C4A - all of the benefits of zinc oxide, none of the problems
C4A is an acronym of Care4Animals, and is a play on the four fatty acids that are used in this special ester.
The biggest problem in intensive pig production is bacteria in the gut severely curtailing the growth of young stock. The acknowledged broad-spectrum treatment for bacteriological problems is zinc oxide (ZnO). EU and projected UK animal feed legislation bans the continued use of antibiotics such as zinc oxide from mid-2022, but controlling harmful bacteria in the gut requires the application of alternatives to ZnO. C4A has emerged at the forefront of several novel products designed to answer this challenge.
A secondary problem is that whilst the most effective of the short chain fatty acids for combatting bacteria is butyric acid, its very bad smell in the unprotected form precludes its practical use. Only by protecting the molecule with a coating can the odour be controlled to acceptable levels. Only esterification can take away the odour completely, whilst retaining full efficacy of butyric acid.
It is widely acknowledged that short and medium chain fatty acids are the most effective way of controlling bad bacteria in the gut, but the problem is those fatty acids transitioning the stomach without absorption and loss of effect. It is the protection of the fatty acids by complete esterification that makes C4A unique and demonstrably effective, even delivering faster weight gain than classical antibiotics, at a comparable price.
Why is C4A unique?
There are several products on the market that include short and medium chain fatty acids, but they are mixtures rather than being esterified for protection through the acids of the animal's stomach. These fatty acid mixtures work to some degree without esterification, but seven to fourteen days after production, whilst the animal feed is in store, lipase activity cuts the triglycerides and the resultant monoglycerides and fatty acids are lost in the stomach. The patented esterification of the C4A production process reduces the free fatty acid content to less than 1%, and is therefore fully protected for safe passage through the stomach and into the intestine, where it is needed.
Which fatty acids are in C4A?
Butyric acid (C4:0) is the most effective fatty acid at combatting gram negative pathogens, principally salmonella and E. coli, combined with capric (C8:0), caprylic (C10:0) and lauric (C12:0) acids for controlling gram positive bacteria like Clostridium and Streptococci . The patented esterification process takes approximately forty hours for the four fatty acids to be attached to the glycerol backbone. Butyric acid is the first to be attached, at 40 degrees, followed by the other three fatty acids in carbon chain number order, with increasing temperatures.
What form is C4A available in?
1. C4A-D is a powder with 70% concentration of active ingredients, on a silica base. It is available in 25kg bags.
2. C4A-L is a white liquid. which is fully dissolvable in water and is 60% concentration.
How does C4A perform against classical antibiotics?
In vitro tests show the effectiveness of the molecule against different germs. Fatty acids in the gut are liberated by enzymatic digestion. The different fatty acids, which vary in length and molecular weight, are protected by esterification from absorption in the stomach and arrive in the colon as active ingredients to capture pathogens. C4A has a large influence on gut microbiota and mucosa immunity by increasing the probiotic activity and reducing inflammation.
C4A is the only fully esterified product currently on the market that protects fatty acids through the stomach, is without the smell usually associated with butyrate, and produces higher weight gains at a lower cost than classical antibiotics.