Making the best use of betaine in pig and poultry feed

Betaine, often confused as a vitamin, is neither a vitamin nor even an essential nutrient; although under certain conditions dietary fortification with betaine may offer substantial benefits.

Betaine is a natural compound found in variable concentrations in most living organisms, including plants and animals. Wheat and sugar beets are two common ingredients with a high concentration of betaine. Pure betaine is considered safe (it belongs to the GRAS group) when used within approved limits. Addition of pure betaine in pig and poultry diets is practiced with increasing frequency because betaine has certain functional properties that make it a conditionally essential nutrient (or additive). However, in order to obtain optimum results from betaine, it is important to know what level of betaine is best to use.