Sorbitol clearance and its effects on feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of steers
Boyles, Dennis Weldon
Sorbitol, a natural six-carbon polyalcohol, is found in various human foods such as cherries, plums, pears and apples (Merck, 1989). It is also used as a sweetener. This compound is regarded as safe for human consumption and is classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplementation of sorbitol has been shown to improve performance of veal calves (Thivend, 1982; Bauchart et al., 1985). Sorbitol addition to a corn silage-based diet has also been shown to improve feedlot performance of steers and bulls. Fontenot and Huchette (1993) reported improvements in feed efficiency by steers without improved daily gains after Geay et al. (1992) described improvements in both feed efficiency and daily gains by bulls. Since cattle feeders use feed additives and implants to improve animal performance, sorbitol could be viewed as a natural, safe compound that could be used as a livestock feed additive provided it increases profits.