All Diatomaceous Earth is not the same.
Diatomaceous Earth packaged under our FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR® label comes from an extremely pure fresh water deposit of the diatom Aulacoseira from a deposit created in the Miocene epoch. Why is this diatom so special? Its shell is made of amorphous silica. Its shape and hardness are important to how it works. Its hardness keeps it from dissolving in liquid. The holes along the diatom's wall allow it to absorb moisture, hence its use as an anti-caking agent. Darker colored Diatomaceous Earth often contains an excess of a particular mineral such as iron or a high percentage of clay.
FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR® is almost pure white and consists of 89% ( and sometimes more) Silicon Dioxide plus 28 trace minerals which means more diatom surface area is available. More diatom area means greater absorptive capacity and more improvement in the mixability and flowability of animal feed. FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR® does not swell, does not absorb nutrients and poses no long term hazard when used as an anti-caking agent in your animal's feed.
Why fresh water vs. salt water Diatomaceous Earth?
Fresh water deposits like ours have a consistent diatom presence. Their fossilized shells have maintained their tubular shape. This shape and strength of the fossil shell is critical to its effectiveness. Our deposit has 89 - 95 percent amorphous silica content. This deposit is also more consistent in its purity of other elements that have settled in it. A fresh water deposit is confined to the run off water of its surrounding environment. A fresh water deposit in the mountains, such as ours, formed when snow was pure and its run off provided the water source these diatoms lived in. Salt water deposits contain a mix of types of diatoms of different shapes. Their fossilized shells are fragile and break easily. This renders them ineffective for our purposes. The salt water deposits are less predictable in their sediments.
What's the difference between amorphous and crystalline silica?
Amorphous (click here for definition) silica is silica in its natural occurring state. It is a trace mineral every mammal on the planet needs to live. It becomes crystalline when it is exposed to extreme heat through volcanic activity or commercial manufacturing means. The type of Diatomaceous Earth used in swimming pool, and other, filtration systems is crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous when inhaled or ingested. It is not biodegradable. Perma-Guard Diatomaceous Earth contains less than one half of 1% of crystalline silica and is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe).
Bird and animal feed contain substances such as molasses that cause the particles to become "sticky," forming clumps make the feed hard to pour. FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR®, mixed in the feed, coats each particle making it difficult for the particles to stick together. This allows the feed to "flow" better which means less wasted feed. By separating the particles of feed, the animal's digestive enzymes are able to completely surround each particle. This allows for a more complete digestion. The animal gets more benefit from his feed and the farmer more benefit for his feed dollar.
FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR® anti-caking agent is to be mixed at a rate not to exceed 2% of the dry weight of the rations. This means, when mixing, in every one hundred pounds of feed, 2 pounds of feed is replaced by 2 pounds of FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR® . All regulated products are sold by the information on the label. FOSSIL SHELL FLOUR® is OMRI listed.
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