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Calcium Salts of Fatty Acids Idaho Manufacturing Plant
Feeding fats and oil to ruminants (cattle and sheep) has long been used to increase the energy density of the diet. Fats contain about 2.8 times the energy of corn and are a good way to add calories without adding a lot of volume to the diet. However, feeding fats and oils in their natural form can be detrimental to fiber digestion in the rumen as oil creates an environment that decreases the population of fiber digesting bacteria. Also, oils tend to accumulate on the rumen papillae (a site of nutrient absorption) and create an impermeable coating that does not allow for nutrient absorption from the rumen. Therefore, the problem is to find a way to increase the energy density of the cattle diet by feeding fats and oils while avoiding the negative effects in the rumen. Fats can be fed to ruminants at up to 6.5% of the diet dry matter; however, this number does include fats and oils contained in normal feeds. In most diets currently fed to lactating dairy cows, this still allows for feeding an additional 1# to 2# of supplemental fat.
The technology for Calcium Salts of Free Fatty Acids (CSFFA) has been around since the 70’s. Researchers discovered if they reacted Calcium Oxide and vegetable oil, they could make a calcium soap that did not have the negative effects on the rumen environment while delivering a compound that could be digested and absorbed in the small intestine. Robt Morgan Company was the first company to manufacture and sell a commercially available CSFFA, however not initially successful. Several years later, another company found a waste stream from Palm Oil refining and developed a market for their CSFFA product. The market evolved and 3 other major companies and a host of smaller companies started manufacturing CSFFA using palm oil. Since the main source for palm oil is the Pacific Rim, most of the palm fatty acid distillate needs to be imported from this part of the world, adding cost to the product. Robt Morgan Company started to use Soybean Oil because they were based in Illinois and Soybean Oil was more available than Palm Oil. There are several companies manufacturing and selling CSFFA to the dairy industry, however they all utilize Palm Oil and Robert Morgan, Inc. was the only soybean oil based product.
About 20 years ago research was conducted that determined there were three Fatty Acids (FA) that were very important in reproductive efficiency of the dairy cow. Several reproductive formulas were developed using the CSFFA technology where these 3 FA were increased. These reproductive formulas are marketed at a premium price to the regular CSFFA. It was realized at the same time that CSFFA made from soybean oil contains more of these 3 FA’s naturally than the more expensive reproductive formulas from other companies, at no additional cost.
About 12 years ago a Certified Organic Dairy asked Morgan if they could make a Certified Organic CSFFA. Since they used soybean oil and there is certified oil available, they developed the manufacturing protocol with MOSA to manufacture a Certified Organic CSFFA. There is a very limited quantity of Certified Organic Palm Oil in the world and most is used for human food manufacturing, limiting development of competitive products.
Another of those ideas was the development of a bypass choline using CSFFA technology. Choline is a B Vitamin that has been shown to increase milk production and milk components. It has been hypothesized that Choline fits into the same biological pathway with Betaine and Methionine but research suggests that one cannot replace the other. Choline benefits the animal by changing the way fat is metabolized in the liver. When bypass choline is added to the diet of a late gestation or fresh lactating cow, incidences of ketosis and fatty liver syndrome are greatly reduced, which are both liver related maladies.
Choline is found in large quantities in most grains fed to cattle, but it is easily degraded in the rumen. Therefore, to increase Choline availability it is necessary to protect it against rumen degradation. We have secured the rights to use the patent that uses CSFFA to bypass the Choline. In research at NC State in 2006, bypass Choline was shown to increase milk production by nearly 12#/cow/day, while also increasing milk fat. Other commercially available bypass Choline products currently sell for 2.0 cents/g; whereas our Choline retails for about 1 to 1.2 cents/g. However, when the value of the fat is factored out, the true cost of the Choline is about 0.5 cents/g. In commercial herds using our bypass Choline, most have seen a 3# increase in milk for each 15 g of Choline fed. The bypass Choline products are available for both conventional and Certified Organic dairies.