Stability of feed grade Vitamin A products , past and present

Vitamin A 500 was the established Vitamin A feed additive product for more than 20 years until app 2005. Optimized stability of Vitamin A 500 at that time 2005 was result of intensive development over more than 25 years , using most powerful antioxidant ethoxyquin , using sugar and starch for coating, using heat for cross-linking of particles and using product with highest possible number of app.100.000 particle per gram (= lowest possible surface for oxidation, still ensuring homogenous distribution in feeds )

In 2005 one company introduced A 1000 to the market. Officially this company used technology argument at that time (claiming that it was the only one to offer stable A 1000). In reality this company mainly wanted to improve competiveness against its competitors. With such high Vitamin A-concentration production cost per kg product is lowest. But competitors also introduced in 2005 Vitamin A 1000 , which were stabilized at that time with ethoxyquin. As far as stability was concerned A 1000 with ethoxyquin was comparable with A 500 but only based on same particle size as A 500 (=same number of particles per gram), which is a negative aspect in terms of homogenous distribution in feeds due to half of dosing. Manufactures could not double particle number (= means lower particle size) because of stability reason. Practically at least in feed for young animals, number of particles per gram of A 1000 did not and does not ensure homogenous distribution in feed.

But by placing price per IU activity lower than IU from A 500 after some years A 1000 had replaced A 500 to a big extent in markets. Nevertheless some premixers never followed and continued to use A 500 stabilized with ethoxyquin (in order to guarantee stability for longtime storage).

Since beginning of 2019 there is a new situation after suspension of use of ethoxyquin in EU as antioxidant . This is very important especially for Vitamin A products because there is no 1:1 alternative for ethoxyquin ! 2 producers , which had produced A 1000 in the past with ethoxyquin replaced it by BHT. But what does it mean in reality for manufacturing process. As BHT is not as effective as ethoxyquin app. 5 % ethoxyquin had to be replaced by 10 % BHT in the formula, consequently there is 5 % less coating material and A 1000-products with replacement of Ethoxyquin by BHT are less stable than originals products.

Expiry date is a clear indication what happened. A 1000 with ethoxyquin for example from one producer had a guarantee for 18 month , with BHT it was reduced to 15 month.

It looks a small change but it is more than that. Protection of Vitamin A especially under challenge condition in feed is less good. After some month of use of A 1000 in EU (stabilizeded in the past with ethoxyquin) end-users report unsufficient stability. Problem is expected to increase even in upcoming summer time with higher outside temperatures. And there is practically no way for further improvement of stability for A 1000, even bigger particle size is no choice as already existing products have biggest possible particle size

Why Vitamin A 500 is more stable?
Vitamin A 500 has a content of app 75 % coating material for stabilization, whereas A 1000-products contain only app 50 % coating material for stabilization. Much more coating material in Vitamin A 500 in comparison to A 1000 is a self explaining advantage regarding stability as more coating material gives a bigger diameter of coating material per Vitamin A-oil droplet. Together with a patented use of nature-like antioxidant , Vitamin A 500 is best choice for a safe supplementation of feed with Vitamin A.

But end-users shoud keep attention to the source of A 500. A simple physical dilution/premix of A 1000 by carrier to A 500 (50 % A 1000 plus 50 % carrier) does not change the behaviour of A 1000. Only A 500 manufactured directly by beadlet technology has superior stability.
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