Both animal fats and fish oils are highly digestible energy sources for animals, and fish oils are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D. The quality of feed-grade fats can be assessed by the composition, hardness, color, impurities, and stability.
Composition refers to the fatty acid profile, and hardness is affected by chain length and degree of unsaturation of fatty acids. Color may not be associated with nutritional value, but it can indicate the product composition or source. Moisture or unsaponifiable matters have no nutritional value, whereas ether insolubles can reduce the fat quality. Moisture can also deteriorate fat. Fats and oils are prone to oxidation, which can reduce palatability and quality, and thus must be stabilized with antioxidants.
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