Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A healthier start to a pig’s life

Participants in EUREKA project E! 2654 Healthy Weaning have been working on a cost-effective solution for farmers. They have developed a plant-based product which is given at a specific stage before weaning, helping piglets adapt from the digestive and absorptive needs of a milk diet to an adult one.

Weaning is a problematic time for pigs, especially in intensive production. Piglets commonly become susceptible to bacterial infections, restricting their growth rate; and often leading to losses of 10% or more. The antibiotics used routinely for many years to control these rapidly-spreading infections have now fallen out of use, mainly due to the increase in resistant strains of bacteria.

A radical solution has been found by using a lectin obtained from the red kidney bean plant. Lectins are proteins with the ability to bind cells together; typically red blood cells. The EUREKA Healthy Weaning project coordinator, Professor Stefan Pierzynowski of Lund University, Sweden, explains: “Giving this factor, which we call Suilektin, for a short, specific period before weaning stimulates the digestive tract to reach maturity faster. This helps it to change from the digestive and absorptive needs of milk, to those of an adult diet.” The EUREKA study showed that giving the lectin to piglets at 11-12 days old enhanced successful weaning at 28 days.

A welcome innovation for industry

Current pig production methods could benefit significantly from this new Suilektin product. Other sophisticated weaning foods are available, but are not always an economic proposition for the farmer, as the profit margin on pig production is not high. “We are very interested in finding a producer for Suilektin and it could reach the market very soon. It will be both cheap and very effective,” says Prof. Pierzynowski. “We will be explaining to farmers the advantages of its use in extremely small, carefully calculated amounts for this very short period, which will stimulate maturing of the digestive tract without causing any digestive problems.”

The idea for the Suilektin product originated in Lund University but was developed in collaboration with other project partners in Poland. Gramineer International in Sweden produced and purified the lectin, and Lund University tested it in laboratory studies. The Institute of Physiology and Nutrition from the Polish Academy of Science and the Agricultural University of Lublin carried out field studies. Collaborators at the Agricultural Sciences University at Alnarp, Sweden, studied pig behaviour and the practical application of lectin in Swedish pig production. Professor Pierzynowski feels that being part of a EUREKA project has been invaluable in making contacts in other countries and in raising the profile of the project.

Sally Horspool | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>