Nutritionists are well informed of the critical role trace minerals play in maintaining animal immune function, oxidative, nutrition and energy metabolism, reproductive function and overall performance. Traditionally mineral sources in sulphate, oxide and carbonate forms were supplemented to diets due to these minerals being relatively inexpensive. As research revealed their limited bio-availability and added risk of heavy metal contamination, other mineral supplements of higher availability commonly referred to as organic minerals, entered the market and inorganic sources were partially replaced.
Mineral suppliers bombard nutritionists with information on trace mineral supplements all promising great returns. With the myriad of information available with regards to chemical structure, bio-availability and animal performance data, selecting the most effective supplement is challenging. Trace minerals make up a small proportion of the diet, however, these additives contribute significantly to animal performance and hence producer productivity.