Fermented soybean meal has emerged as an affordable additive in feed for weanling pigs, but University of Illinois researchers are now taking a look at the digestibility of its amino acid and energy to determine its total value.
Hans H. Stein, a U of I professor of animal sciences, explained that fermented soybean meal a potential lower-cost substitute for animal protein in starter diets.
"But there is a lack of data on the digestibility of energy and amino acids. So our goal was to determine those values," Stein said.
Stein's lab conducted two experiments. In the first, they determined the concentration of digestible, metabolizable, and net energy in fermented soybean meal. In the second, they determined the standardized ileal digestibility of crude protein and amino acids. Both studies included conventional soybean meal and fish meal for comparison.
On a dry matter basis, fermented soybean meal contained 4,296 kcal/kg digestible energy (DE), 3,781 kcal/kg metabolizable energy (ME), and 2,710 kcal/kg net energy (NE).
Stein said these values compared favorably to those in fish meal which contained 3,827 kcal/kg DE, 3,412 kcal/kg ME, and 2,450 kcal/kg NE.
DE, ME, and NE were decreased in fermented soybean meal compared with conventional soybean meal, which contained DE, ME, and NE of 4,553 kcal/kg, 4,137 kcal/kg, and 2,972 kcal/kg respectively.
"Fermentation of soybean meal removes sugars and oligosaccharides. Sucrose is easily digested by pigs, and oligosaccharides are almost completely fermented. When these are removed, the remaining meal contains a greater percentage of fiber, which reduces the digestibility of energy in the diets," Stein explained.
Digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in fermented soybean meal was the same as or greater than that of soybean meal. Digestibility values for most amino acids were greater in fermented soybean meal than in fish meal.
Stein said the results indicated that fermented soybean meal could replace fish meal in starter diets without negatively affecting the energy content or digestible amino acid content of the diets.
"With this new product on the market in the United States, producers have another option for providing protein in weanling pig diets," he concluded.
Source: University of Illinois