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Swine Health through Nutritional Integrity and Feed Safety

Under the conditions of modern swine production, pigs need to be fed a balanced diet that meets their daily nutritional requirement for maintenance, growth, and reproduction. However, nutrient intake is largely determined by voluntary feed intake, which is greatly infl uenced by the chemical senses of olfaction and taste. Thus, it is essential to make sure that diets being offered to pigs are highly palatable to ensure high feed intake. This is especially important during times when pigs have decreased appetite, such as the fi rst few days post weaning. Therefore, it is believed that enhancement of taste or smell through the use of fl avors may help to improve the palatability of diets and, consequently, feed  intake.

Factors affecting feed  intake

A number of factors have been identifi ed that affect feed intake in pigs. In most cases, feed intake is infl uenced by the interaction between some or all of these factors, which include the thermal environment, social factors (eg, stocking density), animal factors (eg, genotype), and dietary factors (eg, energy density and palatability). Palatability of a diet refers to its acceptability features, including taste, smell, and texture, that the pig senses before feed is  swallowed.

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