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Research Aims to Optimize Inclusion of Pea Starch Co-Products in Swine Rations
Dr. Matt Loewen - Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Farmscape for June 25, 2021

Scientists with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are conducting research aimed at optimising the inclusion of pea starch in swine rations.
An increased use of peas to provide protein for manufacturing human food products, such as energy drinks, has resulted in an abundance of finely ground starch co-products available for use in livestock feed.
These co-products are a low-cost energy source but extremely finely ground feed ingredients can cause gastric ulcers which can reduce performance or even kill the pig.
Dr. Matt Loewen, an Associate Professor in Veterinary Medical Biosciences with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, explains particle sizes typically range from 400 to 16-hundred microns compared to these pea starch co-products were particle sizes run at about 40 microns.

Clip-Dr. Matt Loewen-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
We would like in western Canada to start using this cheap starch source in swine because it's a cheap energy source and we've definitely increased plant protein production in western Canada but we really don't have a use for that starch.
One solution is to feed it to pigs but this finely ground particle size, it's going to cause gastric ulcers and we don't know why that occurs.
So, the goal of this research is one, we don't even know what inclusion level we can even do with this very finely ground starch so that's the first one.
On top of that, we don't know why this occurs.
We don't know why this finely ground starch causes the gastric ulcers.
We know there's a cause and effect but we don't what's going on in the stomach.
We don't know if it's a microbiome change or it's just some change in the physiology.
Does the finely ground starch produce more acid secretion that causes the erosion?
What's going on here?
Once we understand the basic mechanisms of why this finely ground starch causes this, that'll better guide us in adding things to the diet formulation to prevent those gastric ulcers from occurring.

Dr. Loewen says researchers hope to determine safe inclusion levels without modifying the diet, identify the mechanisms that result in gastric ulcers and develop strategies that will allow inclusion rates to be increased.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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