Special Issue "Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Carlo Corino

Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie per la Salute, la Produzione Animale e la Sicurezza Alimentare, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Animal Nutrition, Nutrition and immunity, Nutrition and meat quality, Meat quality, Monogastric nutrition, Pig nutrition, Fats and CLA in pig nutrition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pork meat is the primary food source of meat for EU citizens. The number of pigs reared is 150 million heads, for a production of 23,4 mil tons (2017). Pig farms have become progressively larger and are concentrated in specific areas of production (e.g. Lombardy, IT, and Britanny, FR) with consequent health and environmental impact risks. A correct and balanced diet is necessary to guarantee the production of quality and healthy meat. The aim of this Special Issue is to publish high-quality manuscripts on the current state of the art concerning the interrelations between nutrition, metabolism, microbiota and the health of pigs. Therefore, this Special Issue welcomes submissions, including reviews or original research studies, on pig nutrition regarding (but not limited to):

1. Nutrient requirements of pigs

-      energy requirements of pigs and energy content of pig feed

-      amino acid requirements of pigs and amino acid availability in pig diets 

-      mineral and trace element requirements of pigs

-      vitamin requirements of pigs and extra-nutritional function of vitamins

2. Nutritional strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics,

-      microbiota management,

-      improvement of gut integrity,

-      immunomodulation

-      functional additives for gut health

3. Soybean meal replacers as alternative sources of amino acid for pigs

4. Palatability in pigs

5. Mycotoxin risk management

6. The impact of feeding pigs on environmental impacts

7. Nutrition and pork quality

Prof. Carlo Corino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nutrient requirements of pigs
  • microbiota management
  • improvement of gut integrity, soybean meal replacers
  • palatability in pigs
  • mycotoxins risk management
  • environmental impacts
  • nutrition and pork quality

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Dietary Inclusion of Monosodium Glutamate in Gestating and Lactating Sows Modifies the Preference Thresholds and Sensory-Motivated Intake for Umami and Sweet Solutions in Post-Weaned Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(6), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060336
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Pigs show an innate preference for umami (monosodium glutamate, MSG) taste. Nevertheless, the influence of a pre and postnatal umami exposure remains unclear. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that MSG inclusion into maternal diets would modify the feeding behavior of [...] Read more.
Pigs show an innate preference for umami (monosodium glutamate, MSG) taste. Nevertheless, the influence of a pre and postnatal umami exposure remains unclear. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that MSG inclusion into maternal diets would modify the feeding behavior of post-weaning pigs. A total of 22 sows were selected on day 85 of gestation and randomly assigned to one of two gestating and lactating programs (standard commercial diets without or with 50 g/kg of MSG). Later, 208 pigs born from these sows were selected to evaluate their preference thresholds, sensory-motivated intake, total consumption, and consumption patterns for MSG and sucrose solutions. Pigs born from MSG-fed sows showed lower (p < 0.045) preference thresholds for MSG and sucrose than did animals born from control sows, and displayed an increased (p < 0.050) sensory-motivated intake for sucrose and decreased for MSG. Conversely, no differences (p > 0.05) were observed in the total consumption or consumption patterns of MSG or sucrose solutions among pigs born from control and MSG-fed sows. It is concluded that the feeding behavior of nursery pigs can be influenced by pre and postnatal inclusion of a taste active compound into maternal diets. It would appear that a compensatory mechanism to balance dietary nutrients might be in place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Immune System Stimulation Reduces the Efficiency of Whole-Body Protein Deposition and Alters Muscle Fiber Characteristics in Growing Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(6), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060323
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
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Abstract
The effects of immune system stimulation (ISS), induced by repeated injection of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, on the whole-body protein synthesis versus degradation rates, the efficiency of protein deposition (PD), and muscle fiber characteristics in pigs were evaluated. Twelve growing gilts were assigned to [...] Read more.
The effects of immune system stimulation (ISS), induced by repeated injection of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, on the whole-body protein synthesis versus degradation rates, the efficiency of protein deposition (PD), and muscle fiber characteristics in pigs were evaluated. Twelve growing gilts were assigned to two levels of amino acid intake that was predicted based on the potential of each group’s health status for PD and feed intake. Isotope tracer, nitrogen balance, and immunohistochemical staining techniques were used to determine protein turnover, PD, and muscle fiber characteristics, respectively. Protein synthesis, degradation, and PD were lower in immune-challenged pigs than in control pigs (p < 0.05). Strong tendencies for a higher protein synthesis-to-PD ratio (p = 0.055) and a lower protein synthesis-to-degradation ratio (p = 0.065) were observed in immune-challenged pigs. A decrease in muscle cross-sectional area of fibers and a shift from myosin heavy chain (MHC)-II towards MHC-I fibers (p < 0.05) were observed in immune-challenged pigs. These results indicated that ISS reduces PD not only by suppressing the whole-body protein synthesis and degradation rates, but also by decreasing the efficiency of PD in growing pigs. In addition, ISS induces atrophy in skeletal muscles and favors a slow-twitch oxidative fiber type composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Protein Restriction on Performances and Meat Quality of Cinta Senese Pig Reared in an Organic System
Animals 2019, 9(6), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060310
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
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Abstract
In lean genotypes, protein restriction during growing increases intramuscular fat content without affecting the overall carcass fatness. The present study aims to assess the feasibility of applying this feeding management on an obese pig, the Cinta Senese, since obese genotypes are characterized by [...] Read more.
In lean genotypes, protein restriction during growing increases intramuscular fat content without affecting the overall carcass fatness. The present study aims to assess the feasibility of applying this feeding management on an obese pig, the Cinta Senese, since obese genotypes are characterized by great lipogenic potential often leading to excessively high backfat deposits. Twenty pigs of average weight 38 kg, were divided in two groups, the first group was fed a protein restricted diet (9% of crude protein), while the second one a normal diet (13.5% of crude protein). During finishing, both groups were fed the same diet (10% of crude protein). Average daily gain, protein conversion index, backfat thickness, carcass weight, and prime cuts were determined. A loin sample joint was dissected in intermuscular fat, bone, subcutaneous fat, longissimus lumborum, and psoas major. On longissimus lumborum, physical and chemical analysis was carried out. The fatty acid profile of longissimus lumborum and loin subcutaneous fat were determined. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance. Protein conversion index resulted lower in the restricted group, while backfat was slightly greater. Meat quality traits were not affected by feeding management. Slightly modifications in subcutaneous outer layer fatty acids profile were observed. The protein restriction during growing did not seem a suitable mode of feeding management for Cinta Senese pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Partially or Completely Substituted Dietary Zinc Sulfate by Lower Levels of Zinc Methionine on Growth Performance, Apparent Total Tract Digestibility, Immune Function, and Visceral Indices in Weaned Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(5), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050236
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the effects of replacing zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) with a lower level of zinc methionine (ZnMet) on the growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, serum metabolites and immune functions of weaned piglets. Thirty-five weaned [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the effects of replacing zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) with a lower level of zinc methionine (ZnMet) on the growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, serum metabolites and immune functions of weaned piglets. Thirty-five weaned Duroc × Landrace × Large White male piglets (10.69 ± 0.26 kg) were randomly allotted to five diets. The control diet was supplemented with 100 mg/kg of Zn from ZnSO4, and experimental diets included 75 + 12.5, 50 + 25, 25 + 37.5, and 0 + 50 mg/kg of Zn from ZnSO4 and ZnMet, respectively. The results showed that no differences were observed in growth performance, ATTD of nutrients and serum metabolites among treatments, while serum white blood cell count, lymphocyte count, IgM contents and spleen index were higher (p < 0.01) in piglets fed with 50 + 25 mg/kg of Zn. Zinc digestibility (p < 0.05), IgA content (p < 0.001) and thymus index (p < 0.05) were increased when at least 50% of ZnSO4 was replaced by ZnMet. All the results indicated that using a lower level of ZnMet in weaned piglet’s diet instead of ZnSO4 had no adverse impacts on ATTD of nutrients and serum metabolites; and a 50 + 25 mg/kg of Zn (from ZnSO4 and ZnMet, respectively) diet showed the best advantages for parameters relating to immune functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Performance, Nitrogen Metabolism and Tissue Composition in Barrows Fed an n-3 PUFA-Rich Diet
Animals 2019, 9(5), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050234
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
We investigated changes in nitrogen metabolism and chemical, fatty acid (FA) and amino acid (AA) composition in tissues (longissimus dorsi (LD) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles, heart, spleen, liver and cecum) following the dietary addition of extruded linseed and walnut meal (50:50 mix). Plasma [...] Read more.
We investigated changes in nitrogen metabolism and chemical, fatty acid (FA) and amino acid (AA) composition in tissues (longissimus dorsi (LD) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles, heart, spleen, liver and cecum) following the dietary addition of extruded linseed and walnut meal (50:50 mix). Plasma creatinine and urea nitrogen were determined as well. Two trials were designed using barrows (five replicates) allotted in two groups [(control, (SM) and experimental, (LEW))] in metabolic cages. The experimental diet rich in n-3 FA led to a significant increase of retained nitrogen (>8.09% in the LEW group). The biological value of feed protein was 14.8% higher in the LEW group than in the SM group. LD muscles from the SM group and liver from the LEW group had greater nitrogen contents, whereas the heart and spleen had lower concentrations of nitrogen in the LEW group. Diet had a pronounced effect on n-3 FA, particularly on α-linolenic fatty acid (ALA) (p < 0.0001). The highest levels of ALA were recorded in the cecum (>6.06 times in LEW) and heart (>5.44 times in LEW). The highest level of lysine was noticed in the LD muscle (>2.1% in SM). An n-3-rich diet significantly reduced the amount of nitrogen excreted; greater than 40% nitrogen was retained, thus improving the meat composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Long-Term Dietary Protein Restriction on Intestinal Morphology, Digestive Enzymes, Gut Hormones, and Colonic Microbiota in Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(4), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040180
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
Using protein-restriction diets becomes a potential strategy to save the dietary protein resources. However, the mechanism of low-protein diets influencing pigs’ growth performance is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate the effect of protein-restriction diets on gastrointestinal physiology and gut microbiota in [...] Read more.
Using protein-restriction diets becomes a potential strategy to save the dietary protein resources. However, the mechanism of low-protein diets influencing pigs’ growth performance is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate the effect of protein-restriction diets on gastrointestinal physiology and gut microbiota in pigs. Eighteen weaned piglets were randomly allocated to three groups with different dietary protein levels. After a 16-week trial, the results showed that feeding a low-protein diet to pigs impaired the epithelial morphology of duodenum and jejunum (p < 0.05) and reduced the concentration of many plasma hormones (p < 0.05), such as ghrelin, somatostatin, glucose-dependent insulin-tropic polypeptide, leptin, and gastrin. The relative abundance of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus in colon and microbiota metabolites was also decreased by extreme protein-restriction diets (p < 0.05). These findings suggested that long-term ingestion of a protein-restricted diet could impair intestinal morphology, suppress gut hormone secretion, and change the microbial community and fermentation metabolites in pigs, while the moderately low-protein diet had a minimal effect on gut function and did not impair growth performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Red Grape Pomace Rich in Polyphenols Diet Increases the Antioxidant Status in Key Organs—Kidneys, Liver, and Spleen of Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040149
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of a diet containing 5% dried GP on the antioxidant status (total antioxidant status (TAS), antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase-CAT, superoxide dismutase-SOD, and gluthatione peroxidase-GPx), and lipid peroxidation) on the key organs of the [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of a diet containing 5% dried GP on the antioxidant status (total antioxidant status (TAS), antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase-CAT, superoxide dismutase-SOD, and gluthatione peroxidase-GPx), and lipid peroxidation) on the key organs of the liver, kidneys, and spleen in relation to health status as indicated by blood biochemical parameters and total polyphenol content in the blood, organs (liver, spleen, kidney, mesenteric lymph nodes, heart, and brain) and Longissimus dorsi muscle in piglets. The GP diet results in a significant increase of TAS in the liver, spleen, and kidneys, with increased CAT activity in the spleen and kidneys, increased SOD activity in the liver, kidneys, and spleen, and increased GPx activity in the kidneys, as well as a decrease in lipid peroxidation in the liver and kidneys. The GP included in the piglets’ feed contained polyphenols that showed antioxidant activity and were absorbed in the plasma, contributing to maintaining the good health of the animals. The inclusion of 5% GP inclusion in the diets of piglets is beneficial for overall normal blood constituent metabolism and helps to maintain piglet health by increasing the polyphenol content in blood plasma and antioxidant activity in the liver, spleen, and kidneys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Fat Supplementation during Gestation on Reproductive Performance, Milk Composition of Sows and Intestinal Development of Their Offspring
Animals 2019, 9(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040125
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Abstract
Various fats are used in swine diets as sources of energy and essential fatty acids. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of fat supplementation during gestation on reproductive performance, milk composition of sows and intestinal development of their offspring. Fifty sows were [...] Read more.
Various fats are used in swine diets as sources of energy and essential fatty acids. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of fat supplementation during gestation on reproductive performance, milk composition of sows and intestinal development of their offspring. Fifty sows were randomly allocated into two groups receiving the control (CON) and high-fat diets (HF diet) during gestation. After farrowing, all sows received the same lactation diet and were fed ad libitum until weaning at day 20 of lactation. The results showed that being fed the HF diet did not markedly improve the performance of sows and their offspring. However, the HF diet increased (p < 0.05) the colostrum contents of protein and no-fat solids, and the plasma concentration of prolactin at farrowing. Moreover, piglets born of sows fed the HF diet had higher (p < 0.05) jejunal villous height, as well as deeper (p < 0.05) jejunal and colonic crypt depths compared with piglets born of sows fed the CON diet. In addition, piglets born of sows fed the HF diet had markedly increased (p < 0.05) mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4), toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) in ileum compared with piglets born of sows fed the CON diet. These findings indicated that dietary fat supplementation during gestation did not markedly improve the performance of sows and their offspring, but improved colostrum quality and concentration of prolactin on the day of farrowing, associated with modifications of intestinal morphology and innate immunity of their offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Health Benefits of Supplementing Nursery Pig Diets with Microalgae or Fish Oil
Animals 2019, 9(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9030080
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
Weaning stress can negatively impact a pig’s performance; dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) reduces inflammatory stress and promotes nursery pig’s health and growth. Fish oil (FO) is a major source of n-3 PUFA; however, microalgae (AL) may provide an [...] Read more.
Weaning stress can negatively impact a pig’s performance; dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) reduces inflammatory stress and promotes nursery pig’s health and growth. Fish oil (FO) is a major source of n-3 PUFA; however, microalgae (AL) may provide an alternative source of n-3 PUFA. The aim of this study was to assess the health benefits of supplementing a plant protein-based nursery diet with 3.12% AL or 1.25% FO providing equal total n-3 PUFA compared to a control (CON) diet. Seventy-two pigs were fed experimental diets for three weeks (phases 1 and 2), followed by a common standard diet for three weeks (phase 3). Following phase 2, 8 pigs per treatment underwent a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) immune stress challenge to assess the acute-phase response and 8 pigs per treatment were vaccinated with novel antigens to assess acquired immunity. No significant differences in piglets’ growth were observed, despite decreased feed intake in FO piglets compared to AL piglets in phase 3. AL supplementation tended to reduce, and FO supplementation significantly reduced the LPS-induced fever response. The AL pigs had significantly reduced cortisol responses, increased cytokine concentrations, and increased chromogranin A concentrations compared to FO and CON pigs following LPS challenge. Results suggest that AL or FO supplementation in nursery diets differentially modulate the acute-phase response, possibly due to different n-3 PUFA profiles between the two ingredients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Amino Acids Influencing Intestinal Development and Health of the Piglets
Animals 2019, 9(6), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060302
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
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Abstract
The amino acids and other components of diet provide nourishment for piglet intestinal development and maturation. However, early-weaned piglets struggle with tremendous stress, impairing normal intestinal health and leading to intestinal dysfunction and even death. The high prevalence worldwide of post-weaning diarrhoea syndrome [...] Read more.
The amino acids and other components of diet provide nourishment for piglet intestinal development and maturation. However, early-weaned piglets struggle with tremendous stress, impairing normal intestinal health and leading to intestinal dysfunction and even death. The high prevalence worldwide of post-weaning diarrhoea syndrome (PWDS) in piglets has led to much interest in understanding the important role of nutrients in the establishment and maintenance of a functional intestinal tract. In particular, the impacts of amino acids on these functions must be considered. Amino acid levels greatly influence intestinal development in weaning piglets. The lack of amino acids can cause marked structural and functional changes in the intestine. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the functions of amino acids is necessary to optimize amino acid requirements of the developing intestinal tract to maximize piglet health and growth performance. This review summarizes the role of specific amino acids (arginine, glutamate, threonine, sulphur-containing amino acids (SCAAs), and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)) that have been proven to be beneficial for the intestinal health of weaned piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
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