Speedi-Beet is a quick soaking beet pulp flake made of non-GMO sugarbeets, with no added molasses. It is 95% sugar free, contains no starch and is highly nutritious. It is highly digestible and provides slow release energy.
Beetpulp is the ideal ‘carrier’ to mix other sources of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, fats or medication.
The horse is a herbivore which has evolved to eat plants and utilise feeds high in fibre. So, the natural way to feed a horse is to supply as many nutrients as possible from fibrous feeds before adding anything else to the diet.
Feeding a fibre-based diet in this way helps to maintin the natural balance of bacteria in the horse’s hindgut, while reducing starch and sugar in the diet helps support a healthy digestive tract, maintains overall good health and reduces the risk of laminitis and tying up, as well as colic.
Once the sugar has been extracted, the pulp is dried and compressed into dense pellets. Water can soak through the closely impacted fibre, but only very slowly. With Speedi-beet, the manufacturing process forces the fibres apart, allowing greater accessibility to water. It’s like cardboard converted to blotting paper.
As a general guideline it is recommended to feed 100g (approx. 3 oz.) of dry Speedi-beet per 40 lb. of horse weight or roughly 1 lb. for a 1000 lb. horse. However, depending on activity level and body condition, as well as other feed stuffs given, this can be adjusted up or down. The most important thing is to provide the horse with plenty of forage as its main staple.
Speedi-beet is an unmolassed sugar beet pulp whose cell matrix has been disrupted by a patented process, including micronization. Non-fibrous nutrients have been ‘unlocked’ enabling them to be digested and absorbed in the small intestine more efficiently than unprocessed product. The fibre profile of Speedi-beet allows optimum beneficial fermentation, in both end products and rate of fermentation, giving an improvement in slow-release energy.
Micronization is a cooking process, which improves nutrient availability. Infrared rays cause the water molecules present in the feedstuff to rapidly vibrate and heat up. This results in water vaporisation and expansion.
In the case of Speedi-beet, micronizations disrupts the fibre structure, including the fibre encircling the cells, thus allowing ‘locked-in’ nutrients to become available for subsequent digestion.
The recommended proportion is one part of Speedi-beet to five parts of water BY WEIGHT.
All feeding stuffs contain sugars, or chains of sugars (e.g. starch). However, at around 5%, Speedi-beet has a lower total sugar content than for example oats (13%), grass (11%), alfalfa (8%).
If you are concerned, you can soak and drain Speedi-beet to lower the sugar content further.
Speedi-beet can be fed in conjunction with any feedstuff you would normally feed your horse. Whole grains (oats, barley) and forages can all be partially substituted with Speedi-beet, depending on the horse’s requirements and activity. Cutting back mixes however, will reduce the vitamin and mineral intake, which should be replaced by a mineral and vitamin supplement.
The manufacturing process of Speedi-beet forces the fibres apart and also disrupts them. This releases non-fibrous nutrients rendering them available to digestive enzymes and increasing the surface area for gut bacteria to attack and ferment them. As fermentation is time dependent (the time it takes to pass through the hindgut) improving accessibility to the microbes allows more slow release energy to be generated.
The effective degradability of Speedi-beet is close to 100%.
Within any main nutrient the constituents are many and varied in their proportions. Protein is made up of 20+ amino acids. Fibre is a term covering a complex range and combination of (beta) linked chains of sugars having a diversity of physical and fermentative properties.
It is by looking at the profiles of protein (amino acids), oil (fatty acids, omega’s etc.) and carbohydrates (starch, sugars and fibre) that we can understand fully their contribution to nutrition.
Technically, energy is the heat released from biochemical reactions that are happening in the horse’s body all the time. Different nutrients, when broken down by the horse’s metabolism, release various amounts of energy as well as pushing down specific metabolic pathways. If we supply nutrients solely because they are fast or slow release, we may end up with imbalances.
For example, glucose which is derived from starch, is essential in the gut wall to actively absorb other nutrients. Sugars (glucose, sucrose and fructose) are used by the fast twitching muscles for energy while slow twitching muscles can use the slow release fibre components.
Energy profile is a way of ensuring that there is a balanced energy donation from all the nutrients in a feed to help a balanced metabolism for your horse’s lifestyle.
Nutritional laminitis can be caused by the hindgut microbes producing lactic acid in high quantities, causing disruption to the microflora and stimulating toxin production. One of the major sources is undigested starch. Speedi-beet allows you to reduce starch in combined feed so there is less undigested starch. The chance of any undigested starch to reach the hindgut where it can start creating toxins is vastly reduced and laminitic cues are avoided.
Moreover, the fermentation of Speedi-beet produces lower levels of lactic acid than grass or hay, due to the micronization process.
The major nutritional cause of laminitis is the microbial fermentation of non-fibrous carbohydrates such as sugar, starch and fructans in the hindgut. Sugar and starch (from cereals, oilseeds etc.) and fructans (from grass and alfalfa) reaching the hindgut, are fermented by certain microbes that are usually present in very low numbers. Their fermentation end products, including lactic acid, create a microenvironment that encourages their growth. Within a very short time they become the dominant species, disrupting the integrity of the hindgut and producing increasing amounts of the adverse products such as lactic acid, which have been strongly associated with laminitis.
Speedi-beet contains negligible amounts of starch and the sugar is highly available due to the micronizing process. It is therefore absorbed in the small intestine before it reaches the hindgut and there are no fructans. Speedi-beet contains nothing to disrupt normal hindgut function.
Horses need high levels of fibre, both as a fermentable nutrient but also to provide bulk in the gut to avoid colic, torsion and other physical problems. Supplementing forage with a higher caloric fibre source like Speedi-beet, maintains gut integrity and provides extra slow release energy. This means that fewer calories need to be supplied by a mix or cube and is ideal for horses whose starch intake needs to be controlled.
The horse has evolved to utilise fibrous material that is fermented in the hindgut by specialist microbes. The horse absorbs the fermentation products, to supply its energy needs. Unlike us, it can only produce limited amounts of some pancreatic enzymes and so is not suited to eat starchy or protein rich foods. These will not be entirely absorbed and will enter the hindgut where the microflora will be disrupted.
The microbial populations in the hindgut compete with each other. When given the right substrate to ferment they will proliferate and succeed. If too much starch or protein enter the hindgut, those associated microbes will increase, produce their own products that may be toxic to the horse, and grow at the expense of the more ‘friendly’ bacteria.