoregulation. Under normal conditions, the energy saved can be used for increased performance and improved carcass quality. Whilst in challenged conditions, it can reduce digestive disorders and lower mortality, thereby better production efficiency.
Additionally, has further potential benefits like lowering carcass fat content and increasing breast meat yield, has a significant role in hepatic protection and it is a source of glycine, relevant in low protein diets-nitrogen reduced feeding.
As a multi-functional nutrient, betaine is a trusted nutritional aid in managing gut health under thermoneutral or hot climatic conditions and for optimizing the feed efficiency in poultry production. In challenging conditions, there is no single product able to serve as the optimum solution. ActiBeet®– natural betaine can be part of every nutritional solution as a non- aggressive, non-corrosive and heat stable component for premix and feed production.
ActiBeet® natural source of betaine
In 2015 AGRANA introduced in the animal feed sector a liquid natural betaine product under the brand name Actibeet® L. With the new crystallization facility, AGRANA is expanding its product portfolio by natural crystalline betaine: ActiBeet® 96 and ActiBeet® 97 for application in feed and drinking water.
Natural Betaine is obtained from partially desugarized (sugar) beet molasses via a chromatographic separation process based on cutting-edge technology provided by our joint venture partner – The Amalgamated Sugar Company, based in the US. The process enables the separation of the molasses into different fractions, one of which is a natural, betaine rich fraction. This fraction will be further promoted towards crystallization.
The new betaine crystallization plant, under the name BetaPura GmbH is located next to the beet sugar factory in Tulln in Austria and was completed successfully last year, despite of the pandemic difficulties. With the new crystallization facility in Austria, AGRANA is expanding its product portfolio with natural crystalline betaine products.
In addition to betaine for the feed and fertilizer sector, Beta Pura GmbH also produces betaine for the food and personal care sector. Due to high product value and the ongoing trend of consumer preference for natural products and strictly tested quality, make ActiBeet® the smart betaine choice and suitable for the global market.
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