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4Mix - SAPPO News - Sponsor 2022

Perfecting the art of premixing

Let us take a closer look at what makes a 4Mix premix special.

Premixing is the art of looking after less than 0,5% of the mass of an animal’s feed. Yet, that 0,5% affects 100% of the animal’s metabolic functions. The main role of vitamins and minerals is to care for the animal’s immunity and health. Premix quality can have a major influence on the animal’s ability to reach its optimum genetic potential.

What is a premix?
A premix is a combination of vitamins and minerals blended and formulated to achieve optimal production of the animal. Premixing is a speciality field of feed blending that takes these small additions into account. Some inclusions are even less than one gram per tonne of feed! This means that the art of premixing comes down to precision. There are a few important steps in the process of manufacturing a premix, each affecting the quality of the final product. Each arrow in the below image represents a step where the premix factory needs to ensure proper quality control. This means that proper sourcing of appropriate raw materials is essential to manufacture these premixes.

The importance of stability and availability
Two key terms in premixing are stability and availability. Stability refers to the integrity of the molecule and how it remains active in the harsh conditions of a premix. Availability refers to how readily the ingredient is absorbed into the animal’s blood system.

Fat-soluble vitamins are more unstable than water-soluble vitamins. Yet, some vitamin forms are more stable than others. By selecting the right product forms, vitamin stability is much greater than it used to be in the past. Stability can also be affected by other ingredients in the premix. For instance, by adding choline chloride in the premix, moisture levels could be compromised, affecting vitamin stability. Even when formulating the perfect vitamin levels, once the stability of a single vitamin is affected, your animals will not receive that vitamin as intended.

Mineral availability is also an important factor to take into account. The most available mineral forms are typically organics, followed by chlorides, then sulphates, carbonates, and lastly, oxides. This needs to be considered when a premix is formulated. For example, you will need more zinc oxide than zinc sulphate to meet the animal’s zinc requirements.

Determining appropriate levels
There are various ways to determine what the appropriate vitamin and mineral levels are. These include the National Research Council (NRC) recommendations, breed standards, vitamin producers’ recommendations, etc. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and there are many aspects to keep in mind. In deciding nutrient levels, it is important to take into account all the factors affecting the animal at that stage. So, in the end, balance is key! One element in excess can cause a deficiency in another. The interaction between different vitamins and minerals is intricate and essential when formulating a well-balanced premix.

Contact us for any further information on premixing or to get a quote today. Let us share in each other’s responsibility!

Premixing is an art that 4Mix International has been working on for 18 years. It is a precision science that we focus all our attention on. So, leave the small details to us. We promise to deliver quality, every time!

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