[ASC-media] New test to improve feed for pig industry

BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Fri Apr 29 08:41:42 CEST 2011

DAFWA Media Statement
    3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, Western Australia  6151

    Tel:  (08) 9368 3333  Fax: (08) 9474 2018


29 April 2011

New test to improve feed for pig industry

Scientists at the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia
are close to developing a new rapid computerised screening tool for pork
producers to measure protein quality in imported soybean meal.

Principal researcher Jae Kim said the tool, expected to be developed by June
this year, could also eventually be applied for the broiler/layer industry.

Dr Kim said the tool would enable producers to check the lysine quality in
soybean meal, an important ingredient in the diet of young pigs.

"Lysine is the most important essential amino acid in pig nutrition," he
said. "A deficient or short supply of lysine hinders the utilisation of
other amino acids needed for the efficient production of pigs.  So it is
important for producers to be able to precisely estimate the biologically
available lysine in pig diets.

"Lysine is susceptible to heat damage during the processing and storage of
foods, and although the damaged lysine can be digested and absorbed in the
small intestine, it cannot be used for body protein synthesis and muscle

Dr Kim said conventional total amino acid analysis could not discriminate
the heat damaged lysine, and so it overestimated the biologically available
(reactive) lysine in a protein meal.

"With global soybean oil processing companies using varying processing
conditions during the extraction of oil, the reactive lysine content in pig
diets is highly variable," he said. "Preliminary results showed up to 27%
variation in reactive lysine content in collected soybean meal samples."

Dr Kim said the new test, developed with funding from the Pork Cooperative
Research Centre (CRC), would more accurately test soybean meals for lysine.

"We are currently collecting 200 soybean meal samples from all over the
world to quantify the variability of reactive lysine content in soybean
meal," he said.

"This data will be used to develop a computerised screening tool for the
rapid screening of reactive lysine content in soybean meal.

"Importantly, it will also be used for precise design of diets for
monogastric animals such as pigs, and it could lead to the possibility of
trading soybean meal based on protein quality in the future."

The Commercialisation Manager of the Pork CRC Rob Wilson emphasised how
important it was pork producers and their nutritionists to understand the
extent of the variability in reactive lysine levels from soybean meals used
in the feed industry.

"Adjusting ration formulations to take into account this variability will
result in improved pig performance and ultimately productivity across the
herd," Dr Wilson said.

The new NIRS test will also complement other rapid grain quality testing
developed by the Pork CRC and now offered commercially through AusScan and
licensed laboratories around Australia.

Department scientists have been working on the project for nearly two years.

Media contacts:

Dr Jae Kim
9368 3322

Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison                           9368

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