Quality Standards

EQUISTRO® Quality Standard

 

Did you know ?

For every 5 people on the production lines, one person is dedicated to EQUISTRO® product quality.

Is it normal not to know exactly what you are giving to your horse ?

Contrary to popular belief there is a plethora of European legislation (regulations and directives) in existence that governs feeding stuffs (including nutrional supplements for horses). Likewise, the labelling of complementary feeding stuffs is subject to strict regulations in order to give the consumer a better visibility on what they are feeding to their horse. The EQUISTRO® range prides itself on ensuring that its labelling not only conforms to the latest European directives in vigour but that all of the information necessary for making an informed consumer choice is clearly marked on the label.

When it comes to quality the label says it all !

Liquid Formulation

The EQUISTRO® liquid formulations are at the forefront of leading technology. Vetoquinol used its liquid for injection technology from its pharmaceutical products to the benefit of the EQUISTRO® liquid nutritional supplement range for high performance liquid formulations. EQUISTRO® possesses one of the most complete equine liquid nutritional ranges available today in the market, thanks to Vetoquinol’s keen investment to see this aspect of the range develop in order to better serve you, our clients.

The EQUISTRO® liquid nutritional range, the ultimate challenge to be mastered by the Vetoquinol development and production teams. Let’s see why?

1. Raw ingredients: how to adequately dissolve or suspend them such that each measure contains the right amount of ingredients every time? 

For the EQUISTRO® liquid range, Vetoquinol scientists have sought out the desired raw ingredients that are either in a soluble form (e.g. IPALIGO® trace elements, liquid herb extracts, soluble vitamin forms) or that can be suspended in the liquid formulation (e.g. organic form of Selenium). Top quality liquid formulations often require a delicate balance between pH (acidity) and liquid formulation viscosity in order to get the perfect result every time.

The challenges for the Vetoquinol Development and Production teams:

  • Optimal mixing to give a homogenous product
  • Perfect suspension of the non-soluble ingredients

Vetoquinol advises that each liquid formulation product should be gently shaken for 5 to 10 seconds prior to removing the cap and administering the appropriate dose into the concentrate ration, water or directly into the mouth according to the product being used (consult the product label).

2. Ensuring an excellent palatability and acceptability by the horse 

A vital question when conceiving any formulation. Even more so for a liquid formulation that can be added to the drinking water or directly administered into the mouth, as is the case for the majority of the EQUISTRO® liquid range. Identification of certain excipients that can act as sweeteners without overloading the horse with sugars are being gradually introduced by EQUISTRO®. A first for the industry.

3. A finished formulation that is easy to deliver with a minimum of loss

Thanks to EQUISTRO®’s unique liquid delivery system that allows:

  • Accurately measured volumes to be administered
  • Minimal mess
  • Reduced contamination of the bottle during the intended period after opening 

You can quickly and cleanly administer the desired volume with no waste.

4. Liquid formulation viscosity, 

Between products this can vary according to the ingredients that they contain and their needs in terms of solubility and suspension (e.g. EQUISTRO® KERABOL is a relatively fluid formulation whereas EQUISTRO® HAEMOLYTAN 400 is relatively viscous). Vetoquinol advises that upon opening, the initial administration is performed with a certain degree of precaution in order for the client to become used to the necessary pressure needed to administer the product.

5. Quality and security of the liquid formulations. 

All nutritional liquid formulations are potentially at risk of contamination or degradation. EQUISTRO®'s liquid formulations are rigorously checked for bacterial/fungal contamination and what is more the unique liquid formulations are conceived to resist contamination from the moment they are first opened for use.

Powder Formulations

The EQUISTRO® powder formulations, a premium quality that is unbeatable.

Today, the powder formulations continue to form the basis for all equine nutritional supplement ranges. The science behind a quality powder presentation, its conception, formulation and production should not be underestimated.

Let's take a closer look at the points that are considered by the EQUISTRO® specialists?

1. Is the ingredient readily obtainable in a stable powdered state? 

Not all raw materials used in the EQUISTRO® range naturally lend themselves to being introduced into powder formulations e.g. certain herbs loose some of their key nutritional value when ground to a powder state.

2. Will the powdered ingredient be readily accepted by the horse? 

Horses are notoriously attentive to what they eat, and thanks to their prehensile lips, they can select carefully what they wish to eat. Careful attention is paid to the appetence of the formulation. Palatability studies on horses are routinely performed on all EQUISTRO® products.

3. The finished product often contains several ingredients and additives each with differing granule size and density that with time can separate out. A challenge for the production team:

  • Optimal mixing to give a homogenous product

  • Compensating particle size and density to ensure that the formulation remains homogenous

over time. The same constituents from the first to the last scoop, a Vetoquinol Best Practices guarantee. 

4. Ensuring that the finished product is free-flowing for customer ease of use and that with time it does not become like concrete, often a sign of a low quality product. 

The benefits of EQUISTRO® powder formulations

  • Special free flowing formulas
  • Easy administration with provided measuring scoop
  • Generally good palatability and acceptance by the horse
  • In a form that is easily assimilated by the horse

How are the EQUISTRO® powder formulations made?

The manufacturing process:

1. Mixing

All of the ingredients in the formula, after having been subject to quality control, are measured out into a mixing reactor and then blended during a predetermined time to ensure a uniform and homogenous mix. Particular care is paid to the environmental humidity prior to batch production for the best results.

2. Conditioning and packaging

The bulk finished product has samples taken for reference and analytical purposes, and is then carefully weighed out into the appropriate packaging container with its scoop, ready for use. The appropriate label is then applied to the container. All of the above procedures are under the strict surveillance of the Quality control pharmacist. 

How does EQUISTRO® ensure that the nutritional value is not compromised during the process ? 

The EQUISTRO® product range as part of their manufacturing process validate during the Research and Development phase the optimal equipment and their usage speeds to ensure that the individual raw material nutritional value is not compromised during the manufacturing process.

Furthermore, the levels of ingredients and additives declared on the label are those following analysis of the finished product and thus you give to your horse exactly what is announced on the label. A Vetoquinol Best Practices guarantee.

Pellet Formulations

The benefits of pelleting certain EQUISTRO® formulations

  • Capturing and sealing in the nutrient value

  • Minimum wastage

  • Excellent palatability and acceptance

  • Can be given with a minimum of concentrate ration

How are the pellets made ?

1. Mixing

All of the ingredients in the formula, after having been subject to quality control,
accurate weighing and charging of the mixer, are blended during a predetermined time to ensure a uniform mix. 

2. Pelleting

After mixing, the mash is delivered to the pellet mill feeder. The mash is fed into the pellet mill chamber and then the roller and die extruder. The mash is compacted through the die and soft moist pellets are formed. Extruded pellets are never subjected to temperatures that exceed 30°C ensuring a «Cold Extrusion Process» to preserve the vitamin, mineral and plant nutrient qualities. 

 

3. Drying

The moist pellets are dried in a conveyer in the dryer. The final product is then evaluated by the Quality control manager for:

  • Pellet hardness (Pellet durability Index)

  • Colour uniformity

  • Average pellet length

  • Average pellet diameter

  • A reference sample is kept whilst another is sent for analysis prior to packaging into the appropriate containers.

How does EQUISTRO® ensure that the nutritional value is not compromised during the process?

The pelleted EQUISTRO® products as part of their manufacturing process employ a « cold » pellet extrusion process to ensure that vitamins, trace elements, essential amino acids and fatty acids as well as the herbs that make up certain formulations do not suffer from “denaturing” of their nutritional value during the manufacturing process.

In addition, the levels of ingredients and additives declared on the label are those following analysis of the finished product and thus you give to your horse exactly what is announced on the label, nothing more and nothing less. This is part of the Vetoquinol Best Practices.