How to Deliver Plant-Based Compounds for Maximum Benefit to Animals

BIOMIN has developed a proprietary encapsulation technology for essential oils and phytogenic active compounds –the Biomin® Duplex Capsule- and an advanced formulation of Digestarom® DC, which represents a new approach to phytogenics, one that aims to provide a superior solution in animal feeds.

Why encapsulation matters

In the food and feed industry, encapsulation commonly serves to protect flavors from oxidation, to increase a product’s shelf-life and to provide controlled release of substances over a period of time.

While numerous phytogenic compounds are known to have benefits for feed and livestock, various phytogenic compounds exert different properties. Essential oils and their active compounds in particular are highly volatile and heat sensitive—less than ideal characteristics in the context of modern feed production and pelleting.

The challenge is to make sure that substances that have an insufficient shelf-life or be broken down in the digestive tract before they can exert their biological active properties on animals are instead delivered where they are needed to have a positive effect.

Breakthrough encapsulation technology

To improve the applicability of essential oils and their active compounds in feed, BIOMIN developed a unique method of microencapsulation (a term for particles with a diameter between 1 and 1000 microns). The Biomin® Duplex Capsule combines two encapsulation techniques —matrix and core-shell encapsulation.

With core-shell encapsulation, a protective coat surrounds a core comprising essential oils and active compounds, providing better product stability and ensuring targeted release further along in the gastrointestinal tract. In Digestarom® DC, the coat and core contain different essential oils for appetizing and gut modulation modules, respectively. Both layers are matrix encapsulated —meaning that the active compounds are finely dispersed in a solidified matrix— providing slow, controlled release.

BIOMIN proprietary encapsulation technology results in double capsules with a uniform and narrow size distribution ranging from 120 to 500 microns, allowing for more homogeneous distribution of active compounds in Digestarom® DC and eventually in the feed—meaning continuous delivery of active substances in the animals.

In addition, the particles have a very high essential oil content compared to other commercially available products. Furthermore, the Biomin® Duplex Capsule structure gives Digestarom® DC enhanced pelleting stability over 90°C.

Triple action formulation

Digestarom® DC is an advanced phytogenic feed additive that utilizes extracts and herbs along with the Biomin® Duplex Capsule. Its triple action formulation leverages the advantages of the Biomin® Duplex Capsule to optimize feed conversion. The three modules – 1) appetizing and endogenous secretions, 2) gut microbiota modulation, 3) gut protection – are designed to optimize feed conversion (Figure 1).



Figure 1.The Biomin® Duplex Capsule and triple action formulation of Digestarom® DC

Appetizing and endogenous secretions

Digestarom® DC is designed for the targeted, controlled release of active phytogenic compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Starting in the mouth, the coat of the Biomin® Duplex Capsule delivers flavoring substances, e.g. menthol, etc., that enhance palatability and support feed intake. These plant compounds stimulate endogenous secretions such as saliva, bile and mucus to support better digestibility—a key reason that many feed and livestock professionals use phytogenic feed additives.

Gut microbiota modulation

In the digestive tract, the core releases its gut microbiota modulating contents, derived from oregano, thyme and caraway oil. The application of these encapsulated essential oils has been shown to improve performance and apparent ileal digestibility in broilers and piglets. Several studies have shown that Digestarom® increases villi height in broilers, which is associated with better nutrient absorption. Furthermore, the results of a scientific study suggest the establishment of beneficial gut microbiota in PFA-fed birds.

Gut protection

A scientifically selected mix of herbs and extracts makes up the third module that supports gut protection through antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and gut integrity supportive properties.

Digestarom® DC, the next generation phytogenic product line of BIOMIN, combines an advanced formulation with the incorporation of a proprietary encapsulation technology to optimize feed conversion and improve performance.

Benefits of Digestarom® DC

Digestarom® DC results in improved palatability, enhanced digestibility, reduced intestinal challenge, better animal product quality, improved animal welfare, and less environmental impact. The next generation phytogenic solution is proven under scientific and field conditions, both in swine and poultry, delivering:

  • Improved feed intake
  • Better performance
  • Optimized feed conversion
  • Higher return on investment and profitability