Feed that is contaminated with pathogenic bacteria becomes a potential route for disease transmission among animal and human populations, and is consequently of great concern to producers and consumers.
The Enterobacteriacea family is the main culprit associated with feed contamination. The members of this family Escherichia spp., Salmonella spp., Enterobacter spp. are indigenous to the gut microflora and produce no harmful effects. However, they are capable of exhibiting pathogenicity towards animal and human causing diseases.
Heat treatment during conditioning, pelleting or extrusion effectively reduces microbial loads in compound feed. However, heat treatment that reduces bacterial contamination depends on moisture levels, temperature and treatment time. These methods do not prevent feed recontamination, a real hazard in the feed production chain. This is especially true in the cooling area for pellets, during bulk transportation to the farm and storage in silos.
A multi-step approach such as thermal treatment followed by the addition of compounds to control microorganisms in feed, is required to ensure feed hygiene and safety. Adding blends of organic and inorganic acids has been shown to contribute to environmental hygiene by inhibiting microbial and fungal deterioration in compound feed.
Biotronic® acidifier line products work to improve feed hygiene, through the reduction of pH and buffer capacity, and the control of gram negative bacteria such as Salmonella spp. and E. coli. This prevents the spoilage of compound feed while maintaining its nutritional value and extending shelf-life. The regular treatment of feed with Biotronic® products also results in a residual protective effect by reducing the risk of feed recontamination and minimizing the contamination of milling and feeding equipment. Improved feed hygiene also contributes to enhanced animal growth performance.
The use of organic acids and their mixtures is viewed with caution by many feed mills. The corrosive nature of organic acids can damage feed machinery, particularly when a high proportion of manufactured feed is treated. Biotronic® acidifier line addresses this concern, as the organic acids are buffered to have a lower corrosive effect on metal surfaces, and are therefore suitable for use in feed mills.