The swine industry across Canada continues to evolve to meet new challenges. At the same time, advances in feed technology science are generating new and improved options to help producers and their industry transition to the future.

“These types of modern feed additives are much improved from their predecessors and give producers much-needed new options in the toolbox”, says Dr. Annie Rogiewicz of the University of Manitoba. “The options that are based on sound science are very sophisticated, reliable and proven technology.”

The cutting-edge: Yeast Bioactives

Yeast Bioactives newly available to swine producers represent a brand new category of feed technology. This technology was developed in part based on years of discovery research by the novel feed technology research program led by Dr. Bogdan Slominski and Rogiewicz at the University of Manitoba.

The technology stems from the discovery of a novel approach for enzymatically treating yeast cell wall fractions to dramatically transform consistency, reliability and value as a feed ingredient, while in the process “unlocking and activating” a wealth of bioactive components, explains Rogiewicz.

The ‘freed’ Yeast Bioactives are associated with multiple beneficial attributes and activities spanning performance, wellness, efficiency and safeguarding quality – opening new pathways of opportunity for swine production. The science has also shown that Yeast Bioactives technology has a high level of prebiotic activity.

Overall, the technology – now available for use in feed or water – offers dramatic consistency and efficacy advantages compared to conventional yeast cell wall supplements, including serving an invaluable role in supporting transition to and maintenance of reduced antimicrobial and RWA (raised without antibiotics) systems.

The background research that led to Yeast Bioactives development included numerous published scientific papers in recent years, by Rogiewicz and colleagues. This included knowledge generated from studies indicating advantages for certain yeast cell wall carbohydrates and yeast-derived nucleotides, which showed ability to produce growth performance, body weight and feed efficiency advantages similar to results under sub-therapeutic antibiotics regimens.

“The nice thing about this type of bio-based option is that it is something consumers are comfortable with – yeast components are in the bread we eat every day and lots of other foods,” says Rogiewicz. “Finding these types of ‘win-win’ options is a big part of our research focus.”

Next level: New generation MCFAs

Strong potential has also been on the rise with MCFAs – as new generation technology takes the advantages of this option to a brand new higher level.

MCFA are a type of functional fatty acids, comprised of molecules consisting of 6 to 12 carbon length chains. Formulations designed for use with swine that have shown functional activities beneficial to all phases of production including during common periods of stress such as diet change, movement or other wellness challenges.

This includes advantages to optimize intrinsic health and immunity, by positively supporting gut wellness and morphology. MCFAs fits well with advanced strategies designed to support health, well-being and overall performance of animals, inducing those raised under strict judicious use principles regarding the use of antibiotics.

Among the latest science, studies have confirmed that the foundation of the potential of MCFA as a uniquely potent, bio-based functional feed additive is rooted in its unique molecular composition. MCFA are “free” fatty acids that are unbranched with no double bonds or ring structures, making them highly maneuverable and active immediately.

Studies have shown leading commercial blends of MCFA based on the original research-proven technology are beneficial when pigs are fed diets with or without antimicrobials.

Achieving a ‘higher plane”

Overall, a key advantage with both Yeast Bioactive and MCFAs technologies is supporting a “higher plane” of swine health and performance – providing a shield to a range of potential threats.

“With these types of advances, the future is bright regarding our potential to use feed technology to improve swine production,” says Rogiewicz.