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Enzymes enhance pig carcass quality fed corn-based diets

A recent trial conducted in Brazil on pigs aged between 49 and 144 days confirms that including a multi enzymatic product in a corn-based diet improves the average daily gain, feed conversion and carcass quality of the pigs.

The enzymatic product used for this test was Robavio Max, manufactured by French animal nutrition company Adisseo. It is a combination of carbohydrases and a 6-phytase.

Enzyme supplementation is efficient in reducing costs, by lowering nutrient content of the corn-soybean diets without compromising performance. The use of phytase in addition to other enzymes like carbohydrases is becoming common in pigs.

Three groups
In this experiment, animals were split into three groups (each following a different treatment):

1. Positive control (PC): Regular diet without enzyme

2. Negative control (NC): A diet decreased by 85 Kcal Net Energy / kg, 3% of protein and amino acids, 0.15% in Available Phosphorus and 0.10% Calcium

3. NC + multi enzymatic product.

All feeds were corn/soybean-based.

As shown in Table 1, the average daily gain and feed conversion were significantly better for pigs receiving the negative control plus the multi enzyme product (respectively + 6.6% and – 3.3%), even when compared with the results of the positive group. Pigs receiving the enzyme complex demonstrated a lower backfat thickness of the carcass and a better distribution regarding Seurop classification, with higher carcass rated U.

Table 1. Performances of pigs fed a corn-soybean based diet from 49 to 144 days of age with or without the multi enzymatic product.

Treatment PC NC NC + Enzyme p-value
Zootechnical data        
Daily feed intake (g/d) 2135 2109 2139 0.752
Daily weight gain (g/d) 875 (b) 856 913 (a) 0.006
Feed conversion ratio 2.44 (b) 2.46 (b) 2.34 0.023
Carcass quality data        
Backfat thickness (mm) 29 (b) 26 (ab) 24 (a) 0.046
Muscle thickness (mm) 47 49 55 0.736
Lean meat percentage (%) 48 44 47 0.147

(a), (b) Means with different superscripts within a row differ (P<0.05)

Positive effects
This study, recently published in JAM 2011 (Animal Science annual Meeting), coincided with the results of a former trial which showed the positive effects of the multi enzymatic product on zootechnical performance of piglets aged between 49 to 70 days on a corn-soybean-based diet.

These two trials, in addition to other studies, confirm the positive effect of the multi enzymatic product on gut morphology, microbiota and digestibility of the diets for growing and finishing pigs. Pig producers can safely decrease energy and available phosphorus levels by 65-85  kcal net energy/ kg and 0.15% respectively in corn-based diets.

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