Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, and the efficiency of its conversion to vitamin A varies widely among animal species. Beta-carotene has independent physiological effects that are not related to vitamin A, can enhance the information transmission between cells, is an antioxidant that cuts off chain reactions can eliminate toxic oxygen free radicals in animals, and can improve animals' own immunity. Resist the invasion of bacteria and viruses, improve the survival rate of farmed animals; can promote the growth of animals, improve production performance, especially for the reproductive performance of female animals and poultry; β-carotene is natural yellow or orange, which is also effective of colorants.
With the development of the feed industry, various feed additives and processing aids are increasingly used in the production of compound feed, and beta-carotene is one of them. The purpose of adding colorants to feed is to increase the color of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture animal products, such as the butter color of milk, the color of the yolk and skin of eggs, and the color of poultry feathers, so as to improve the value of products. In addition, the color of the feed can be changed by colorants to stimulate the appetite of livestock and poultry. Moreover, beta-carotene can exert antioxidant properties, thereby improving the body's immunity. Animals will produce some highly active oxygen-containing molecules, such as free radicals, hydrogen peroxide, etc., during normal metabolism. β-carotene can regulate the concentration of free radicals and hydrogen peroxide in cells, thereby improving the immunity of animal bodies.
Studies by American scholars have shown that red yeast and B. transport can be fermented to produce beta-carotene, which is a good yolk darkening agent and can be used in chickens, ducks, and geese. The egg yolk is deep yellow and orange-red, commonly known as a "red-hearted egg". With the improvement of people's living standards, the "red-hearted egg" has become more and more popular; and the export of poultry eggs also requires the egg yolk to have a certain color grade standard, that is, it must reach 8 grades to meet export standards. Therefore, the production of "red-hearted eggs" has become an important topic that cannot be ignored by laying hen farmers. Chickens eat a feed rich in beta-carotene, and the egg yolks of the eggs are darker. This is because the chickens can store the excess beta-carotene that has not been hydrolyzed into VA, and the egg production rate is improved. Beta-carotene and other The combination of vitamins can also prevent some laying hens from molting, thereby improving the egg production rate of chickens in the molting season.
Supplementing a certain amount of beta-carotene to bulls can increase the number of sperm produced and improve sperm motility. Conversely, when the supply is insufficient, abnormal chromosomes will be higher than those in normal semen. Beta-carotene is also very important for cows. If it is lacking, it will lead to weak estrus, delayed ovulation, frequent follicular cysts, low conception rate, early pregnancy miscarriage, and in severe cases, it can lead to reproductive failure and placental development stagnation.
Beta-carotene can also promote the growth of Chinese soft-shelled turtles. Yang Xinyu et al. used β-carotene produced by a pharmaceutical factory to add 0.4% to the feed and fed 89 Chinese soft-shelled turtles with an average weight of 128g. After 73 days of experiments, the results showed that the experimental composition of adding β-carotene rate was increased by 15.8% compared with the control group, and the daily weight gain was increased by 105.6%. The β-carotene feed additive has many functions such as enhancing the disease resistance of the turtle body, promoting the growth of the turtles, improving the meat quality, reducing the feed cost, improving the feed efficiency, and having no residues and drug resistance. Non-polluting has high nutritional value, and good flavor, so it will be widely used.