While extensive research demonstrating the benefits of trace mineral use in animal feed has already been done, one R&D specialist at Novus believes in some ways we’ve only just scratched the surface.
Dr. Jeffery Escobar, Senior Manager for Swine Research, Novus recently told a group of European customers: “I believe research on MINTREX®, our chelated trace mineral will continue for years to come – and the reason for that is every day we learn of more and more benefits of MINTREX.”
Dr. Escobar said that within the research community, literature continues to be published.
“And more than that, we are constantly developing our knowledge of what the role of minerals is in the health of the animals. That can be in a number of areas including immunity, reproductive capacity, growth performance, feed efficiency and some other aspects of animal physiology and metabolism, as well as the impact that the use of minerals eventually has on the environment.”
Dr. Escobar presented a number of studies to European delegates, who visited the Novus headquarters in St Charles, Missouri, USA as part of a Swine Knowledge Trip. Research demonstrated a reduction of reproductive and locomotion problems in young sows, as well as improvements in growth performance as a result of incorporating MINTREX into swine diets when compared to inorganic trace minerals (ITM). Sow retention rates, piglet birth weights, and average daily gain were also improved thanks to MINTREX, according to other published studies.
Dr. Jim Richards, Executive Manager of Biology Research, Novus, told customers:
“The point of feeding a mineral is to get it absorbed by the small intestine so that the nutrient goes in to the body and can be used by the animal. The amount of the nutrient that actually gets absorbed is called bioavailability, how available is it for absorption and use by the animal. And MINTREX is very bioavailable. When we compare its absorbability with other mineral forms, both organic and inorganic, MINTREX is very highly bioavailable. So it’s the most effective way to get the mineral into the animal so the minerals can do their job.
“There’s a lot of literature around mineral nutrition, particularly zinc nutrition and immune function. Zinc is important for immune system development, it’s important for immune function. And so in this case in animals, as it is in people, zinc deficiency can lead to reduced efficacy of vaccinations and reduced ability of the animal to fight and clear infections. We’ve done a lot of work across multiple species with MINTREX that demonstrate that immune response is enhanced when the animals are fed MINTREX relative to when they’re fed trace mineral salts.”