October 15, 2020

Interpretive Summary: Soybean meal allergenic protein degradation of piglets fed protease-supplemented diets

Interpretive Summary: Soybean meal allergenic protein degradation and gut health of piglets fed protease-supplemented diets

By Anne Zinn

A recent study published in the Journal of Animal Science aimed to determine the effects of protease supplementation on degradation of soybean meal allergenic proteins (glycinin and β-conglycinin) and gut health of weaned pigs fed soybean meal-based diets.

Soybean meal is the most widely used source of amino acids in swine diets, but its use in diets for weaned pigs is limited by the presence of allergenic proteins. These allergenic soybean meal proteins are poorly digested and can lead to destruction of tight junction proteins in the intestinal wall, diarrhea, and reduced nutrient utilization in young pigs. For this reason, pretreatment of soybean meal with proteolytic enzymes or the supplementation of soybean meal-based diets with enzymes that can digest the allergenic proteins in the pig stomach are necessary to meet the nutrient requirement of weaned pigs. The research team hypothesized that supplementing the soybean meal-based diets with protease for weaning pigs would result in degradation of allergenic proteins present in soybean meal in the stomach, leading to reduced allergic reaction in the small intestine, and that the effects of supplemental protease on allergenicity of soybean proteins is greater for soybean meal from the southern parts of United States.

Results of the study demonstrated that protease supplementation tended to increase gastric degradation of glycinin and reduce gut permeability, and serum concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These results indicate that the protease used can be added to soybean meal-based diets for weanling pigs to improve gut health.

The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science website.