Elanco adds Microtracer technology to its Skycis swine feed additive

Microtracers are very small iron particles coated with food grade dye that are thoroughly mixed into the premix before it is bagged.

July 11, 2023

2 Min Read

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated has announced the addition of Microtracer technology to Skycis 100, a feed additive that promotes increased weight gain in growing-finishing swine. Microtracers are small particles that can confirm the presence of Skycis and its active ingredient, narasin, in feed samples.

"The Microtracer technology is a significant addition to Skycis," said Roger Arentson, Elanco technical advisor. "The technology provides an additional safety step for producers, feed mills and nutritionists, and a fast, accurate on-site method of confirming the ingredient's inclusion in their diets."

Skycis is the only ionophore available to U.S. pork producers and promotes weight gain and improved feed efficiency in grower-finisher swine when fed for at least four weeks. Narasin balances digestive system bacteria, driving increased weight gain, feed utilization and energy availability.

Microtracers are very small iron particles coated with food grade dye that are thoroughly mixed into the premix before it is bagged. Microtracers are safe for livestock and do not change the nutritional composition of feed.

The use of Microtracers in livestock feed began in 1961, when Micro-Tracers, Inc. began designing and implementing the use of different elements to allow for more effective quality and safety control measures. Elanco has utilized Microtracer technology in other livestock feed products, such as Rumensin, a product available to dairy and beef producers.

The Microtracers are detected in feeds through the use of a rotary detector, a device with a spinning magnet. Feed samples ranging in amounts of 500 grams to 1,000 grams are poured into the machine, where the rotating magnet attracts the Microtracer particles, separating them from the feed and onto a sheet of filter paper. The paper is then developed with rubbing alcohol and dried, leaving red Microtracer spots — an indicating color for the presence of Skycis in the feed.

The rotary detector can analyze feed for Microtracers in two ways. A qualitative analysis confirms Skycis is present, while a quantitative analysis provides an estimate of the amount of Skycis in the feed.

"This additional feature demonstrates Elanco's continuous commitment to provide quality, safe products to meet our customer's needs," said Scott Carr, Elanco technical fellow. "Skycis has been proven to add efficiency and productivity in swine herds, with this added peace of mind, we can continue to expand the impact of Skycis on producers' bottom line."

For more information or to request materials for testing Skycis medicated feeds, contact your Elanco sales representative

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