The intensive animal production industry requires animals to grow fast with a minimum of feed consumed. Diets are extremely rich in nutrients, one of them being energy. Fats and oils may represent more than 25% of this energy. The digestive tract is an aqueous environment and fats and oils are lipophilic substances that need to be emulsified before being digested. Fat digestion is a real challenge in young piglets, as they do not produce sufficient bile acids for an efficient emulsification.
High inclusions of fat in intensive animal production will gradually lower the digestibility because of lack of emulsification in the aqueous environment of the gastro intestinal tract. Absorption is a critical step since only absorbed nutrients can be transported throughout the body and trigger the growth and performance of the animal.
The challenge is how to make animals able to digest all these fats.