Part 1: Hi-Gel™ Corn for Swine

Corn is the most common cereal grain used to supply dietary energy to swine diets. This is due to the starch content in corn is approximately 60 to 65%, which gelatinizes when heat, moisture and pressure are applied to add feeding value. Gelatinization may be related to structural changes in the starch molecule improving the activity of digestive enzymes to break glycosidic linkages making the energy available.


Those changes are achieved when using the proper technology to process corn. When high-shear dry extrusion technology is applied to process corn, therefore adding nutritional value, it has been determined that  Hi-Gel™ Corn has greater gelatinization compared to regular ground corn (25% gelatinization for ground corn compared to high-shear dry extrusion with at least 95% gelatinization). This provides more energy for nutritional needs and productive purposes as demonstrated previously in poultry and dairy.


The most recent feeding trial with swine was conducted at Iowa State University to evaluate the growth performance of nursery pigs fed a diet with ground corn plus 2-3% soy oil vs. a diet with Hi-Gel Corn plus 1.5% soy oil. There were no differences in growth performance in Phase 2 (8-21 days) or Phase 3 (22-42 days) when ground corn was substituted with Hi-Gel Corn. Piglet voluntary feed intake closely followed dietary levels of available energy. In addition, as dry extrusion increased the amount of available energy in diets with Hi-Gel Corn, it is important to point out that approximately 50% less oil was needed. Given the current increased prices of oils & fats sources this must be taken into consideration because it means potential feed savings mainly in large swine operations.


Hi-Gel™ is a high-quality energy source to adjust the energy concentration of nursery diets according to nutrient requirements by replacing conventional ground corn without affecting performance, while also providing potential feed savings by requiring less oils and fats to be added to a diet.


Our next trials on swine sought to determine if particle size factors into digestibility and energy availability of swine diets, look forward to next week’s blog delving into the promising results of our study with Hi-Gel™ corn particle sizes.


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