Beneficial vitamin E replacement

Research with broilers has shown that a natural polyphenol product can substitute up to 80% of vitamin E in feed beneficially.

Some fruits, berries and herbs have a high content of polyphenols that possess interesting properties in feed for animals. The selected polyphenols have the potential to partially replace vitamin E in animal feed. Animals are often fed vitamin E far beyond the minimum standard to ensure a sufficient level of antioxidants to counteract oxidative stress. It is therefore possible to replace that part of the vitamin E content in the feed above the minimum standard requirements and even improve the results.

Photo: R2Agro
Photo: R2Agro

Replace vitamin E with Cabanin CSD

Cabanin CSD has a high content of polyphenols in the form of selected elements from grapes, blackcurrants, citrus fruits and sweet chestnut with particularly strong antioxidant effect. These polyphenols can be even more effective antioxidants than vitamin C and E. In addition to the antioxidant properties, the polyphenols in Cabanin CSD have also good antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Several trials indicate that at least 50% of vitamin E content above 15 ppm can be replaced in feed for poultry. The general recommendation is a replacement with 2kg Cabanin CSD per kg of pure vitamin E (including a significant safety margin). This means that 1kg of the natural polyphenol product can replace 1kg of vitamin E 50% adsorbate.

Remarkable broiler trial results

A trial conducted at a university in Germany, in 2018 confirms that Cabanin CSD can beneficially replace all the vitamin E above the 15 ppm NRC standard requirements in feed for broilers and further improve production results when the product is used with 1000 ppm as performance enhancer.

The purpose of the trial was to investigate the effects of the product as vitamin E antioxidant replacement and used in higher dosage as performance enhancer, see Figure 1 and 2.

University trial setup

A total of 525 day-old broiler chickens were divided into 5 groups, replicated 7 times. The trial was conducted during a period of 35 days. The groups were fed a basal starter and grower diet assigned one of the following treatments:


  • Low Vit. E, 15 Vitamin E, 15 ppm in Starter & Grower
  • High Vit. E, Vitamin E, 105 ppm in Starter & 65 ppm in Grower
  • Cabanin CSD – 50% replacer, Vitamin E, 60 ppm in Starter & 40 ppm in Grower + 90 ppm Cabanin CSD in Starter & 50 ppm in Grower
  • Cabanin CSD – 100% replacer, Vitamin E, 15 ppm in Starter & 15 ppm in Grower + 180 ppm Cabanin CSD in Starter & 100 ppm in Grower
  • Cabanin CSD – performance enhancer, Vitamin E, 105 ppm in Starter & 65 ppm in Grower + 1000 ppm Cabanin CSD in Starter & Grower


Additional effect: Less oxidative stress and improved stability in refrigerated meat

The vitamin E replacer also improves the antioxidant status in the body compared to standard dosage of vitamin E. It was tested by taking venous blood samples from broilers (Table 1) to test for stress relevant parameters. Several enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) can be scavenging formed reactive oxygen species (ROS) which act as antioxidants. Endogenous protection against oxidative stress is achieved by enzymes that catalytically remove free radicals and other reactive species.

The antioxidant defence systems include antioxidants (natural or synthetic) and the antioxidant enzymes present in the biological system. Increasing the activity of SOD would subsequently enhance the clearance capacity of oxygen free radicals in broilers. Together with the increased activity of SOD and TBARS concentration in the blood plasma is reduced. Malondialdehyde is formed as an end-product of lipid peroxidation and therefore, the extent of lipid ROS can be monitored by TBARS level. Using TBARS concentrations as an index of absorption of vitamin E and Cabanin CSD, this study showed that the polyphenolic antioxidant product were dispersed, retained and remained functional in blood plasma and in refrigerated breast meat.

Cost effective vitamin E antioxidant replacement

As proven, it is not only for performance reasons that replacing the vitamin E antioxidant part of vitamin E in animals’ feeds with Cabanin CSD is beneficial. Even with today’s relatively low Vitamin E price level. The obtainable cost-savings will be in the range of up to 25% on the vitamin E that is replaced, calculated based on the prices to feed manufacturers of vitamin E 50% adsorbate and Cabanin CSD, respectively, as of February 2019.

Authors: Annette L. Voergaard and Karsten C. Kjeldsen, Product development in R2 Agro