Selko® IntelliBond® Trace Minerals

Selko® IntelliBond® Trace Minerals (TM) are a relatively new family of trace minerals, known as hydroxy trace minerals. IntelliBond® C (copper hydroxychloride; formerly known as tribasic copper chloride; TBCC) was developed in the early 90s by the US based company Micronutrients. IntelliBond® Z (zinc hydroxychloride) and IntelliBond® M (manganese hydroxychloride) were introduced to the market in 2012. Following the acquisition of Micronutrients in 2016 by global animal feed company Nutreco, Selko® IntelliBond® TM have been integrated into Trouw Nutrition’s feed additives portfolio.

The Innovation
Selko® IntelliBond® TM are the newest, most technologically advanced form of trace minerals designed for use in animal feeds. IntelliBond® products have high bio-availability and low environmental impact. IntelliBond® trace minerals contain high potency and improved efficacy.
In contrast to sulphates where the metal is bound to sulphate via weak ionic bonds, each IntelliBond® TM crystal is held together by a series of covalent bonds located between the metal ion, multiple hydroxyl groups and the chloride ions (Fig.1). These “smart” bonds create minerals that avoid unwanted interactions, which can either oxidise or bind to other ingredients. Hydroxy trace mineral sources have a crystalline structure (like a 3D matrix). This delivers many beneficial characteristics compared to other mineral sources. A primary advantage is the crystal’s very low solubility when exposed to a pH of 4.0 or greater. Limited solubility protects essential nutrients (vitamins, fats, enzymes, etc.) in feeds and premixes and prevents harmful, antagonistic reactions between nutrients and metal ions in a pig’s upper digestive tract.

Fig 1: “SMART” bonds allow for a significant difference in effective copper utilisation by the pig

Each IntelliBond® C crystal is held together by a series of covalent bonds located between the copper ion, multiple hydroxyl groups and the chloride ions. These “SMART” bonds function to protect the physical and chemical integrity of the IntelliBond® C crystal in the feed and upper digestive tract of the pig. This significantly increases the amount of biologically active copper delivered to the entire length of the intestine driving increased copper absorption and intestinal health. Within copper sulphate, copper is connected with the sulphate group by weak ionic bonds. Unfortunately, these ionic bonds are very weak allowing Copper ions to completely disassociate from the sulphate once contact with water occurs. Once disassociated, copper ions are free to bind with a large number of diet antagonists (S, Fe, Mo, phytates, oxalates, etc.), significantly reducing copper absorption and bio-efficacy within the intestine of the pig.

Secondly, when hydroxy trace minerals are exposed to the low pH of the stomach, the metal ions contained within the crystals become soluble in a gradual manner, which improves the absorption and utilisation of the metal contained within the animal.

Technology in every particle
IntelliBond® TM utilise a new patented technology, OptiSize™ Large Particle Technology. Trace minerals created with this technology offer benefits that traditionally formulated trace minerals can’t. OptiSize™ Large Particle Technology is the best way to ensure trace minerals are evenly distributed in feed, making IntelliBond® TM easier to handle and use. The OptiSize™ process essentially eliminates dust and clumping, commonly found with inorganic trace minerals. It also improves homogeneity in the feed.

Delivering More Minerals Into the Pig’s Bloodstream
When feeding to meet the nutritional mineral needs of pigs, it must be understood that the supplementation of any trace mineral in the diet has no nutritional value until the metal is absorbed into the bloodstream. The combination of this new mineral’s low solubility above a pH of 4.0 and the sustained release of soluble mineral in the stomach ensures that more biologically active metal is absorbed into the bloodstream. Only then pigs can utilise the metal to drive the many physiological processes required to optimise health and performance. Research results clearly indicate that hydroxy trace minerals deliver more metal to the pigs’ bloodstream than other trace mineral sources.

Research Projects Around the World
To better understand the application and value of trace minerals in swine production, the creators of hydroxy trace minerals conducted more than 25 research projects with independent university and industry researchers around the world. This research has confirmed the need for trace minerals in swine diets, but more importantly, they have highlighted the fact that different sources of trace minerals can provide significantly different results in the mill, the feed, the pig and the environment.

For more information contact AusPac Ingredients Dr Geoff Irish,