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Immunoglobulin and Animal Health

Eggs are truly miraculous. They offer so many benefits (including high levels of protein) and are relatively inexpensive. They also contain a valuable antibody known as immunoglobulin. These are found in egg yolks and are the protein that helps to support the immune system of many kinds of animals. But now it’s time to answer the following questions. What is immunoglobulin? How do pet food ingredient suppliers use it to benefit animals?


What is immunoglobulin?
Also known as an antibody, an immunoglobulin is a Y-shaped protein that is made by plasma cells in the body. This protein is capable of finding and eliminating harmful bacteria and viruses by releasing the antigen. An animal’s body contains different types of immunoglobulin, but for now we are going to center our attention towards immunoglobulin Y.

IgY (the abbreviation for Immunoglobulin Y) is the most common type of antibody that is found in the blood cells of birds and reptiles. It contains 2 “light” chains and 2 “heavy” chains. The yolk of an egg contains a high concentration of IgY. Because eggs are laid every day, this makes it easy to harvest and use to improve the diet of dogs and other animals. Think about it: eggs are produced for the purpose of providing protection for chicks as they develop from an embryo. So it’s no surprise that this component of an egg can help others animals as well.

Today, innovative technologies and techniques allow for the physical extraction of IgY from eggs. From this extraction, IgY can be added to pet food, making it a far greater source of antibodies without increasing the overall cost of the food beyond a reasonable level.

There are additional benefits to adding dried egg to animal health products beyond the immunoglobulin itself. But when you can boost the immune system of your pet with the simple addition of eggs, that in of itself is enough of a reason to do so.