Back to news overview


Protein link to oxidative stress and piglet performance

High quality proteins may reduce the need for additives in piglet feed, according to the findings of a new feeding trial conducted by the China Agricultural University in Beijing.

The study is the first indication that piglet oxidative status is linked to the choice of protein.

Major concern
Oxidative stress is an important concern among pig farmers and feed producers. Weaning piglets are most at risk, with symptoms that include reduced immunity, muscle degeneration and loss of appetite. The resulting growth dip and increased susceptibility to disease are widely known as post-weaning stress syndrome.

While the weaning phase is an unavoidably stressful period for young animals, stress levels may be pushed even higher by anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) in the feed that trigger gut inflammation. A common way to deal with this issue is to increase the level of vitamin E or C and selenium or phytogenic additives in the feed formulation.

A potential alternative
The new Chinese study points to an alternative possibility: that high quality proteins with a low ANF content may eliminate the need for increased additive use.

In this feeding trial, weaned piglets fed a starter diet that contained a specialty soy protein with a low ANF content – HP 300 from HAMLET PROTEIN – were found to have a better oxidative status than piglets fed a diet containing soybean meal, fermented soy or soy protein concentrate.

Another important finding was that the piglets in the HP 300 group had the best growth performance and the lowest incidence of diarrhea.

This suggests that use of a high quality protein in piglet starter feed is a more cost-effective way to reduce oxidative stress than a lower quality feed that is high in ANFs and additives.

International interest
Many studies have shown that protein quality and digestibility are crucial when formulating the optimum feed for weaning piglets. By establishing a possible link between high quality protein and oxidative stress, the results of the Chinese feeding trial have added an exciting extra dimension.

The study findings were recently presented at the 17th BOKU Symposium on Animal Nutrition in Austria and have also been accepted for presentation at the 14th International Symposium on Digestive Physiology of Pigs in Australia this August.


Read the full article

An article by Dr. Elke von Heimendahl, Global Segment Manager, Swine at HAMLET PROTEIN.

Need advice on optimizing piglet diets and nutrition?

Lars Sangill Andersen


Phone: + 45 22 16 94 55

Email: [email protected]

Günther Dubberke

Nutritionist - Germany

Phone: + 49 160 952 29 200

Email: [email protected]

Jes Klausen


Phone: + 45 40 53 85 96

Email: [email protected]

Diego Navarro

Swine Nutritionist

Phone: +1 217 480 7968

Email: [email protected]

Eugene Li

Nutritionist - China

Email: [email protected]

Jose Luis Laparra

Technical Sales Consultant - BRSA

Phone: 011 52 (1) 555 435 0209

Email: [email protected]