Molasses/Fat Combination as a Nutrient Source for Swine

Purdue University 1998 Swine Research Report. Liquid molasses and fat have been fed in combination successfully as liquid supplements to cattle for decades. Dr. Wayne Perry at Purdue University was a pioneer in developing and evaluating such products for beef cattle. Liquid molasses has been used intermittently and sparingly in the swine industry as an energy source for more than a century. Molasses continues to be fed to swine in Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Philippines, and other geographic areas where sugar cane is grown and processed. Sugar cane typically yields a unit of molasses for each two units of processed sugar (sucrose). Molasses is a mixture of monosaccharides and disaccharides, rich in minerals, but nearly devoid of protein and vitamins. Molasses has a reputation as an appetite enhancer for both swine and cattle. The limitation on the use of liquid molasses in complete feeds is the reduced energy content of an ingredient that typically contains more than 50% water. The addition of simple liquid molasses reduces feed efficiency, as the energy density of the diet is reduced. Efforts to provide liquid molasses in a free choice feeding system for swine have been fraught with management problems, including sanitation, flies, wet conditions, humid environment, and laxative activity. Fat has been combined with molasses to greatly increase the energy density of the resulting ingredient. In addition, the combination of molasses and liquid fat offers physical advantages, including dust control, acidification of the final diet, and superior flow characteristics over molasses alone.