Microbial Fermentation Expected to Improve Nutritional Value of Soybean Meal

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Farmscape for September 2, 2021

Full Interview 8:13 Listen

The application of microbial fermentation is expected to improve the nutritional value of soybean meal and allow it to be better utilized and improve intestine health. Researchers with the University of Guelph, in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc are evaluating the use of characterized novel microbial fermentation to improve the nutrient value of soybean meal and degrade its undesirable characteristics.
Dr. Julang Li, a Professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph, explains soybean meal is a great protein source due to it high protein content and excellent amino acid profile.

Clip-Dr. Julang Li-University of Guelph:
It has high nutrient value, however it also contains antinutritional factors and allergens. That’s why its application has been limited in the young pigs in which they have under developed digestive systems. So, the goal of the project is to use a fermentation approach to break down these allergens and undesirable factors to improve soybean meal nutritional value. During fermentation the microbes involved in fermentation can secrete some of the enzymes that can break down protein and fibers. That could help to influence nutrient composition of the feedstuff. Microbial fermentation is a cost-effective means to potentially approach the issue associated with the use of soybean meal.
For example, fermentation can degrade the large antigenic protein into small proteins so that they not only are no longer allergens but are also easier for the pig to digest and absorb, and also increase the crude protein percentage as well as improve the amino acid profile.

Dr. Li says this project is now at about the halfway point and she estimates it will take another two years or so to complete.

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