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Non-starch polysaccharides in pig feeding

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Author: Bakker, G.C.M. · Dekker, R.A. · Jongbloed, A.W.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:The Veterinary Quarterly, suppl. 3, 20, p. S59-S64
Identifier: 86196
Keywords: Nutrition · polysaccharide · adaptation · animal · animal food · carbohydrate diet · chemistry · digestion · drug effect · fermentation · metabolism · physiology · review · swine · Adaptation, Physiological · Animal Feed · Animal Nutrition Physiology · Animals · Dietary Carbohydrates · Digestion · Fermentation · Polysaccharides · Swine


In pigs and humans, the nutrients starch, protein, fat and some minerals need to be digested prior to the terminal ileum for optimal use of these nutrients. In contrast, the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) are mainly fermented by microbes in the hindgut. Results of experiments in pigs showed that NSP negatively affected apparent digestion of protein, fat and some minerals. In addition, large amounts of fermented NSP increased the empty weight of the hindgut. Because tissue of organs like the intestinal tract are metabolically very active, it may have required more energy for maintenance, hence leaving less energy for growth. Despite all the negative effects as mentioned above, including NSP-rich ingredients in pig diets also has quite a lot of advantages. Their energy supply can cover the energy requirements for maintenance. In addition, positive effects on the well-being and health of pigs, and on the excretion of ammonia are claimed. In conclusion, in future pig diet formulation not only the nutritional aspects of NSP-rich ingredients should be taken into account, but also their non-nutritional aspects. This might be realized by developing nutrient based feed evaluation systems, rather than the energy based systems which are presently used.