Plum Juice Concentrate as a Feed Additive for Pigs

Supplementing the diet with plum juice concentrate at up to three per cent had no significant effects on pig performance, carcass characteristics, pork quality or microbial shedding in trials at Auburn University.
calendar icon 10 June 2014
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The effects of feeding plum juice concentrate (PJC) as a feed additive on the performance, carcass characteristics, pork quality and gut health of pigs fed have been investigated by C.L. Bratcher and colleagues at Auburn University. Their work is reported in two papers in the journal, Professional Animal Scientist.

A total of 32 Yorkshire pigs were used in the trials; the pigs were sorted by weight and sex - 16 barrows and 16 gilts - and assigned to 16 pens with two pigs per pen.

Pens were randomly allotted to four diets: 0 (control), 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 per cent PJC.

During the feed trial, feed intake and weight gain were monitored every 14 days. Pigs were slaughtered at an average pen weight of 114kg (group 1 = 84 days; group 2 = 98 days).

Dietary supplementation with PJC did not affect animal performance or carcass characteristics (P>0.05) and had little effect on pork quality.

For the study of the effect of PJC on faecal microbial shedding, the pigs were housed and fed as described and faecal samples were collected from one pig per pen on days 0, 1, 7, 14, 28 and 56 and the last day on feed. Additionally, the ham of each pig was swabbed at slaughter.

Faecal and ham swab samples were plated and enumerated for anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli.

On day 28, the diet supplemented with 1.0 per cent PJC reduced (P<0.05) anaerobic count compared with the 0.5 per cent PJC diet.

Supplementing 1.0 per cent PJC in the diet decreased (P<0.05) anaerobic count when comparing day 0 to the last day on feed.

There was a quadratic trend between aerobic counts and days on feed, with the lowest (P<0.05) count on day 14.

Aerobic count was lower (P<0.05) on the last day of feeding than on day 0.

Salmonella spp. were not present in any sample throughout the experiment.

The researchers concluded that supplementation with PJC up to 3.0 per cent in the diet did not affect growing-finishing pig performance, carcass characteristics, pork quality or on faecal microbial shedding in this study.


1. Jiang T., J.C. Wicks, T.K. Welch, W.F. Owsley, S.P. Rodning, K.A. Cummins and C.L. Bratcher. 2014. Growth performance, carcass characteristics, and pork quality of pigs fed plum juice concentrate as a feed additive. Professional Animal Scientist. 30:252-259.

2. Wicks J.C., T. Jiang, T.K. Welch, M. Singh, W.F. Owsley, K.A. Cummins and C.L. Bratcher. 2014. Effect of supplemental feeding of plum juice concentrate on fecal microbial shedding in growing-finishing Yorkshire pigs. Professional Animal Scientist. 30:260-265.

To view the full papers (fee payable), click on the titles of the papers above.

June 2014

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