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​Novus Research shows Discrepancies in Amino Acid Recommended Requirements

Novus Research shows Discrepancies in Amino Acid Recommended Requirements under Antibiotic-Free Swine diets

REUS, SPAIN (14 December 2021) – New research from Novus International, Inc. shows that swine producers operating without antibiotics in diets may be using the wrong ratio of amino acids in their feed formulations.

The research, published in Volume 11, Issue 11 of the peer-reviewed journal Animals, looks at how additive amounts in antibiotic-free (ABF) diets differ from some recommendations listed in the National Research Council’s (NRC) nutrient requirement standards.

Ping Ren, Novus research scientist who led the study, said the study was both timely and necessary due to the shifting trend toward ABF diets for piglets around the world.

Starting in 2006, the European Union banned antibiotic use in pig diets. In 2017, producers in the United States were banned from using medically important human antibiotics as growth promoters for monogastric and ruminant animals. There is limited data on how these reductions of antibiotic use impact the performance of feed additives.

“We know without antibiotics pathogens cause immune stimulation and an increase in amino acid requirements – especially total sulfur amino acids since they are important for antioxidant status and immunity. Pathogen response causes the nutrients in total sulfur amino acids to be diverted from growth, instead being used to optimize immune function,” Ren said. “Knowing this we saw a need to fill the information gap and determine the total sulfur amino acid requirement in nursery pigs raised without antibiotics.”

The study included two parts. First, it looked at the effect of increasing the standardized ileal digestible (SID) total sulfur amino acid to lysine (TSAA:Lys) on the growth performance of nursery pigs fed with or without antibiotics. Secondly, researchers set out to determine the optimal SID TSAA:Lys for nursery pigs fed without antibiotics.

For the two studies, Novus partnered with swine genetic company Genus PIC North America.

In the first study, researchers found that the nursery pigs fed diets without antibiotics had a greater SID TSAA:Lys requirement (> 66%).

Using Novus’s MHA® feed supplement, a dry, granular source of methionine, in the second study researchers found the optimal SID TSAA:Lys for average daily gain and gain to feed in nursery pigs during the first 21 days post-weaning were 62% and 72%, respectively, indicating that SID TSAA:Lys under an antibiotic-free feeding regime in the early nursery period was 13% to 31% greater than the NRC (2012) recommendation.

Moreover, a SID TSAA:Lys of approximately 58% was required to maximize average daily gain and gain to feed for the late nursery phase, indicating that SID TSAA:Lys in ABF diets in the late nursery period was 5% higher than the NRC (2012) recommendation.

“While these findings aren’t exactly surprising, the information is helpful for swine producers. Now that they’re aware, those with ABF diets can make adjustments in precision feeding to maximize their profitability,” Ren said.

The full article titled, “Optimal Standardized Ileal Digestible Total Sulfur Amino Acids to Lysine REQUIREMENTS are Increased in Nursery Pigs Raised under Antibiotic-Free Feeding Regime” is available to view for free at https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/11/11/3143

For more information about MHA® feed supplement and Novus’s other methionine solutions, visit novusint.com.


Novus International, Inc. is a leader in scientifically developing, manufacturing and commercializing nutrition and health solutions for the animal agriculture industry. Novus’s portfolio includes ALIMET® and MHA® feed supplements, MINTREX® chelated trace minerals, CIBENZA® enzyme feed additives, NEXT ENHANCE® feed additive, ACTIVATE® nutritional feed acid, and other feed additives. Novus is privately owned by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. Headquartered in Saint Charles, Missouri, U.S.A., Novus serves customers around the world.

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