Palatability and Flavors in Swine Nutrition

North Carolina State University Animal Science Fact Sheet ANS02-821S. Many factors affect the amount of feed pigs consume including the energy density of the diet, ambient temperature, immune status, stocking density, sex, genetic heredity, palatability, and flavor. Many of these factors can be controlled by proper management practices. One such practice includes selecting feed ingredients that are highly palatable. Palatability of feed, including taste and texture, refers to the acceptability by the pig and is often quantified by relative responses of feed consumption compared to other diets. Thus, pigs fed diets low in palatability often consume less than if fed diets high in palatability. Therefore, choosing highly palatable feed ingredients and/or using flavor additives to increase palatability may increase feed consumption.