Tannin in Animal Nutrition
A balanced diet is the prerequisite for leading a healthy and a good quality life. This principle is valid also for animals, and, in particular, for livestock animals. To protect their health means safeguarding the whole food chain, with positive consequences also on human nutrition.
In nature, animals instinctively integrate their diet with leaves, berries, twigs, seeds. These plant elements contain tannins, compounds belonging to the family of polyphenols that play an important role in animal health.
Introducing tannins through the diet means taking on potent natural antioxidants, which have a beneficial effect on the digestive tract and contribute to improving the welfare of the animal.
In addition, respecting the bacterial flora helps strengthening the immune system.
For farmers, this means greater safety and productivity improvement in an absolutely natural and respectful way.
Renewed Attention to Animal Welfare
The consumer awareness has changed so much in recent years: today, we pay much more attention to the origin of the products and the path that they follow along the chain before ending up on our table.
In the case of products of animal origin such as meat, eggs, milk and its derivatives, this attention focuses on the quality of life in the farms. Consumers want to know if the animals have been treated with respect, in which environments they lived and how they were fed.
All this information helps the consumer to qualify the product he/she is about to buy and has an important weight in buying decisions.
A growing trend, especially in Australia, Europe and the USA, countries where milk, eggs and meat are consumed in large quantities.
Tannin, a Natural Alternative
Livestock national regulations can be very different: in some countries it is possible to use antibiotics for preventive purposes (e.g. administration to the animals to prevent infections instead of treating them) or as growth promoters, for increasing their weight quickly. But this practice has very negative consequences:
– Fostering the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making these drugs ineffective, not only for animals, but also for humans.
– Contaminating the water and the subsoil.
Tannin can be used as a natural alternative to antibiotics, when used as growth promoters.
Tannin in Animal Nutrition
Modern animal nutrition seeks to sustain and promote the growth of livestock while improving health and well-being. This is possible through the use of natural and healthy products.
Among the natural additives, the polyphenols and tannins are presented as a valuable resource, impacting the metabolism of the animal in a completely natural way.
The tannins can be added to the diets of monogastric animals (chickens, hens, rabbits and pigs) and ruminants (meat cows, dairy cows, goats and sheep), to which they bring many benefits: positive effect on the immune system, antibacterial activity, improvement of digestive system health, astringency effect, increase of nutrients assimilation and, last but not least, they have a antiparasitic effect.
A New Consumer Mindset
respondents said that they pay more attention to the way in which livestock animals are treated;
read the labels in which it is specified how the animal was fed;
considers it important in the purchasing decision that the animal has not been fed with antibiotics;
is inclined to choose restaurants that select raw materials of animal origin with these same criteria, even paying a higher price.
Source: Research conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) published in 2018
One Substance, Different Applications
Tannin has many virtues: it is a potent natural antibacterial; it binds to animal proteins and stabilizes them; it is an antioxidant, belonging to the polyphenols family, and can therefore counteract the free radicals that cause cellular ageing. Its qualities make it useful in various fields of application.