HP FiberBoost, the ideal functional fiber for pig microbiome
Next generation fibers stimulate gut motility and butyric acid production.
Next generation fibers are developed to be active ingredients that promote gut maturation beyond normal development by stimulating synergies between the host and the microbiota. Prebiotics are special carbohydrates that belong to the group of dietary fiber. Their health beneficial effects emerge as they provide energy to specific groups of bacteria in the lower gut which then respond by producing more butyric acid, creating a diverse and robust gut environment. In addition, fiber fractions e.g. inert fibers or insoluble non-starch polysaccharides (I-NSP) are only marginally degraded in piglets and not contributing to organic acid production. Their main function is of a physical nature where inert fibers have a wash out effect and stimulate gut motility.
This physical stimulation secures normal passage of digesta, blocks adhesion of bacteria in the small intestine and increases feed intake. Dramatic changes to the gut microbiota and function happen at weaning when piglets transition from milk to solid feed. This continues to happen throughout the nursery period when introduced to new feeds and a near steady state gut environment is established.
When piglets are not supported properly through nutrition and careful management, they are inevitably more susceptible to diseases and discomfort that would eventually result in poor performance. These are the challenges farmers are facing throughout the nursery period and what functional fibers can help alleviate.
A healthy and functioning gut is the outcome of prebiotics contributing to production of the butyric acid directly in the lower gut. Local production takes advantage of all beneficial outcomes of butyric acid on intestinal villi development, gut epithelial integrity, and anti-inflammatory functions when produced in the lower gut.
Figure 1. Butyric acid production increases by 23% in piglets (15 kg) when prebiotics are fed. Control were not fed supplemental fiber.
Dietary protein that escapes digestion and absorption in the small intestine is unavailable for animal growth and therefore contributes to higher diet cost. Additionally, undigested protein is passed on to the lower gut where it is subjected to deamination and fermentation by putrefactive bacteria and production of potential toxic end-products. Branched chain fatty acids (BCFA) are only produced in protein fermentation and are per se not known to be toxic. However, their presence indicates on-going protein fermentation and the risk of toxic end-products e.g. harmful indole production which impairs intestinal membrane functions.
High Ammonia concentration in the lower gut becomes detrimental to animal health when accumulating above the amount assimilated by colonic bacteria. Toxic effects of ammonia are altered epithelial morphology and functions, villi atrophy and reduced nutrient utilization.
Figure 2. Gut environment stays healthy and functioning when less protein is fermented. Protein fermentation is 23% higher in piglet (15 kg) and harmful indole production increases by 59% when prebiotic carbohydrates are not available in colon.
Prebiotics are a dietetic tool to control the negative protein-microbiome interaction and drive the microbiome toward a robust and beneficial colonization. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that are energetically favorable substrates for commensal bacteria compared to protein. That way, prebiotics are enriching a healthy and well-functioning microbiota through competitive exclusion. Beneficial bacteria have more substrate available and outnumber the harmful ones by inhibiting proliferation and establishment in the lumen. Furthermore, protein fermentation is postponed until prebiotics are no longer available. However, given that prebiotics are fed ad libitum throughout the nursery period, prebiotics continue to be available and undigested protein is excreted.
Next generation functional fibers are important components of the diet that modulates the gut microbiome-metabolite production that elicit health benefits. By-products from plant ingredients are sources of fiber but have never been processed specifically for dietetic use in animals. Therefore, the next generation functional fiber ingredients have multiple added benefits in the gut while negative functions like viscosity have been reduced.
Figure 3. Distribution of fiber fractions in dietary fiber. HP FiberBoost having the highest content of fermentable and prebiotic carbohydrates while at the same time having inert fibers.
Figure 4. Dynamic viscosity measurements expressed at a logarithmic scale and different shear rates representing gut motility. Raw unprocessed soy hulls having the highest viscosity which have been reduced in the
HP FiberBoost product.
A pure fiber product containing functional fibers produced specifically for dietetic use in piglets.
- Firm feces
- Improved gut health and development
- Increase feed intake
- Ease the transition to next feeding phase
- 7% higher growth compared with diets without functional fibers
- Enable the use of same diets with high
nutrient and energy density
- Prebiotic carbohydrates
- Low viscosity
- Structural fibers that stimulate peristaltic movements
- Also available as non-GM
Health promoting recommendations
Around 4% crude fiber in final feed is recommended to get full health benefits of fiber.
Minimum of 0.4% prebiotic carbohydrates to achieve health beneficial level in phase 1 feed.
The S-NSP fraction is also sometimes referred to as soluble fibers.
The I-NSP fraction is also sometimes referred to as insoluble fibers