Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

RFC Technology Tackles Pathogens While Enhancing Animal Productivity

Setting animals up for success is a key management focus—no matter which species you raise or where you are located. That means following proper facility and feeding hygiene, and enhancing gut health so that animals can more easily fight off infections from contact with harmful pathogens.

Nutritional solutions like Refined Functional Carbohydrates (RFC) offer producers an exciting option to enhance animal health and productivity with a single feed ingredient.

What are RFCs?

RFCs feature technology that can help provide a healthy foundation for poultry, pigs and cattle while delivering the nutrition they need. RFCs are the components harvested from yeast cells (S. cerevisiae) using specific enzymes during the manufacturing process. This enzymatic hydrolysis yields:

  • MOS (Mannan Oligosaccharides)
  • Beta 1,3-1,6 glucans
  • D-Mannose

These compounds are naturally present in all yeast cells, but are not readily bioavailable. The method of processing used to refine the yeast cells influences the size and structure of these liberated components, which, in turn, affects bioavailability and functionality. Research1,2,3 shows that each RFC has a specific mode of action and outcome when fed to livestock.

What do RFCs do?

RFCs can help maintain gut health and overall animal health—directly and indirectly.

Health and production challenges can occur at any time. Adding RFCs to an animal’s diet from an early age can help improve its immune function—indirectly by preparing it for challenges and directly by providing a defense mechanism against pathogenic bacteria4.

Since pathogenic challenges are difficult to predict, RFC feeding can provide the initial defense when these challenges occur. RFCs bind pathogens, rendering them harmless to the animal. RFCs also act as a prebiotic by feeding the beneficial bacteria of the intestine, thus leading to competitive exclusion of the pathogens.

For example, RFCs have been shown to be efficacious against pathogens like Cryptosporidium parvum5,6 which commonly causes scours in calves. RFCs also have activity against bacteria like Eimeria7, as well as various types (serovars) of E. coli and Salmonella enterica6,8.

How RFCs Work

The RFCs bind to the receptors of the Cryptosporidium protozoa (and other pathogens) and prevent them from attaching to the intestinal wall and causing disease. Likewise, RFCs help prevent bacteria from colonizing within the animal’s body, like Salmonella in the cecas of poultry9, for instance.

Instead, the organisms pass harmlessly through the animal and are excreted. The pathogens remain deactivated in the environment, helping to break their life cycle and reducing the odds of reinfection.

Likewise, RFCs help negate the negative effects of mycotoxins that sometimes occur in feed. Just as with pathogens, RFCs bind to these toxins—like aflatoxin—and prevent them from being absorbed through the gut and into the bloodstream and milk10. The toxins then pass harmlessly through the digestive system and are excreted.

Growth Benefits

RFCs offer additional benefits, too.

Because of the multi-functional nature of RFCs (reducing the effects of harmful pathogens, as well as toxins in feed) less energy is needed for fighting infections and supporting the immune system and more energy is available for growth synergistically helping poultry, pigs and cattle performance.

Ultimately, all of these benefits combine to enhance animal productivity. In turn, better productivity positively impacts your bottom line.

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1 Hashim A, Mulcahy G, Bourke B, Clyne M. Interaction of Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum with Primary Human and Bovine Intestinal Cells. Infection and Immunology 2006;74(1):99.
2 Nocek J, Holt MG, Oppy J. Effects of supplementation with yeast culture and enzymatically hydrolyzed yeast on performance of early lactation dairy cattle. J Dairy Sci 2011;94:4046-4056.
3 Baines D, Erb S, Turkington K, Kuldau G, Juba J, Masson L, Mazza A, Roberts R. Mouldy feed, mycotoxins and Shiga toxin - producing Escherichia coli colonization associated with Jejunal Hemorrhage Syndrome in beef cattle. BMC Veterinary Research 2011;7:24.
4 Levesque et. al. Inclusion of a hydrolyzed yeast product in grow/finish pig diets reduced mortality. J. Anim. Sci. 2016: Vol 94, Suppl 2.
5 Santos JEP. Prophylactic Feeding of Yeast Culture Enriched with Oligosaccharides from Cell Wall Extract in Calves Experimentally Challenged with Cryptosporidium parvum. University of Florida, 2008; report on file.
6 Jalukar S, Nocek JE. Evaluation of enzymatically hydrolyzed yeast in vitro and in vivo for control of Cryptosporidium parvum infections in dairy calves. J Anim Sci 2009; Vol.87, E-Suppl. 2/J Dairy Sci Vol. 92, E-Suppl. 1. Research Bulletin D-61. 6 Baines, et al. A probiotic, CELMANAX, decreases Escherichia coli 0157:H7 colonization of bovine cells and feed-associated cytotoxicity in vitro. BMC Research Notes 2011;4:110.
7 Baines et al., 2013. Abstract 108, Presented at the Gut Health Symposium in St. Louis.
8 Jalukar S, Oppy J, Davis S. Effect of enzymatically hydrolyzed yeast supplementation on performance and in protecting broilers against a mild coccidiosis challenge. Joint ASAS/ADSA meeting, 2008
9. Brake et al., 2015. Poult. Sci. 94, E-Suppl. 1: Abstract #17.
10. Baines D. Evaluation of prebiotics and probiotics to reduce toxicity of pure and mixed-feed mycotoxins in vitro and to prevent carry-over of aflatoxin B1 in dairy cows. Symposium on Gut Health in Production of Food Animals; Abstract 202.

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