We continually hear about Prebiotics.

In the case of animal feeding, Prebiotics are feed ingredients that can be used to alter the competition (metabolism) in a beneficial way. Such as, supporting feed intake and absorption, or another example would be supporting microflora balance for improved growth and performance.

Not all prebiotic products are created equal. A higher quality product helps ensure the maximum benefits and maximum impact for the animal. Prebiotic products are generated by fermenting yeast. Yet yeast products can be generated by distillery or brewery by products.

Or, by a primary fermentation process designed specifically for animal feed purposes, using specific yeast strains. These latter strains of yeast are to be preferred in animal feeding, as the pathogen load can be increased and the concentration is higher. This higher concentration allows for a reduced cost to the animal producer.

The mode of action of these yeast cultures, which contain mannan oligosaccharide (MOS) is most interesting and “neat.” When MOS is added to the animal’s diet, it is not digested by the intestinal enzymes, but selectively increases the growth of beneficial “good’ bacteria.

This action, (increasing the “good guys”) results in reducing the negative bacteria, “bad guys” such as E.coli, Salmonella and C. perfringes. Essentially the “good guys” starve out the “bad guys.”

Then along comes the clean up crew, the B-glucans, which is part of the yeast cell culture, and the “bad guys” are swept away. This is a very “neat” mode of action.

Hugh Saben Ph.D. is an animal feed consultant. His views are based on his experiences as a consultant with clients round the world.

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