Competitive livestock industries and concerns for animal well-being underlie the need for drug and nutrient delivery systems for ruminants that protect active ingredients from ruminai fermentation. In addition to delivering drugs or nutrients directly to the small intestine for absorption, commercially viable delivery systems must meet safety and cost criteria. Compared with products developed for human use, cost constraints have impeded the development of effective postruminal delivery systems and rumen-stable products. This chapter outlines both the physiological and technical considerations encountered in the design of effective post-ruminal delivery systems. The formulation strategy for a pH-dependent rumen-stable coating system will be discussed, as will methods for in vitro and in vivo evaluation of post-ruminal delivery systems. Before proceeding to these topics, it is necessary to discuss how the ruminant digestive system differs from that of a simple-stomached animal and how these differences affect the design of post-ruminal delivery systems.
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