April 09, 2017

10/04/2017: Effect of medium chain fatty acids on FCR and bacteria profiles in the gut of broilers

By Catharina Nieuwenhuizen, Nutritional & Technical Support Manager, Noba Vital Lipids, Holland

Many people in our industry talk about MCFAs or MCT

MCFAs means medium-chain fatty acids, which are fatty acids with a chain length of 6, 8, 10 or 12 carbon atoms. This means that we talk about C6-fatty acids, C8-fatty acids, C10-fatty acids or C12-fatty acids.

Image: Sami Sieranoja
These medium chain fatty acids are not bound with glycerine, they are in a free form as free fatty acids (FFA). MCT means medium chain triglyceride, this is an oil, sometimes it is called MCT-oil, for example palm kernel oil.

Palm kernel oil contains high levels of C12-triglycerides. MCFAs have strong antibacterial properties. Products with high levels of C8, C10 and C12 are of big interest in the feed industry, because of the antibacterial effect.

C8 and C10 fatty acids have a strong antibacterial effect on gram-negative bacteria, like E. Coli and Salmonella, and C12 fatty acids have a strong antibacterial effect on gram-positive bacteria, like Streptococcus and Clostridia.

These products have a positive effect on the intestinal integrity of animals and a positive effect on the technical performance. Medium-chain fatty acids are most suitable for pigs, poultry and calves.

Noba Vital Lipids has a product range named ‘Vital range’ with different combinations of MCFAs.

Modes of action
MCFAs can have different modes of action. The prime target of MCFAs seems to be the bacterial cell membrane and the various essential processes that occur within and at the membrane.

MCFAs can make the bacterial cell membrane porous or even solubilise the membrane in case of high concentration.

MCFAs can impair the energy production of the cells caused by interference of the electron transport chain and disruption of the oxidative phosphorylation.

Other processes that may contribute to inhibition of bacterial growth or death can be caused by cell lysis, inhibition of enzyme activity or impaired nutrient uptake.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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