August 05, 2021

Interpretive Summary: Greater ileal digestibility of amino acids in sunflower expellers than sunflower meal in growing pigs

Interpretive Summary :Greater ileal digestibility of amino acids in sunflower expellers than sunflower meal in growing pigs

By: Anne Kamiya, MS

Currently, amino acids (AA) in poultry and livestock feed are primarily derived from soybean meal. Cheaper and more sustainable alternatives to soybean meal are needed. One such alternative is sunflower coproducts. The nutritional value, digestibility and quality of sunflower coproducts may vary depending on the location where it is grown and specific processing methods. Furthermore, sunflower coproducts have a higher dietary fiber content than soybean meal, suggesting lower digestibility. In this recent Journal of Animal Science article, researchers aimed to better understand the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of AA and crude protein (CP) of different sunflower coproducts, since scientific data in this area of study is currently lacking. 

One control diet and seven sunflower coproducts were evaluated in this study. Sunflower meal (SFM) was sourced from six different locations while sunflower expellers (SFE) was sourced from one location, which included either the Ukraine, Italy, Hungary, or the United States. Barrows with a T-cannula were fed one of the eight different diets for seven days. Ileal digesta was collected on days six and seven. The SID of AA and CP were similar across all six SFM diets regardless of location grown, whereas the SID of AA and CP in the one SFE diet was significantly greater than all SFM diets tested in this study, suggesting that how sunflower coproducts are processed may have a greater impact on digestibility than the location where they are grown.

Overall, the results of this study suggest that SFE may be more digestible than SFM and that processing method may have a more significantly impact on the digestibility of sunflower coproducts than location grown. However, this study was small, necessitating larger studies to reconfirm these findings. Future research evaluating the digestibility of several types of SFE versus SFM in poultry or livestock animals is justified.  

The original article, Sunflower expellers have greater ileal digestibility of amino acids than sunflower meal, but there are only minor variations among different sources of sunflower meal when fed to growing pigs, will soon be viewable in the Journal of Animal Science.