Feed International - April/May 2017 - 28

How to use
medium-chain
fatty acids in pig diets
In a climate of reduced antibiotic usage, natural fatty acids are
becoming a popular additive for promoting gut health.
BY ZOE KAY
During weaning - and shortly after - a lot of
changes occur, including diet, environment and social
grouping, which are known stressors that affect animal performance. Post-weaning growth retardation is
a common phenomenon in pigs and one that is more
pronounced if weaning is carried out early. The reasons for this are linked to lower feed intake and poor
gut health. The development of the gut in young piglets
and its maintenance throughout a pig's life are key to
their health and performance.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) are natural
products, which have been used in animal nutrition for
some time. Research has shown that they have antibacterial activity, as well as playing a role in gut develop-

STUDIES SUGGEST PRODUCERS
CAN save 45 cents per pig
using medium-chain fatty
acids in pig diets.

ment and the immune system. Given the pressure to
reduce the use of antibiotics in agriculture, interest in
MCFA has grown.
So what do nutritionists need to know in terms of how,
why and when to consider including them in pig diets?

What are medium-chain fatty acids?
MCFAs are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of six to
12 carbons, which can form medium-chain triglycerides
(MCTs). They include the unbranched fatty acids: caproic acid (6), caprylic acid (8), capric acid (10) and
lauric acid (12).
Commercially, MCFAs are extracted from coconut and palm oil. Goat's milk is naturally high in the
smallest three MCFAs, while sow's milk contains a
significant amount of the largest.
In terms of digestion, MCFAs passively diffuse
from the gastrointestinal tract into the portal system,
without the need to be modified - unlike long-chain
fatty acids.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ April/May 2017

Brett Critchley, Dreamstime.com

28 ❙ FeedInternational


http://www.Dreamstime.com http://www.WATTAgNet.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Feed International - April/May 2017

Feed International - April/May 2017
Contents
In the Mix
Happenings
2017 NUTRITION & FEED SURVEY: Antibiotic-free animal feed production grows worldwide
100TH YEAR SERIES: Gut health additives: four possible future scenarios
7 alternative vegetable protein sources for broilers
Belarus feed manufacturers pressured by falling margins
How to use medium-chain fatty acids in pig diets
FVG Select to combine conferences, expo, networking
World Pork Expo returns to Iowa State Fairgrounds
Products
Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Feed International - April/May 2017
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Cover2
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Contents
Feed International - April/May 2017 - In the Mix
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 3
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Happenings
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 5
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 2017 NUTRITION & FEED SURVEY: Antibiotic-free animal feed production grows worldwide
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 7
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 8
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 9
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 10
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 11
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 100TH YEAR SERIES: Gut health additives: four possible future scenarios
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 13
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 14
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 15
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 7 alternative vegetable protein sources for broilers
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 17
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 18
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 19
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 20
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 21
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Belarus feed manufacturers pressured by falling margins
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 23
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 24
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 25
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 26
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 27
Feed International - April/May 2017 - How to use medium-chain fatty acids in pig diets
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 29
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 30
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 31
Feed International - April/May 2017 - FVG Select to combine conferences, expo, networking
Feed International - April/May 2017 - 33
Feed International - April/May 2017 - World Pork Expo returns to Iowa State Fairgrounds
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Products
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Cover3
Feed International - April/May 2017 - Cover4
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