Niacin versus Niacinamide – Flowability

In premix we sometimes encounter ingredients that are considered highly hygroscopic. Hygroscopicity is the tendency to absorb and retain moisture from the air. In humid environments, such as a warehouse that is not climate-controlled, there is potential for clumping and decreased flowability of premix that contains these types of ingredients. 

Choline chloride, niacinamide and ethoxyquin are our worst offenders in terms of hygroscopicity. Focusing on the vitamin, nicotinate in premix can be found in one of two product-forms; Niacin or Niacinamide. Niacin is the superior form for premix quality, and Niacinamide is more suited to water soluble applications.

Figure 1. Niacinamide

To optimize premix quality and handling characteristics, we switch product forms from Niacinamide to Niacin in the spring to account for the increased humidity in summer months. It is important to note that, we switch our premix formulas with < 10 % Nicotinate inclusion to Niacin while premixes with > 10% Nicotinate inclusion remain on Niacin year-round since higher inclusion levels exacerbate the flowability concerns with Niacinamide. 

Another way we can mitigate these issues is with the use of flow agents. Flow agents are used to maintain a premix’s flowability in humid conditions, over a long shelf life, or due to hygroscopic premix ingredients. Several different silica-based products exist on the market, with 1 to 2% inclusion recommended in premix. 

Figure 2: Niacinamide with Flow Agent

If you have concerns about your premix flowability, please bring them to the attention of your Account Manager to receive recommendations from our Nutritional Services Team. 

Published on

15 May 2023


  • Poultry
  • Swine
  • Ruminants
  • Aquaculture
  • Premixes


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