Sources: Biotin is one of the more recently discovered vitamins. It belongs to the group of B vitamins and is found in most foods in small amounts. Richest sources are yeast, liver and kidney. Egg yolk, soybeans, nuts and cereals are also good sources. Biotin is found in most feedstuffs, but because its bioavailability is low it is added to most animal feeds for improved reproduction and general health.

Below: A picture of biotin


Functions: There are eight different forms of biotin, but only one, D-biotin, has full vitamin activity. It is vital for the production of energy from carbohydrates and fats, and for healthy skin and hair. It forms part of several enzyme systems and is necessary for normal growth and body function. It plays a key role in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism.

Deficiency: Human biotin deficiency is extremely rare. Deficiency symptoms include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, glossitis, pallor, mental depression, dry scaly dermatitis and, after long-lasting, severe biotin deficiency, hair loss (alopecia). Biotin is extremely important in animal production. Spontaneous biotin deficiency has resulted in heavy losses in certain livestock species. Biotin is therefore added to feed mixes for poultry, pigs and fish in order to ensure optimal growth, healthy skin and bones and efficient reproduction.

Production: Commercial synthesis of biotin is based on a method developed by Goldberg and Sternbach in 1949 and using fumaric acid as a starting material. This technique produces a pure D-biotin which is identical to the natural product.

Product forms: DSM Nutritional Products supplies D-biotin as a pure crystalline powder and in a spray-dried form for animal nutrition.

Originally posted :