Several industry trends within animal health and the type of proteins used can be noticed. First of all high digestible proteins become more and more important as undigested protein in the gut may affect animal’s health due to bacterial fermentation and pathogen overgrowth. Another trend is the wish to reduce the prophylactic use of antibiotics and zinc oxide within animal feed. Plasma powder greatly meets these industry health trends.
What is plasma powder?
Plasma powder is a highly digestible animal protein source used to improve feed palatability and gut health. Spray dried plasma powder is a natural source of bio-active components and is an in-feed alternative to prophylactic antibiotics and zinc oxide.
What are the advantages of using plasma powder?
Plasma powder improves the feed palatability and gut health within young animals with positive effects on overall performance and mortality. Thanks to the presence of antibodies and other bio-active molecules, plasma powder is considered as an in-feed alternative to prophylactic antibiotics and zinc oxide as plasma powder provides passive mucosal immunity against viral and bacterial pathogens. Plasma powder contains immunoglobulins IgG and plasma-borne growth factors that stimulates gut maturation and strengthen the intestinal barrier. In the literature, several studies can be found about the use of plasma in different animal species with positive effects on animal health, mortality and growth performance.
Another important contribution to animal health is the absence in plasma powder of anti-nutritional factors that negatively affect nutrient absorption. Vegetable proteins generally contain high levels of anti-nutritional factors and even mycotoxins that can harm the health of animals.
Why do we use plasma powder in animal feed?
The main use of plasma powder will be in piglet starter diets facilitating profitable weaning. In sow diets, plasma powder may improve the farrowing rate and the average piglet weight at weaning. Thanks to the trend in the industry to reduce antibiotics, there is also a worldwide increased interest and use of plasma powder in fish, shrimp and poultry starter feeds. Outside the European Union, plasma powder is included in calve milk replacers for calves that have not received adequate colostrum. Besides the health-promoting properties, plasma is also known as an irreversible gelling agent improving the chunk texture and overall palatability in wet pet food.
How is plasma powder produced?
Plasma powder is obtained by fractionation and spray drying of blood from healthy animals collected at slaughterhouses.