Sesame meal as the first protein source in piglet starter diets and advantages of a phytase: a digestive study
Soybean meal (SBM) is the protein source that is used most in feeding piglets, but its high price has prompted a search for alternatives. One option is sesame meal (SM), a by-product of sesame oil. This study evaluated the effects of SM and phytase on the intestinal morphology, total trypsin activity (TTA) and specific trypsin activity (STA), apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of amino acids (AAs), and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and energy (E) in weaned piglets. Twenty piglets weaned at 17 days old were placed in metabolic cages in a temperature-controlled room. When the piglets were 21 days old, cannulas were fitted at the terminal ileum. From the fourth day after surgery, piglets received the experimental treatments for nine days, namely an SM or SBM diet, each with or without phytase. The protein source or phytase did not affect villus height, crypt depth, or TTA. However, phytase increased STA. The AID of dry matter (DM), E, crude protein (CP), and AA was similar among treatments, except for arginine, which was more digestible in the SM diets (85.8) than in the SBM ones (81.6). The ATTD of DM and E was higher in the SM than in the SBM diets. Phytase increased the ATTD of Ca (22.7 %) and P (27.9 %). The findings showed that SM can be used as a protein source for piglets and that its consumption increases arginine intake. The addition of phytase to the diet increases the ATTD of P and Ca.
Keywords: Amino acids digestibility, arginine, piglets weaning, phosphorus digestibility