A desirable feed is evaluated by an animal’s sense of smell and taste. Flavoring agent manufacturers can experience poor returns on investment when feedstuffs have an unpleasant smell and taste. Food flavoring agents have thus been developed to improve the smell and taste of animal feeds, resulting in improved feed intake and animal performance. Furthermore, palatable feed is easier to digest than less palatable feed, so it will have a higher feed efficiency.
Ruminants, especially, have accepted the use of feed flavors.
It is important to note that different species of animals have different taste buds and taste-sensing organs. It is not uncommon for taste preferences to differ greatly. Animal attractants are therefore developed by studying the behavior habits and hearts of different animals.
Types of flavoring agents used in the animal industry
As the calves transition from pre-ruminants to functioning ruminants, they must consume the solid feed. For optimal rumen development and reduced weaning duration and costs, starter feed should be introduced early. During pre-weaning and post-weaning, scientists evaluated the effects of vanilla flavor in starter feeds. Additionally, the daily gains before weaning were significantly higher compared with calves fed unflavored starters. Furthermore, they met the weaning criteria earlier at a younger age, and their pre-weaning period was 2 to 3 days shorter.
Some studies indicate that dairy cows and older ruminants prefer citrus tastes and aromas. Adding flavors to compound feed or total mixed rations (combined with a sweetener, if necessary) will obscure possible changes in raw materials, unpalatable by-products, and bitter tastes of vitamins or minerals.
Garlic, anise, and black cumin are natural flavoring agents; those that are artificial are fruit extracts, vanillin, sodium glutamate, and the like. Dry powders are usually provided in free-flowing, non-electrostatic concentrates, which can be pre-mixed with other trace ingredients and added to feed formulations using a metering device designed for that purpose. In normal feeds, flavors are included in the diet between 0.5-1.5%. There are, however, several factors that require special flavor treatments, including animal type, feed ingredient used in the ration, storage length, water quality, and outbreaks of disease.
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