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Research Shows Pigs Benefit from Soy-Protein Diet

One university professor outlines why soy is preferred when feeding pigs


U.S. Soy has a large market in animal feed because of its rich nutritional value and its contribution to animal performance. Although alternatives exist, such as corn protein, and a growing supply of synthetic amino acids, research consistently shows that when compared to these alternatives, soy outperforms.

Dr. Hans H. Stein, a professor of Animal Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, conducts research in the area of intestinal physiology and feed ingredient evaluation. In October, he did an in-depth presentation based on relevant studies on the essential amino acids necessary for a healthy pig, and how different protein meals, such as soybean and corn, meet those requirements.

The main conclusion from Stein’s presentation is that soy protein not only provides most of the essential amino acids required to maintain a healthy pig, but it has other notable benefits as well.

In the presentation, Stein outlined four key takeaways:

  1. Soybean meal is more than amino acids
  2. Soy protein may support the immune system
  3. Corn protein is high in the branched chained AA leucine
  4. Excess leucine results in degradation of valine, isoleucine and tryptophan

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