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Pork and egg quality from feeds rich in DDGS

Pig and poultry feeds rich in distillers grains will invariably produce meat and eggs high in polyunsaturated lipids; but how is this affecting their quality?

The pressure to use poultry and pig feeds rich in dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS) from the bio-ethanol industry continues as feed raw material prices remain high (see also ). Usually, discussions regarding DDGS-rich feeds revolve around animal performance, but recently, end-product quality of meat and eggs is considered with increasing intensity.

As is already known, poultry and pigs deposit in eggs and meat the same type of lipids as those found in their feed. Thus, if this feed is high in polyunsaturated lipids (soft), as is with high levels of DDGS inclusion, the fat in meat and eggs will be of similar composition and (soft) consistency.

In the case of meat, fat softness is a rather undesirable trait from the point of the slaughterhouses and processed-meat industry. Nevertheless, a recent study from the Universities of Georgia and Kentucky in the USA has revealed that the increased concentration of soft lipids in pork carcasses did not affect the handling or eating qualities of fresh and cured bacon, sausages, and loin chops (Journal of Animal Science 90:4148-4156).

When it comes to eggs, a very recent study indicated that egg yolks from hens fed feeds with up to 50 percent DDGS tended to have higher fat and lower protein concentrations. As expected, total polyunsaturated fatty acids, lutein, and cholesterol/choline levels (but only at the 50 percent DDGS treatment group during the early feeding period) were significantly increased. These results are very promising, and merit further investigation to include eating quality, but nevertheless, they are of tremendous value to the feed and egg industries (Poultry Science 92:233-242).

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