Study: Distiller's grain safe for pigs, even with sulfur content

Mar 21, 2012

University of Illinois research reports that swine producers can feed distiller's dried grain with solubles (DDGS) to their pigs without concern for sulfur content.

"When you buy DDGS, you don't have to be concerned about the level of sulfur it contains because there doesn't appear to be any impact on pig performance," said U of I professor Hans Stein.

According to the researcher, DDGS, a co-product of the , is used as a in diets fed to swine.

To maintain a stable pH in fermentation vats, use sulfuric acid, which results in a sulfur content in the DDGS that varies according to how much sulfuric acid was used. Until now, the effect of low levels of sulfur in the on growth performance in pigs fed DDGS had not been determined, he said.

"Sulfur is toxic to cattle. If there is 0.4 percent sulfur in the diet, start getting sick," Stein said. "Because there hasn't been any work on sulfur toxicity with swine, we wanted to determine how sulfur affects palatability and performance in pigs."

In a recent study, Stein's research team compared a low-sulfur (0.3% sulfur) DDGS diet with a high-sulfur (0.9% sulfur) DDGS diet. The same DDGS was used in both groups. The researchers compared palatability and growth performance of the pigs fed the low-sulfur and high-sulfur diets.

"We conducted four experiments: two with weanling pigs and two with growing-finishing pigs," said Stein. "In both weanling pigs and growing-finishing pigs, there was absolutely no difference between the two. The levels of sulfur we used in our experiments had no impact on palatability or pig growth performance."

Stein said that the results of this research would be useful to producers interested in incorporating DDGS into swine diets, but further research is needed to determine whether excess sulfur from a high-sulfur DDGS diet is deposited into swine tissues.

This research was published in the . Researchers included Hans Stein of the U of I, Beob Kim of Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, and Yan Zhang of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center in Edwardsville, Ill. Funding was provided by the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.

Explore further: Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research sheds light on fat digestibility in pigs

Mar 07, 2011

Producers and feed companies add fat to swine diets to increase energy, but recent research from the University of Illinois suggests that measurements currently used for fat digestibility need to be updated.

Recommended for you

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

54 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets

4 hours ago

A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking ...

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

13 hours ago

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets

A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking ...

Robotics goes micro-scale

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...