Flavour products added to animal feed can be used as a tool to either increase feed intake, to mask bad odours, or to be used as a “curtain” to change the raw material composition of the diet with a reduced risk of animals detecting the change in the diet.

  1. Olfactory receptors are located in the olfactory epithelium, deep within the nasal cavity and far from the taste receptors in the mouth. Yet, it is the smell that provides the critical signal that defines the flavours we “taste”. This is achieved because the flavours that arise from foods enter the nasal cavity, bind to olfactory receptors, and are then referred to the mouth (Small, 2012).
  2. A commonly reported effect is the ability of food odours such as strawberry or vanilla to enhance sweetness when added to a sweet solution. Frank and Byram (1988) showed that strawberry, but not peanut butter, odour enhanced the sweetness of sucrose; conversely, saltiness was not enhanced by odour (Small, 2005).
  3. From the first day of the experiment, piglets demonstrated significantly more interest towards raspberry flavoured feed as compared to unflavoured feed. Interest of piglets for raspberry significantly increased over the days, reaching > 70% of piglets exploring it on day 4, suggesting that they will eat more (Pancosma TB 161).
  4. Different flavours were evaluated in piglet feed diets with 21-day old piglets. Over the whole experimental period (0-35 d) flavoured feed improved weight gain (+23 g/d; P = 0.01), feed intake (+18 g/d; P = 0.11) and feed : gain ratio (-0.05; P = 0.12) compared to unflavoured piglet feed (Torrallordona et al., 2001).
  5. Prenatal flavour exposure via maternal diet significantly influenced a piglet’s preferences during lactation (P<0.001). Piglets born from flavour-treated sows showed preferential responses towards maternal flavours (Figueroa et al., 2013).
  6. Flavoured feed fed to pregnant females may stimulate the feed intake of their offspring during pre-wean period if a similar flavour pre-weaned diets are fed to the offspring (Bolhuis et al., 2009).
  7. Flavour preferential trial was conducted with dairy cows. Dairy cows preferred fenugreek and vanilla flavours above unflavoured feed (Harper et al., 2016).
  8. Diets tasting sweet (sucrose, 1.5% of dietary DM), sour (HCI, 1.25%), bitter (urea, l%), and salty (NaCl, 4%) were supplemented to multiparous dairy cows. Two-thirds of the cows preferred the sweet diet, and DMI of that diet averaged 12.8% more than for the control, which was next preferred (Nombekela et al., 1994).
  9. Supplementing flavoured and unflavoured milk replacers to calves, and then with and without flavoured feed were tested by Morrill et al. (1978). Pelleted feed intake was only improved in the groups that received flavoured pelleted feed. Supplementing flavoured milk replacer and unflavoured feed did not improve performance.
  10. Robertson et al. (2006) supplemented flavoured feed pellets to sheep and goats. Sheep preferred the truffle, garlic and onion flavoured pellets were as goats preferred truffles, onions and apple flavoured feed compared to unflavoured feed.
  11. Goodwin et al. (2005) tested 15 different flavours in horse diets. Fenugreek and banana flavours were preferred above the rest of the flavours.
  12. Quality of flavour products are determined based on intensity and persistence of the flavour. Pancosma’s ISO Fusion technology ensure that their flavours have a high intensity, a long shelf life and stability in the feed.

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