Advantages of Amino Acids in Swine Diets with ExPress® Soymeal

What are amino acids, why are they important?

There are many advantages to amino acids in swine diets. Amino acids are the components of protein and play a crucial role and function in the animal’s body. Amino acids are classified as essential and non-essential, which means that we must be sure that all essential amino acids are provided in the diet because pigs are not able to synthesize them. On the contrary, non-essential amino acids do not need to be added in the daily diet because they can be synthesized through reactions that occur in the pig’s body to build proteins and participate in other important bodily functions.

Previous blogs addressed the nutritional advantages of high-shear dry extruded/partly-deoiled (ExPress®) soy meal for swine but there are more benefits that this valuable ingredient offers for pigs. It is true at given specific stages of growth (for example during the neonatal or nursing phase) or physiological condition when some amino acids, even the non-essential amino acids, their synthesis is inadequate and they become limiting and conditionally essential.

For example, an adequate amount of dietary arginine is necessary to support maximum growth, lactation, and reproduction performance of swine. Further, arginine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid which helps to increase growth of the placenta in gestating gilts and sows, improve embryonic/fetal growth and survival, and reduces the variation in birth weight of litters. This implies that when conditionally essential amino acid requirements for arginine are met, improved litter rate (i.e. piglets per sow) and heavier piglet weight results which may represent more revenue for pork producers. Also, arginine, which can be limited in sow’s milk plays a key role after birth in milk-fed piglets whose proper growth could be affected if the milk has a low content of this amino acid. Although young pigs can synthesize arginine from other amino acids, it is not enough to meet the requirements, therefore, arginine needs to be included in the diet through selected dietary sources.

The good news is that arginine can be provided by feeding pigs with ExPress® soybean meal wahich has higher digestibility of conditionally amino acids than solvent-extracted soybean meal as demonstrated previously. ExPress® soy meal showed an advantage of about 3% units improved digestibility of conditionally essential amino acids in comparison with the hexane-extracted soybean meal. Indeed, the ileal standardized digestibility of arginine was 3.2%, more than the hexane-extracted soybean meal.

Using ExPress® soybean meal is important in the first stages of life because of the essential amino acids, like arginine, that it provides in swine diets.  Arginine specifically, can be used to face immunological challenges associated with environmental and diet changes it provides to swine diets. When selecting the proper ingredients to formulate swine diets, ExPress® soybean meal provides specific nutrients to swine diets that define pig performance and subsequent profitability in swine operations.


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