Consumption and Food Reformulation, why are they sometimes in discordance?

The formulation is at the service of the animals' performance: providing them a balanced feed, with all the necessary elements, in the right dosage, to meet their needs and ensure their production.

Formulate, reformulate: why?

In order to propose feeds with nutritional profiles that meet the needs of animals, a formulation takes into account many different parameters:
  • The stage and physiological needs of the animals (each stage has its own formula)
  • The composition of the available raw materials - energy sources, proteins, etc.
  • The technological limits of the manufacturing process
  • Formulation is always done at the lowest cost, but it is sometimes necessary to accept costly constraints.
  • Premixes (Minerals and vitamins and other additives) are generally imposed in the formula (they are also formulated, but separately).

The availability of ingredients varies according to market fluctuations, the regulatory framework, crop volumes and quality for cereals. The nutritional characteristics of cereals are constantly changing. Indeed, a wheat remains a wheat, but is different depending on the harvest, the origin, the sunshine, etc. The (re)formulation takes these variabilities into account to always provide a food that provides a stable and adapted nutritional balance. It also makes it possible to avoid repercussions on the face cost of the feed and thus maintain the most stable price possible.

The recipe or composition of a food is not fixed in time. The nutritional composition alone is guaranteed for a given stage, but it also varies from one stage to another. A food is therefore not fixed in time and requires, more or less regularly depending on its nature, adaptations of the formula. It is essential and necessary to make these changes to the formula on the same food. Why and how does this affect the consumption of animal feed?

High-performance animals!

Humans already perceive and appreciate all the tastes and smells of our dishes and beverages. What about animals? Let's take a little diversion on the side of physiognomy: with more than 20,000 taste buds and a hundred square centimeters of olfactory epithelium, ruminants and pigs are gifted in terms of taste and smell and leave us far behind.

Every change in formulation, whether in the proportions of components or in the origin of the raw material, is therefore perceived by animals. How do they react to these changes? Animals reduce their consumption: the novelty is frightening. The decrease in ingestion will be over a short period, but this decrease may be sufficient to impact future performance. And what can be said when these decreases in consumption accumulate throughout the production cycle (at each feed transition, for example)?

How can optimal consumption be maintained despite reformulations?

A dietary transition period: by taking over the feed already received with the freshly received feed makes it easier to switch to the new batch of feed and avoids a drop in consumption between the two. This proven method is not always easy to organize.

Aromatic solutions: incorporated into the feed also help to avoid drops between two batches. The use of flavors has sometimes been perceived as a ploy to opacify the movement of formulas behind. Quite the contrary: reformulations, as we have seen, are absolutely necessary to balance the feed as closely as possible to the animals' needs. Aromatic solutions simply and easily help the animals to maintain their consumption even if the feed composition changes, in order to make the most of their feed.
Flavors for animals make it easier for them to accept reformulations. When we say that flavors are just marketing... We should think about our end customers, animals! Flavorings, they LOVE them!

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