Since the 1950s, animal feeds have been supplemented with essential trace minerals such as copper, iron, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Initially, such supplementation was by means of inorganic salts of essential trace elements. From the 1960s onwards, genetic improvement of farm livestock resulted in increased nutritional requirements for these nutrients. Chelated minerals were developed in the 1980s and 1990s. Thirty years ago, with the great scientific efforts of our founder Giuseppe Picchietti, Società San Marco has started its production as one of the first chelate producers in the world.
WHY THE ORGANIC TRACE MINERALS ARE ‘ESSENTIAL’ IN ANIMAL NUTRITION?
The function of enzymes and hormones is essentially linked to trace elements. This key role in metabolism cannot be replaced by other kinds of nutrients, that’s why we call them ‘essential’ trace elements. Trace mineral chelates have proven to be better than inorganic minerals in meeting the nutritional needs of modern farm animals. Chelates in animal feed are organic forms of essential trace minerals such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc.
Animals absorb, digest and use mineral chelates better than inorganic minerals. This means that lower concentrations can be used in animal feeds. In addition, animals fed chelated sources of essential trace minerals excrete lower amounts in their manure, and so there is less environmental contamination. Mineral chelates also offer health and welfare benefits in animal nutrition.
Livestock requires minerals specially micro-minerals, in appropriate amounts as well as in biologically available form for efficient production performance and maintenance of normal health. Animal performance is reliant on maintenance of healthy mineral status. Trace minerals are therefore an essential nutrient for production animals. The first signs of mineral deficiencies are loss of fertility, a dull coat, poor hoof and/or skin quality, and low stress resistance. Fertility is one of the most important parameters for animal performance and producers’ financial profit. Several metabolic processes affecting fertility are dependent on trace minerals. Enhancing egg-shell quality, laying rate and hatchability in poultry is influenced by multiple factors, including trace minerals.
Zinc, manganese, copper, iron and selenium are essential for basic metabolic functions, such as growth and development, immunity and reproduction. To be efficient, competitive and profitable, farmers need to get product to market with weight gain quickly, with good feed conversion, high uniformity, immunity and healthy skin or scales.
WHY ARE OUR ORGANIC TRACE MINERALS MORE EFFECTIVE?
Our ‘full ring – real chelate’ trace minerals represent unique chemical structures to make them more reliable and more bioavailable mineral alternatives for the animal nutrition.
Today, it is possible to see many products in the industry under the name of organic trace mineral. But we cannot say that all of these products are in the same structure and effectiveness. Products produced with Società San Marco’s technology really represent one of the highest norms in the industry. A bi- or polydentate ligand becomes chelating (chela = pincer) if the arrangement of donor atoms around metal cation forms a chelation ring. The most stable rings are those with five atoms. Amino acids and hydroxyacids are able to chelate one metal to form a chelation ring with 5 atoms.