What Makes a Good Premix

Premix composition:

A premix constitutes a blend of micro ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, and/or enzymes, evenly dispersed within a carrier substance. Micronutrients are typically used at levels less than 200 grams per tonne of feed. Micropremixes serve as a supplementation strategy for animal feeds under various circumstances, including instances where synthesis by the animal is insufficient, there is variability in vitamin or mineral content, feed processing results in degradation of vitamins and minerals, or to fulfill specific metabolic requirements. The primary objective of incorporating a premix is to ensure a more uniform dispersion of active particles within the feed. Occasionally, premixes may require dilution or concentration to achieve an optimal blend. High-quality premixes are characterized by favorable flowability and mixability traits, typically manifested by consistent particle size and density across all ingredients. Particle size analysis, often conducted using a standard sieve, reveals a desirable bell-curved distribution.

Carrier choice:

The selection of an appropriate carrier is pivotal in achieving optimal premix characteristics. Common carriers, such as rice hulls or wheat middlings, along with calcium carbonate, are utilized to enhance the properties of the premix. In formulations where the carrier constitutes more than 50% of the premix, a 50:50 mixture of rice hulls/wheat middlings to calcium carbonate is recommended. Conversely, formulations with less than 50% carrier content should adopt a 60:40 or 70:30 ratio. Adjustments in the quantity and type of carrier may be necessary to attain the desired bulk density, which directly influences flowability and homogeneity. Premixes containing predominantly heavy trace minerals typically incorporate calcium carbonate exclusively to optimize bulk density. To improve handling of the premixes we include a small amount of mineral oil, between 0.5-2% to aid with dustiness. 

Image of Good Standard Vitamin Premix – 20% Cal Carb, 50% Rice Hulls

Mineral and vitamin sources:

Careful consideration of vitamin and mineral sources is imperative during formulation to ensure optimal bioavailability and stability, particularly concerning the intended species. The choice of ingredient form significantly impacts bioavailability and should be deliberated upon during the formulation process. Good quality products, such as those in the ROVIMIX line can be used as stable and reliable vitamin sources. Commonly utilized forms of minerals include oxides, sulfates as well as chelated sources depending on customer inclusion and specifications. dsm-firmenich offers a large portfolio of products that can be mixed to create an ideal premix. Our Nutritional Services Team can be consulted at the time of formulation to assess the premix characteristics and to provide feedback on potential improvements. 

Overall, it is important to understand the characteristics of a good premix. For more information on available premixes or product related questions please contact a dsm-firmenich representative. For questions about your current formulations and to assess their quality please contact your assigned Nutritional Services Specialist. 

Published on

20 May 2024


  • Poultry
  • Ruminants
  • Swine
  • Aquaculture
  • Premixes

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