What is a Chelate?

Chelation which literally means “bringing together” refers to a bonding formed between a metal ion (mineral) and a ligand (protein or amino acids chelating agent) carrier. A mineral complex is a mixture consisting of a mineral and organic compound carrier such as protein or polysaccharide, a chelate is a type of complex. Chelates are generated by reacting a mineral salt with, for example an enzymatically prepared mixture of amino acids and small peptides. Under controlled conditions.

The ligandbinds the metal at more than one point such that the metal atom becomes part of a ting. Certain amino acids and protein digestion products such as small peptides ate ideal ligands because they have at least two functional groups (amino and hydroxyl) that can form a ring structure with the mineral. The resulting mineral- organic complex is a “Chelate”.

The primary chelated minerals used in animal feed are the trace elements Iron, Manganese, Cobalt, Copper, and Zinc.

These transitional elements on the periodic table have chemical characteristics intermediate between metal and non- metal elements. Transitional elements prefer to form stable complexes coordination complexes or chelates .Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium are also administered in complexed form.

Perhaps one of the key issues in this petition is whether or not synthetic amino acids, possible chelating agents in complexed minerals, should be allowed. One of the oldest and most widely used applications of biotechnology in the animal feed industry is that of synthetic amino acids.

Methionine and its hydroxyl analogue may be synthesized by means of a chemical process, but the other commercially available amino acids, especially Lysine, Threonine, and Tryptophan, are produced by fermentation technology.