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Diabetic Test to Help Pork Producers

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article image Dr Peter Sopade of the University of Queensland

A simple glucose meter or glucometer, commonly used by diabetics to measure blood glucose levels is set to help Australian pork producers feed their pigs more efficiently.  

Supported by Australia’s Pork Cooperative Research Centre (Pork CRC ), Dr Peter Sopade of the University of Queensland has developed a simple, robust and efficient technique using a glucometer that measures the amount of glucose and therefore digested starch produced by digestive enzymes.  

It was one of the key outcomes of the Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project, ‘Processing Methods for Improving the Utilisation of Cereal Grains by Pigs’.  

Principal Investigator, Professor Mike Gidley said that developing a rapid in-vitro starch digestion technique for animal feed involved examining pig digestion of cereal grains based on the need to maximise available energy for pig growth from grain-based feeds.  

Dr Sopade said that with cereals in pig diets potentially containing 17MJ/kg energy from starch, it was important to quantify how easily that starch would be digested.  

The new method based on glucometry, could speed up analysis of starch digestion and help processors, nutritionists, pork producers as well as ingredient suppliers maximise energy delivery and feed conversion ratios.  

Dr Sopade said the new method was easy-to-use, making it an invaluable tool for anyone involved in feed formulation and manufacture.  

Dr Sopade said the new technique could be established as part of quality control in feed processing and was exciting for anyone assessing digestion as well as choosing ingredients and additives to maximise energy delivery to pigs from cereal feed grains.

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