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Feed additives do not alter amino acid digestibility in pigs

Feed additives can improve the production performance of pigs that eventually grow higher than what the nutritional components of the diet provide. A feed additive is a non-food product used to improve the growth performance and/or feed efficiency of pig feed. Feed additives have shown effects in pig production by increasing growth rates, improving feed utilization and efficiency, and/or reducing mortality and morbidity.

Sustainable pig farming and continuous improvement is the commitment of pig producers and feed additives may help achieve this goal. With the right mix of nutrients and feed additives in a pig’s diet, animals can grow more efficiently and maximize their genetic potential for lean growth.

Nutrient digestion and absorption are essential for the effective use of feed by raising pigs. In commercial pig production, the cost of feed is the single largest expense for the producer, making feed use the most important part of the bottom line.

The digestion of amino acids in the small intestine of pigs improves the efficiency of converting dietary protein into protein in the body. For a pig to retain dietary amino acid and incorporate it into the body’s protein, it must be ingested by the animal and absorbed in the digestive tract. Measuring amino acid uptake directly can be difficult, so digestibility – the difference between the amount an animal ingests and the amount present after digestion is complete – is measured.

It is known that amino acids passing through the ileum can be metabolized by microorganisms in the large intestine and do not contribute significantly to pig nutrition. Therefore, amino acid digestibility is measured at the end of the ileum. Non-nutritive feed additives that improve growth performance may do so through effects on amino acid digestibility. Thus, the aim of the study was to examine two different food additives, Ambitine and TakTik X-Hit, in the diet of growing pigs on ileal digestion of amino acids.

At the South Dakota State University Pig Education and Research Facility, a total of 10 pigs, five wagons, and five surgical baskets were transplanted with ileal cannulas to collect samples of digesta for determination of amino acid contents. Each pig was randomly assigned to one of three food treatments, in three different collection periods, according to a Latin Square design. The food treatments were provided as follows: 1) SETTING – the standard diet of soybean and corn meal. 2) Control plus addition of ambitine at a rate of 2 lbs/ton; 3) Control plus addition of the TakTik X-Hit at a rate of 0.2 lb/ton. A non-digestible marker of 0.3% titanium was included in each dietary treatment. Each pig was fed the ration assigned at 4% of body weight.

During each collection period, after 5 days of adjustment for each diet, 12-h ileal digests were collected on each of the two collection days. Small samples of meals were collected for the duration of the experiment and then pooled together for further analysis. Frozen Digesta samples were stored before freeze-drying and milling. Diet and Digesta samples were analyzed for amino acid concentrations analysis in a commercial laboratory and values ​​were used to determine the digestibility of amino acids. Pre-determined baseline internal losses measured by feeding a nitrogen-free diet to these same pigs were used in a previous experiment to correct for digestibility values.

The digestibility of amino acids, especially the digestibility of Lys, Thr, Trp and Met, and the crude protein, did not differ according to the inclusion of feed additives in this experiment. These results indicate that the effect of the non-food feed additives Ambitine and TakTik X-Hit on the performance of growing pigs is not through influencing the digestibility of amino acids.

Effective use of feed is a major concern for pig producers and industry professionals alike. Feed formulation procedures depend on the exact nutritional values ​​of the ingredients as well as the nutritional interactions of pig growth or reproduction. Non-food feed additives have the potential to improve the overall use of feed and the sustainability of the pork industry.

Source: Robert Huyten, Crystal Levesque, and Ryan Samuels are solely responsible for the information provided, and own the entire information. Informa Business Media and all its affiliates are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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