Pig International - July/August 2017 - 24
24 ❙ PigInternational
insights for formulating
Conclusions from my recent participation
in a think-tank on modern fiber nutrition.
BY IOANNIS MAVROMICHALIS
We can all benefit by a deeper understanding
of fiber as a nutrient and antinutrient.
Microflora changes in times of stress
It is well-established by numerous studies in humans and animals that during times of stress, such
as weaning in piglets or gut infections in broilers, there is
a tremendous upheaval in the makeup of gut microflora.
During times of stress, it is to the benefit of the animal's
health to support the "good" bacteria. We can do this by
the use of certain external strains (probiotics) or by providing functional fibers to enhance the innate beneficial
bacteria. Ideally, a combination of both methods should
lead to the best possible result.
Crude fiber is an antiquated form
The well-known crude fiber term describes only a
relatively small function of the whole dietary fiber
spectrum. It does not include all hemi-celluloses and pectins, both of which play a very significant role in modulating gut microflora. Although its use remains relevant in establishing equations that predict net energy concentration
based on chemical composition, its value is nil in terms
of describing the effect of fibers on gut bacteria. Similar
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ July/August 2017
Keith Bell | Dreamstime.com
I was recently invited to participate in the second
Fiber Board trade conference hosted by Agromed
(Austria) in cooperation with the University of Natural
Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. I rarely accept
such invitations anymore, but this time, it was about a
theme close to my interests: fiber nutrition, of which
I have devoted a good number of my writings in the
last couple of years. My participation on this board of
worldwide experts was nothing short of an enlightenment because it allowed me to clarify some issues and
come back with even more questions.
Part of my participation agreement was permission to share with our readers an outline of this private
event, as I strongly believe we can all benefit by a
deeper understanding of fiber as a nutrient, antinutrient and of its functional components. Below are the six
major points, which, I am afraid, can only provide but
a brief glimpse of the event.