Rumen Protected fats and Rumen inert Fats for dairy cows. Calcium soaps, Palm fat, C16, Omega 3

RUMEN PROTECTED FATS AND RUMEN INERT FATS FOR DAIRY COWS. CALCIUM SOAPS,PALM FAT, C16, OMEGA 3 

Rumen Protected fats and rumen inert fats play an important role in dairy diets. Energy is the major cost component of diets for high producing dairy cows. Because of their high calorific density rumen protected or rumen inert fats are a vital source of energy in dairy rations. This is more so in early lactation when dry matter intake is limiting and cows are “energy challenged”.  The use of rumen protected fats or rumen inert fats helps balance dairy rations with the right amount of concentrates and forages to ensure healthy rumen environment while supplying the energy requirements of the lactating cow for high quality milk production.

Fatty acid composition of rumen protected fat or rumen inert fat supplement adds greater value to dairy cow nutrition beyond energy supply, but this is a contribution that is often ignored. For example, the omega 3 fatty acids are known to stimulate immune response and to influence the functionality of reproductive hormones particularly during the dynamic transition and breeding periods in the dairy cow. As such, the impact of fat composition and the delivery of the essential fatty acids to target tissues are as important as energy content when making a choice among the different fat products.

There are a number of rumen protected fats or rumen inert fats supplements in the market. In the main these include calcium soaps (calcium salts of palm fatty acids), hydrogenated fats from palm oil, fractionated palm oil fatty acids (C16), straight fats (tallow) and dryfat premixes (blends of vegetable and/or animal fats). The impact on dry matter intake may be negative with certain products. According to National Research Council (2001) calcium soaps (also referred to as rumen protected fat or rumen inert fat) depress dry matter intake by 2.5% for every percentage unit increase in the diet. Hydrogenated and fractionated fats have lower digestibility compared with the other forms of fat supplements. On the other hand, feeding natural fats has much less negative effect on intake and if at all none depending on how they are presented in the diet (Allen, 2000).

Based on the degree of saturation, expressed as Iodine Value, (see table below), the digestibility and utilisation of different fats/oils can vary considerably (NRC, 2001 and Voigt, at al., 2006). Saturated fats are less digestible than unsaturated fats and therefore the reason for the slick dung often experienced with cows fed on palm fat (known as high C16) products.

Rumen protected fat or rumen inert fat blends are more nutritionally beneficial to livestock than single fats due to the synergistic effect unsaturated fatty acids have on the digestibility of saturated fatty acids, with concomitant superior energetic yield (Wiseman, 1984 and Borsting et. al., 1992). Weiss and Wyatt (2004) found the digestibility of hydrogenated palm oil which is over 90% saturated to be much lower compared with that of calcium soap soaps (also referred to as rumen protected fat or rumen inert fat) with 50% unsaturated fatty acids (38.5% versus 90.2%). This agrees with the recommendation by the Wisconsin University Extension Services of post-fresh dietary supplementation with a combination of fat sources rather than a single one.

The table below gives the digestibility of various fats and oils.

Fat type Mean Digestibility (%) Iodine Value
Calcium salts of fatty acids 86.0 49
Calcium soap from palm oil 78.0 49
Hydrolysed tallow fatty acids 79.0 48
Partially hydrogenated tallow 43.0 14-31
Tallow 68.0-70.0 48
Fish Oil Salmon 89.0 145
Vegetable oil 86.0 113-145
Hydrogenated palm oil 9.7-57 2
Fractionated triglyceride from palm oil 40.6-71 6-12

The higher the Iodine Value the greater the level of unsaturation

 

The digestibility of a fat product be it rumen protected fat or rumen inert, therefore, has a significant bearing on its potential energetic yield. According to the meta-analysis (14 reports) carried out by Block, et al. (2005), a multiple linear regression of digestibility of calcium soap gave it a value of 75.3%. Based on the calorific value of fats of 39.3 MJ/kg and fat content of 85%, the actual metabolisable energy of calcium soap in this case works out as 25.1 MJ/kg and not 33.4MJ/kg as often taken on face value! NRC rates net energy value for lactation of vegetable oils at 12.3% higher than that of calcium soap (Linn, 2003).

 

Different fatty acids contained in rumen protected or rumen inert fat supplements are linked to specific metabolic processes of milk production, reproduction, growth and health making it imperative for these factors to be considered in a holistic feeding programme if tangible economic benefit of feeding fats is to be realised. The ideal fat supplement is one that would have minimal negative effect on feed intake, limited alteration in the rumen, high digestibility and the right mix of the fatty acids for the various metabolic functions in the dairy cow. Our leading product of this kind is Dynalac.

 

UFAC (UK) have developed over the years a specialised protection technology for processing specific blends of vegetable and marine oils on cellulolytic-fibre-clay mineral carrier. Rumen inert fats produced this way exhibit slow release characteristics providing the highest energetic efficiency and delivery of the fatty acids that are essential to the nutrition of high performing dairy cow.

 

The fine particles (<2mm) of the base material provide adequate surface area for absorption of the oils and, facilitate faster rumen outflow rate leaving little time for the oils to be metabolised in the rumen. Inside the rumen the feed particles absorb water and descend readily to the exit into lower gut. The particles are therefore less likely to get trapped in the fibre mat and as such have a higher passage rate/shorter retention time in the rumen than less dense particles of calcium soap. Researchers, Harfoot and Hazlewood (1997) found larger feed particles to be the preferred sites for the bacteria that are most active in the biohydrogenation process. Sequential waves of contractions by the muscles of the post-ruminal compartments compress the digesta to release the oil entrapped in the medium.

 

The process ensures rumen inertness of the oils such that constituent fatty acids effectively escape microbial alteration and arrive in the lower gut for maximum absorption and utilisation. Moreover, the oils are embedded within the cellular matrix of the base material, and so there is slim chance they will coat the feed particles or have a deleterious effect on the rumen microorganisms. The rumen inert fats of this kind are easy to handle and mix into rations.

Our rumen degradability trials conducted at Reading University showed that in less than one hour of resident time in the rumen under 30% of both Dynalac and calcium soap was degradable. With the high feed intake that is characteristic of high producing dairy cows it is quite possible most of the Dynalac will have escaped from the rumen within that time. This line of argument was supported by the outcome an on-farm feeding trial where milk fat level was not affected and the composition reflected that of Dynalac. There was no significant level of trans-fats which is an indication of limited rumen biohydrogenation.

 

The process ensures rumen inertness of the oils such that constituent fatty acids effectively escape microbial alteration and arrive in the lower gut for maximum absorption and utilisation. Moreover, the oils are embedded within the cellular matrix of the base material, and so there is slim chance they will coat the feed particles or have a deleterious effect on the rumen microorganisms. The rumen inert fats of this kind are easy to handle and mix into rations.

Our rumen degradability trials conducted at Reading University showed that in less than one hour of resident time in the rumen under 30% of both Dynalac and calcium soap was degradable. With the high feed intake that is characteristic of high producing dairy cows it is quite possible most of the Dynalac will have escaped from the rumen within that time. This line of argument was supported by the outcome an on-farm feeding trial where milk fat level was not affected and the composition reflected that of Dynalac. There was no significant level of trans-fats which is an indication of limited rumen biohydrogenation.

In a study we conducted on farm with Dynalac the milk fat content did not drop despite a high ratio of unsaturated to saturated fats in the product. The milk fat composition had 10% less saturated fat compared with milk from cows on fed conventional winter rations reflecting dietary fat composition. Compared with milk from dairy cows supplemented with calcium soap or under conventional winter feeding, the percentage of short chain fatty acids (C6-14) was greater with Dynalac an indication of optimal rumen function with our product. We were also able to peak up some omega-3 fatty acids particularly EPA and DHA in the milk fat which was indicative of transfer from feed to milk to. This outcome is a proof that our technique of rumen protection of fats is a guaranteed means of feeding natural fats and delivery of essential fatty acids to target tissues in the dairy cow with minimal disruption the rumen function. With this approach to fat supplementation it is feasible to manipulate the nature of fats in meat and dairy products through dietary means for health benefits of the consumer.

 

Milk Fatty Acids DEFRA-Funded University of Nottingham Feeding Trial with Calcium Soap

EU-Funded Low Input Food Project

(Winter Feeding)

UFAC Trial
C6-14 18.40 20.68 22.75
C16:0 31.90 36.30 27.82
C18:0 10.28 11.80 9.35
C18:1 20.65 20.40 18.15
C18:2 2.34 1.92 1.70
CLA 0.46 0.47 0.60
C18:3 0.29 0.46 0.35
Ratio C18:1 : SFA 0.31 0.28 0.27
C20:5 0.00 0.05 0.07
C22:6 0.00 0.07 0.05
n-3 FA 0.50 0.59 0.57
n-6 FA 2.59 2.22 2.15
Ratio n-3 : n-6 0.19 0.26 0.26
Total Unsaturated 23.73 27.58 24.89
Total Saturated (SFA) 66.26 72.50 65.06

Butler et. al. (2011) and University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences (2002-2005).

In practice, our method of rumen protection mimics the containment of high levels of oil in oilseeds and spring grass that are known to be utilised by the dairy cow without any negative impact on the overall dry matter digestibility. Murphy et. al. (2008) confirmed this in Ireland when they supplemented dairy cows on pasture with 105g/day our Omega-3 Supplement having 50% fish oil and recorded an increase of 2.5litres milk yield above those on grass. Similarly there was a rise in the yield of milk protein implying the rumen microbial activity was not inhibited. There was also a decrease in saturated fatty acids in milk.

Unlike the other rumen protected or rumen inert fat supplements including calcium soaps and palm fat derivatives (C16), UFAC UK products are not dependent on the rumen pH or melting point for their rumen-protection. Our technique to date is the surest means of supplying the ideal composites of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids that are essential to the productive, reproductive and health needs of the high yielding dairy cow and, with the potential to improving nutritional value of livestock products.

With oil blends, UFAC UK is able to produce a variety of fatty acid compositions that are designed to improve performance of each type of livestock. This is something that has not been possible to achieve with calcium salts of polyunsaturated fatty acids since increased unsaturation does lead to the dissociation of the calcium-fatty acid complex increasing the chances of biohydrogenation (Demeyer and Doreau, 1999) and sub-acute rumen acidosis. In effect, feeding rumen protected calcium salts of unsaturated fatty acids will neither increase their bypass into the small intestine nor their content in milk as would be intake of parent oil (Castañeda-Gutiérrez et al., 2005).

 

Conclusion

We have conducted rumen degradability studies at Reading University to show that within a set time limit of rumen passage high level of our rumen protected fat will escape rumen fermentation. The research findings have been further verified with a number of on-farm trials throughout UK (information available on request) that have demonstrate unequivocally the better performance achieved with naturally protected fats over the other fat supplements in improving production performance, fertility and health of dairy cows as well as milk quality-(less saturated fat) and presence of omega-3 fatty acids livestock.

 

We have a range of rumen protected fats designed to suit various dietary regimes of all livestock.

 

Ref:

  1. Allen, M. S. (2001). Effects of diet on short-term regulation of feed intake by lactating dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci.83: 1598-1624
  2. Borsting, C. F., Weisbjerg, M. R. and Hvelplund, T. (1992). Fatty Acid Digestibility in Lactating Cows Fed Increasing Amounts of Protected Vegetable Oil, Fish Oil or Saturated Fat. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A – Animal Science.42: 148-156.
  3. Butler G., Stergiadis S., Seal C., Eyre, M. and Leifert, C. (2011). Fat composition of organic and conventional retail milk in north east England. Dairy Sci. 2011 Jan; 94 (1):24-36. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-3331
  4. Demeyer, D., and Doreau, M. (1999). Targets and procedures for altering ruminant meat and milk lipids. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 58:593-607.
  5. Harfoot CG and Hazlewood GP 1997. Lipid metabolism in the rumen. In The rumen microbial ecosystem (ed. PN Hobson and CS Stewart), pp. 382–426. Blackie Academic & Professional, London.
  6. Janeczek, W., Szoltysik, M., Kupczynski, R., Chrzanowska, J., Kinal, S., Korczynski, M. and Bartkowiak, A. (2007). Effect of Fat-Mineral Preparation from Fish Oil on Fatty Acid Content on Cow Milk. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 (4): 276-283, 2007.
  1. Linn, J. (2003). Energy in the 2001 Dairy NRC: Understanding the System. Proceedings of the Minnesota Dairy Health Conference College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, May 2003.
  2. Murphy, J J.J., Coakley, M. and Stanton, C. (2008). Supplementation of dairy cows with a fish oil containing supplement and sunflower oil to increase the CLA content of milk produced at pasture. Livestock Science 116 (2008) 332–337.
  3. National Research Council (2001). Nutrient Requirements for Dairy Cattle. National Academic Press. 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW. Washington D. C. 20418. Chap 3: 28-33.
  4. University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences (2002-2005). Nutritional, Hormonal and Genetic Influences on Milk Fat Composition in Dairy Cows.DEFRA SID 5 Research Project Final Report.
  5. Shaver, R. D. and Kurz, M. Nutritional Management of Dairy Cows During the Transition Period. http://www.ahdairy.com/uploads/articles/NutritionalManagementTransitionPeriod.pdf
  6. Sukhija, P. S., and D. L. Palmquist. 1990. Dissociation of calcium soaps of long-chain fatty-acids in rumen fluid. J. Dairy Sci. 73:1784-1787.
  7. Weiss, W. P. and Wyatt, D. J. (2004). Digestible Energy Values of Diets with Different Fat Supplements when Fed to Lactating Dairy Cows. J. Dairy Sci. 87:1446–1454.
  1. Wiseman, (1984). Fats in Animal Nutrition. Butterworths, London. Chap 13: 270-271; 14:285-286.
  2. Voigt, J., Kuhla, S., Gaafar, K., Derno, M. and Hagemeister, H. (2006). Digestibility of rumen protected fat in cattle. Slovak J. Anim. Sci., 39, 2006 (1-2): 16 – 19.

 

The outcome of the degradability trial confirms our conviction that natural protection of fats and oils in a fibre matrix achieves effective rumen protection enabling the fatty acids to escape biohydrogenation and be digested and absorbed in the small intestine without moderation. In a separate field observation the milk fatty acid profile from cows fed Dynalac does confirm this.

 

For further information please contact our technical department on 01780460327 or technical@ufacuk.com