As many as 20 different minerals may be required in some degree for optimum bodily functioning, some in relatively large amounts and others only as trace elements. The mineral element required in the largest amount is calcium. The 2% of calcium found in the body is present primarily in the bones and teeth. Phosphorus, closely associated with calcium in bone development, makes up about 1% of the body's composition.

Phosphorous in some feeds is part of the compound phytic acid, and usually is not biologically available to monogastric animals. Spec sheets for TestDiet® products, include the total level of phosphorous and the non-phytate phosphorous concentrations. The non-phytate phosphorous is that phosphorous that is generally considered to be the "available" phosphorous for monogastric animals. Ruminant animals can utilize the phosphorous in phytate.

Minerals required in relatively large amounts are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfur. Trace minerals include zinc, copper, cobalt, iron, iodine, manganese, chromium, selenium, fluorine, and molybdenum.

Minerals in Purified Diets

In purified diets, some trace minerals may be derived from some of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat sources). For the most part, however, each mineral is obtained from a single source allowing very close control over total mineral content. Because of trace amounts of minerals from other ingredients, often it is quite difficult if not impossible for us to create a diet free of a specific mineral. Even if the amounts of such mineral may be below measurable levels, we would be reluctant to certify that it was absolutely free of that specific mineral.

Minerals in Custom Grain-Based Diets

TestDiet® can customize the mineral composition of any LabDiet® product. Diets can be formulated to omit a mineral added to the standard diet or they can be reformulated to reduce or eliminate the ingredients that are naturally-occurring sources of the mineral in question. Likewise, a diet can be formulated with additional quantities of any mineral specified.