Soybean meal is the main protein source used in diets for pigs in the United States, as well as most countries of the world, due to the high quality of the protein it provides. However, soybean meal also contains antinutritional factors that limit its use in weanling pig diets. Pigs do not secrete the enzyme needed for the hydrolysis of raffinose and stachyose, α-galactosidase, in the small intestine. Therefore, these oligosaccharides are not enzymatically digested, but are instead fermented in the small and large intestines. This results in decreased growth performance and increased incidence of diarrhea when fed to weanling pigs.
Oligosaccharides can be removed from soybean meal using an alcohol extraction process, creating soy protein concentrate. Soy protein concentrate has greater digestibility of most amino acids and greater concentrations of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) than soybean meal. A new source of soy protein concentrate called Nutrivance (Midwest Ag Enterprises Inc., Marshall, MN) has recently been introduced, which is produced using a process combining non-alcohol extraction and enzymatic treatment of soybean meal. The nutritional value of soy protein concentrate produced using this method has not been determined. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the concentrations of DE and ME in soy protein concentrate and to compare these values to DE and ME in soybean meal.