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Genetic Targets for Improving Soybean Meal's Compositional Characteristics

The objective of this research study was to identify soybean meal compositional characteristics that maximize nutritional values for optimum performance and minimize swine waste.  Eight soybean meals were selected that were variable in crude protein, neutral-detergent fiber and acid-detergent fiber.  Ileal digestibility and total tract digestibility were obtained in separate experiments.  Results indicated that up to six percent ileal dry matter digestibility and eight percent ileal crude protein were obtained.  These values were reduced to 1.1% for total tract dry matter digestibility and 4% for total tract crude protein digestibility.  The only soybean meal compositional variable with a significant effect on digestibility was stachyose, which reduced ileal digestibility of dry mater and energy.  None of the compositional variables was correlated with ideal crude protein digestibility.  They did show that the ileal crude protein digestibility inversely related to crude protein fermentation in the large intestine.  The research group concluded that soybean meals with low stachyose are important for maximizing ideal energy digestibility and higher ileal crude protein digestibility values could not only improve the nutritional value of the soybean meal, but could possibly reduce ammonia and odor emissions.  (Note- These results support soybean breeder’s efforts to reduce stachyose levels and improve soybean protein digestibility in developing new soybean varieties).

Van Kempen, T.A.T.G. and co-workers.  2006.  Selecting soybean meal characteristics preferred for swine nutrition.  J. Animal Sci. 84: 1387-1395.