Choline chloride is an organic compound and a quaternary ammonium salt. It has a choline cation with chloride anion. It is a basic constituent of lecithin which is found in many plants and animal organs. It is important as it is a precursor of acetylcholine which is a methyl donor in various metabolic processes and in lipid metabolism. In animal feed, it is a common feed additive for mono-gastric and fish. For ruminants, it is important for improving beef quality and milk production.
Choline chloride is produced by adding trimethylamine hydrochloride to hydrochloric acid and trimethylamine before adding them to ethylene oxide. The dry powder is obtained by absorbing chloride liquid on selected carrier such as cob meal, silica, and then drying to a lower moisture content.
Choline is necessary for chicken to synthesize amino acid and lecithin to be sent to the inner body of the chickens and prevent the accumulation of fat in liver and kidney, accelerate the growth of the chickens, and improve the laying rate and hatchability. The lack of the choline in the food will lead to the hypogenesis, coarseness of the leather, chondrify, feebleness and ill ability of mink, pig, rabbit, cow, etc. Adding choline in the bait of all kinds of fish and shrimp, the growth of fish and shrimp will be accelerated, resulting in high yield.
Other commercial choline salts are choline hydroxide and choline bitartrate. In food stuffs the compound is often present as phosphatidylcholine.