Farmscape for May 26, 2023
Research aimed at evaluating the potential value of including pea starch in swine rations has implications for human nutrition.
In response to an increased availability of pea starch, produced as a by-product of the pea protein industry, researchers with the University of Saskatchewan in partnership with the Prairie Swine Center and the Canadian Feed Research Centre in North Battleford have been evaluating the inclusion of pea starch in swine rations.
Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor Monogastric Nutrition with the University of Saskatchewan, says it's a good source of energy in pig diets and, on the human side, pea starch is a resistant starch which means it may not all break down immediately in the digestive tract and can act as a prebiotic which can benefit microbes in the gut.
Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
I'm collaborating both with livestock scientists and those who are quite interested in using it from a human nutrition side.
From the human nutrition side, we're using the pig as a model to see how it acts or the potential of the pea starch as a prebiotic and to use in human diets.
In terms of livestock, we're looking at how much we can include it in our diets and still have it as a good source of energy and what might be the negative effects of this really small particle size.
By small, our diets are typically between 400 and 600 microns, the particle size and this pea starch is down around 10 to 20 microns so it's really and that can have implications perhaps for the health of our animals and flow through to our systems.
Dr. Beulieu notes in feeding trials pigs fed pelleted diets containing 40 percent pea starch did incredibly, growing well with great feed efficiency.
She says work planned for this summer will look at possible ways to address flow issues and whether the small particle size has the potential to cause ulcers.
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