2019 Midwestern Section David Baker Symposium Recap
By: Samantha Tabert
Dr. Keith Haydon started off the afternoon symposium with a historical perspective of amino acids in livestock. Dr. Haydon mentioned that the production of all ten essential amino acids was made possible by advances in fermentation technology. Commercialization of 8 of those 10 essential amino acids, wouldn’t have been possible without the production of an adequate fermentation yield produced by GMO technology. Before handing off the stage, Dr. Haydon challenged us - it’s a new age and a new way of thinking. He left us with food for thought, are non-essential amino acids really non-essential?
Dr. Candido Pomar, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, also left us with some food for thought. He first, walked us through the large variation in feeding behavior in pigs. Even with controlling factors such as amino acid restriction and meal frequency, individual pigs respond differently to the same amino acid supply. He continued to express that traditional nutrient requirements should be viewed as the optimal balance between the proportion of animals that need to be overfed and underfed. There are limits on how far we can reduce dietary protein with the use of supplemental amino acids, especially since there is an inaccuracy of the principals used to estimate amino acid requirements.
Next up one of the 2019 Midwest Young Scholars, Ph.D. Student Henrique Cemin, took the stage to discuss meta-regression analysis used to predict the influence of branched-chain and large neutral amino acids on growth performance of pigs. He focused on the response from Ile, Val, and Trp levels because these play a large role in how Leu negatively impacts growth performance. To overcome high Ile, he suggests adding Val and Trp. Henrique mentioned that they are soon to be starting live trials with pigs to solidify what they have found.
Dr. David Cook from Cargill, Inc. reviewed the commercial realities of amino acid nutrition in the young pig. One of the shortfalls he mentioned was that digestive and absorptive capacity is reduced if their intestinal function was compromised at weaning. Dr. Cook also thought it was important to note more research needs to be done on young pig digestibility values - right now we are relying on values obtained from older animals for the application of amino acid nutrition. He expressed that these values are in excess of what the young pig can digest. For the future of young pig nutrition, Dr. Cook left us pondering that we must learn from the microflora - machine learning.
Last but not least, Dr. Yanbin Shen continued the amino acid discussion by presenting on opportunities with the functional role of supplemental amino acids. Dr. Shen discussed that to reduce stress and improve performance of pigs under social stress, one should increase Tryptophan intake. This works by elevating serotonin synthesis in the brain of pigs. Continuing the topic of gut health started earlier in the symposium, to improve gut health from oxidative damages, you can protect the intestinal mucosa by adding Methionine prior to glutathione. Overall, Dr. Shen continued that on top of being building blocks for protein, each individual amino acid has a different function that by application would fill a need within the animal production industry.