Fifth Quarter Value of Pig's Blood

Spray-dried blood products from pigs are fifth quarter products that can not only provide added income for the processor but can also be used as an important additive in the diet of weaning piglets, writes ThePigSite senior editor, Chris Harris.
calendar icon 30 September 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Javier Polo, the European R&D and QA Director of APC Europe, which processes animal blood products, told the Fifth Quarter Conference in Kenilworth in the UK, that EU legislation distinguishes between spray dried porcine protein and other protein from animal by-products.

He said that spray-dried porcine plasma, like milk products, is not considered processed animal proteins, either by EC or the OIE. They are placed in a different group of proteins.

The 2002 EC regulation does not include blood products in processed animal protein.

Because of this regulation, blood products can be fed intra-species and only processed animal protein is prohibited from intra-species feed, Mr Polo told the conference.

He said that spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) is a safe ingredient produced from animals fit for human consumption.

The blood is collected from healthy pigs and stored after an anticoagulant is added. After being chilled and transferred to further storage tanks, it is transferred to further storage and then passed through a centrifuge where the plasma is separated. The plasma is then concentrated and spray-dried before being bagged up.

Mr Polo said that the sow's milk that is fed to piglets contains the same proteins as the spray-dried porcine plasma.

Pigs fed with spray-dried porcine plasma growth faster, healthier and the welfare of the piglets is improved. By adding it to the diet of weaning pigs, it can improve daily weight gain by 25 per cent.

Effect of protein source and environment on growth performance of newly weaned pigs

Spray-dried porcine plasma provides ‘sow milk’ protection effect during the following two weeks after weaning.

As functional proteins spray-dried porcine plasma has biological actions beyond nutrition: it helps to maintain normal gut function and support animal health.

He said that a report from M. Moreto and A. Perez-Bosque from the University of Barcelona said: "Spray-dried plasma reduces the overstimulation of the immune response in animals (e.g., pigs and rats) allowing more of the available energy and nutrients to be used for growth and other productive functions rather than being diverted to support the immune response."

The report went on: "It is worth noting that spray-dried plasma also has systemic effects."

Mr Polo said that other research has shown that adding spray-dried porcine plasma to the diet of piglets can also have an effect on behaviour, by reducing activities such as mounting other pigs and biting and nosing.

"Piglets weaned at 21 days of age and fed on corn and soybean-based diet demonstrate a higher incidence of undesirable behaviours and lower weight gain than piglets that are fed on diets in which spray-dried plasma or non-fat dry milk powder is included," he said.

"The negative effect of undesirable behaviours can be markedly reduced by using diets with the inclusion of spray-dried plasma and/or non-fat dry milk powder."

Mr Polo said that other reviews had shown that adding blood plasma to the diet of weaning pigs also has an effect on post-weaning gut disorders.

The report said the success lies in the richness in immunoglobulins.

He said that 250 million piglets per year are fed with spray-dried plasma and there are no scientific articles or mass media reporting any damage, challenge or disease caused by commercial spray-dried plasma.

Mr Polo said that the scientific literature shows the benefits of spray-dried plasma in piglet diets include improved welfare, feed intake, growth rates, the general health status and it even supports intestinal function and morphology.

He added that spray dried animal plasma is also considered an alternative for antibiotics as growth promoters.

Mr Polo concluded that farmers can benefit from the biological properties of spray-dried porcine plasma and at the same time optimise the value of the blood from their animals.

September 2010
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