Copper is important in the formation of haemoglobin, in the oxygenation process of respiration and it is an essential component of several metallo-enzymes: tyrosinase (lack of pigmentation), lysyl oxidase and cardiovascular defects (catalytic action). Copper deficiency can be a serious problem for grazing ruminants. In swine diets copper acts as a growth promoter and increases the feed efficiency
Main sources Copper sulphate pentahydrate Copper oxide Quality and selection parameters
The water soluble copper sulphate has an excellent bioavailability. The “water insoluble” but “acid soluble” cupric oxide releases in the stomach ambiance its divalent Cu++ ions in the form of CuCl2 and is therefore also capable to provide a satisfactory bioavailability. By adding of anticaking agents the flowability of copper salts can be improved.
The growth promoting effect of copper, an important feature in pig breeding has to be differentiated from the biological availability sensu stricto. Cu++ ions from either the sulphate or oxide forms of copper have an antibiotic function that partially inhibits the growth of pathogenic microflora into the intestinal track.

Analytical methods

Copper content in copper sulphate      - electrolysis / potentiometry
  - titration with sodium thiosulphate
Copper content in copper oxide - potentiometry