Evaluation of Lysolecithin as an Emulsifier for Weanling Pigs

North Carolina State University Swine Nutrition Research from 1998-2000. The addition of fat to the diet of weanling pigs has been reported to improve daily gain and feed efficiency, primarily during the later stages of the nursery period. The lack of response to fat supplementation in the early nursery phase may be explained by the low digestibility of fat, particularly when fats of animal origin are used. However, sow milk contains high levels of fat (40% of the dry matter is fat) and the nursing piglet appears to be capable to digest these large amounts of fat. A digestibility coefficient for sow milk fat of 95% has been reported. The fat in sow milk is already in an emulsified form ready for digestion, and therefore we hypothesized that the inability of the weaned pig to digest fat may be related to inefficient emulsification of dietary fat. Studies evaluating the effect of emulsifiers on nursery pig growth performance and nutrient digestibility have reported inconsistent results. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to: 1) determine the digestibility of fat (lard) in diets supplemented with lysolecithin compared to control diets; 2) determine differences in the digestibility of fat early in the nursery phase compared to the late nursery phase; and 3) evaluate the effect of lysolecithin supplementation on performance of nursery pigs.