Feed International - April/May 2017 - 29

FeedInternational ❙ 29

How do MCFAs work?
MCFAs influence the intestinal environment and,
in this way, they have been shown to affect the gut microflora (microbiome). Microbiologists have discovered
that they have a direct antimicrobial affect on grampositive and gram-negative bacteria.
When tested against four pathogens commonly
affecting pigs (Escherichia coli, Streptococcus suis,
Salmonella poona and Clostridium perfringens),
the minimum inhibitory concentration for MCFA
combinations was between 0.1 and 0.3 percent.
They will also provide the gut with some energy, and
improvements in intestinal morphology, including villi
height, have been observed.
MCFAs are an energy source for beneficial bacteria, therefore creating a gut environment that discourages the proliferation of pathogens. They also have anti-viral properties, being particularly effective against
membrane viruses.
Other research has found that they may be able to
reduce the virulence of certain pathogens. This may
be due to an indirect immune effect or their ability
to reduce viral shedding. These findings have led to
their application in specific disease states, e.g. postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS).

Commercial application
Blends of MCFAs are sold as feed additives to be included in a variety of production animal species. Products
may also include short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), such as
butyric acid, propionic and formic. There is a synergy
between these organic acids and MFCAs, for which a
greater-than-additive effect has been observed.
SCFAs acidify the gut and interrupt the bacterial
wall, allowing MCFAs inside. They change the pH and
cause the cell to burst. They also inhibit the production
of lipase, an enzyme that bacteria require to attach to
the gut wall.
MCFAs can be presented in the triglyceride form,
but this requires lipase in order for them to have the
desired effects. As salts, there can be palatability issues and aromas may be added to try and overcome
this. They can be encapsulated to protect them as they
April/May 2017 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com

pass through the duodenum and are released in the
ileum and large intestine.
Other products are described as stable, but activated.
"By delivering MCFAs in this way means they
are ready to act as soon as they are needed," said Dr.
Suzanne Petersen, senior business development manager with PMI Nutritional Additives. "Other catalysts,
such as enzymes, aren't required for them to work."

Benefits in pigs
In the neonatal pig, a high level of MCFAs is recommended due to it being the time of greatest challenge. Piglets' immune systems are still developing,
and they are coming into contact with a wide variety of
microbial challenges.
The benefits of MCFAs in weaning pigs have been
demonstrated in terms of better growth and feed conversion. This effect is particularly pronounced in times of
challenge and fewer incidences of diarrhea have been
reported. Studies have also shown that MCFAs can improve the digestion of protein and fiber in piglets.

❯❯ Using innovation to formulate
profitable pig diets:
www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/11767

Stresses during early grower phases may have a
negative impact on pig performance. Diet changes,
pig movement and re-established social orders may
result in reduced feed intake and poorer gut health.
By supporting gut health during these periods,
MCFAs are included with the aim of optimizing pig
performance.
There is also potential application in the late finishing period, when increased intake and feeder competition can cause stress. In terms of the sow, supporting
her immunity and gut health can only be of benefit to
her offspring and longevity in the herd.


http://www.WATTAgNet.com/articles/11767 http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Feed International - April/May 2017

Feed International - April/May 2017
Contents
In the Mix
Happenings
2017 NUTRITION & FEED SURVEY: Antibiotic-free animal feed production grows worldwide
100TH YEAR SERIES: Gut health additives: four possible future scenarios
7 alternative vegetable protein sources for broilers
Belarus feed manufacturers pressured by falling margins
How to use medium-chain fatty acids in pig diets
FVG Select to combine conferences, expo, networking
World Pork Expo returns to Iowa State Fairgrounds
Products
Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Feed International - April/May 2017
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Cover2
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Contents
Feed International - April/May 2017 - In the Mix
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 3
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Happenings
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 5
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 2017 NUTRITION & FEED SURVEY: Antibiotic-free animal feed production grows worldwide
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 7
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 8
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 9
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 10
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 11
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 100TH YEAR SERIES: Gut health additives: four possible future scenarios
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 13
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 14
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 15
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 7 alternative vegetable protein sources for broilers
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 17
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 18
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 19
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 20
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 21
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Belarus feed manufacturers pressured by falling margins
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 23
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 24
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 25
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 26
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 27
Feed International - April/May 2017 - How to use medium-chain fatty acids in pig diets
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 29
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 30
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 31
Feed International - April/May 2017 - FVG Select to combine conferences, expo, networking
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 33
Feed International - April/May 2017 - World Pork Expo returns to Iowa State Fairgrounds
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Products
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Cover3
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Cover4
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