Research proves new soybean meal sources are good fish meal alternatives

February 7, 2011

Two new sources of soybean meal are capturing attention throughout the country. University of Illinois research indicates that fermented soybean meal and enzyme-treated soybean meal may replace fish meal in weanling pig diets.

"The price of fish meal has exploded and is causing producers to search for new options for weanling pig diets," said Hans H. Stein, U of I professor of animal sciences. "Pigs are traditionally fed diets containing relatively large amounts of animal proteins such as fish meal from weaning up to 40 pounds when they can digest traditional soybean meal."

The fermentation and enzyme treatment process helps remove some of the found in traditional soybean meal and other compounds that are not easily digested by weanling pigs. Stein said these new sources of soybean meal may be the answer producers are looking for to keep costs down without sacrificing digestibility of important .

"In our study, we measured the digestibility of amino acids in these two new sources of soybean meal in comparison to fish meal, casein and isolate," Stein said. "We observed that enzyme-treated soybean meal has even better digestibility of amino acids than conventional soybean meal. It appears the enzyme treatment increases digestibility. Fermented soybean meal has the same digestibility as standard soybean meal, so we now know that doesn't reduce digestibility."

Stein said both fermented and enzyme-treated soybean meal products are readily available in the United States and are currently cheaper alternatives to fish meal.

"With the high cost of fish meal and concerns about its future availability, I believe these are two good options for weanling pig diets," Stein said. "They are comparable in digestibility to soy protein isolate, the gold standard protein source that is only used in human nutrition."

In the future, Stein and his team will conduct more research on fermented soybean meal and enzyme-treated soybean meal to look at the digestibility of energy and phosphorus. They also plan to conduct performance studies so they can fine-tune inclusion rates.

"Ileal digestibility of amino acids in conventional, fermented, and enzyme-treated soybean meal and in soy protein isolate, fish meal and casein fed to weanling pigs," was published in the Journal of Animal Science. Researchers include S.K. Cervantes-Pahm and Stein, both of the University of Illinois.

Explore further: Theory: Mad cow from human remains

Related Stories

Theory: Mad cow from human remains

September 2, 2005

Two British researchers have a theory mad cow disease might have been transmitted via importation of bone meal contaminated by human remains.

Scientists aim to overcome allergic reactions to soy

March 6, 2008

If you’re allergic to soy, help is on the way. Two University of Illinois studies show that fermenting soy dramatically reduces its potential allergenicity and also increases the number of essential amino acids in soy products, ...

Cover crop mulches tested for no-till organic onions

April 21, 2010

Conservation tillage encompasses a range of techniques for establishing crops in the previous crop's residues, which are purposely left on the soil surface. The principal benefits of conservation tillage are improved water ...

Study confirms glycerin as a feasible feedstuff for swine

January 19, 2011

An increased interest in biofuel production and a growing need to find cost-effective livestock feedstuff alternatives has led University of Illinois researchers to further evaluate the use of glycerin in swine diets.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.