Absorption-enhancing additive on trial in broiler feed efficiency study

By Lynda Searby

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/NiroDesign
© istock/NiroDesign

Related tags: Milk

Following positive results in young pigs, TPM, the vitamin E-derived feed additive developed by Australian drug delivery company Phosphagenics, is now being tested in poultry for its ability to improve feed efficiency.

TPM (Tocopheryl Phosphate Mixture) is a proprietary product composed of two different forms of phosphorylated vitamin E: TP or alpha-tocopheryl phosphate and T2P or di-alpha-tocopheryl phosphate. It maximizes the utilization of supplements and feeds by enhancing the solubility and absorption of poorly soluble nutrients.

The 35-day broiler study will be the first to monitor TPM’s effectiveness over an animal’s full lifecycle. The additive will be administered to 576 birds, divided into eight treatment groups. Each group will be given a different dose, ranging from 0-80ppm, incorporated directly into final starter and finisher broiler feeds, provided ad libitum to the birds throughout the study. The results of the study are anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“The primary end point for the study is to indicate if TPM treatments show improved performance, in other words, significant feed conversion ratio,” ​Ross Murdoch, CEO of Phosphagenics, told FeedNavigator.

Performance in pigs

The current investigation follows a pig study completed and reported earlier this year, which produced “statistically significant performance data”​ from newly weaned pigs, and “vital information on TPM’s benefits within the broader livestock feed additive market”​.

The study showed that TPM treatment administered in the feed for the first two weeks post weaning statistically improved FCR (feed conversion ratio). It assessed 1,512 pigs and eight treatment groups with TPM at inclusion rates of 0-40 ppm in the feed, again provided ad libitum.

Phosphagenics’ R&D program is also testing the potential benefits of TPM in dairy cattle, with immunity, milk quality and fertility the end points being assessed, and is hopeful the additive could have broader application in multiple livestock markets.

“Pending positive results in these species, applications to broader livestock markets - including small and large ruminants such as goat, sheep and beef cattle - are all possible, with the same principles being applied to benefit nutrient/feed uptake,”​ said Murdoch.

TPM: how it works

TPM works by enhancing the solubility and absorption of poorly soluble nutrients.

During digestion, the stomach helps dissolve poorly soluble nutrients by emulsification, a process by which poorly soluble material is encapsulated within vesicles and micelles produced with the help of secreted bile salts.

The addition of phosphate groups to vitamin E molecules makes TPM molecules amphipathic, meaning that they have solubility in both water and oil. This is in contrast to traditional forms of vitamin E such as alpha tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate, which are either oil or water soluble molecules. The amphipathic nature of TPM means that it can self-assemble into small particles that are able to entrap molecules of interest, including vitamins, minerals and key nutrients.

This propensity to vascularize and encapsulate poorly soluble molecules means that TPM may provide a head start for absorption. TPM has been shown in in vitro and in vivo studies to increase the bioavailability and absorption of a range of fat and water soluble molecules. 

“Encapsulating molecules in TPM particles means increasing oral bioavailability and absorption of key nutrients provided in the feed, and maximizes the utilization of supplements and feeds by animals,” ​explained Murdoch.

Related topics: Suppliers

Related news

Show more