Chelates act as protectors of ions, minerals, or nutrient. Just like a peel of a fruit, a chelate attaches itself to the nutrient and hinders it from combing with other minerals or substances.
This process, while it may seem simple, is a complex one that requires careful production and usage.
Chelating agents not only protect a nutrient, they also ensure easy mobility inside a digestive tract of a living organism. The chelate creates a neutral charge with the mineral, thus avoiding it being stuck in the negatively charged body of animals.
Besides protection and mobility of nutrients, chelates also avoid nutrient precipitation and leaching.