Not all soy protein concentrates are the same

Published: 2023-02-27

Weaners tolerate the ordinary soybean meal very badly. That’s why high quality soy protein concentrate is a vital feed ingredient for weaners right up to 15 kg.


Soy protein concentrates are primarily characterized by having a higher content of protein compared to regular soybean meal. What’s more, they've undergone one or more processes designed to reduce the content of anti-nutritional factors (ANF), which are very harmful to weaners.

There is usually a negative link between a high content of ANF and production results. Apart from eliminating a good proportion of the anti-nutritional factors, protein digestion is also increased significantly in soy protein concentrate compared to ordinary soybean meal.

Soybean meal is rarely used in weaning feed, as it increases the frequency of diarrhea considerably.

How much soybean meal is used in a mix depends on health status, management, genetics, etc. This is where dialogue in the unit becomes important, as savings can be made by using pure soya instead of soya protein concentrate. But such savings can quickly be lost if the pigs suffer from diarrhea, and fail to exploit their growth potential fully.

Diarrhea and reduced feed intake will often mean lower growth and higher feed consumption all the way through the controlled environment section. 


The reason why a good effect is not always seen when extruding soybean meal is most likely due to the protein - primarily lysine and methionine to a lesser extent - being damaged by heat-treatment.

Several factors affect the degree of this reaction. They include the amount of different carbohydrates, water/steam/humidity and temperature. 

Not only is the digestion of protein reduced. Analysis of intensively heat-treated soybean meal often shows a lower content of lysine. Which process the soybean meal undergoes to become a concentrate is therefore important. 

Vilosoy and HP 300 are produced through the fermentation and addition of enzymes. This method reduces the content of ANF, boosting protein digestion. 

Below is a list of the content of hazardous substances in ordinary soybean meal (row 1), extruded soybean meal (row 2) and enzyme-treated soy protein concentrate (row 3).  


Julie Holsbo

The amino acids from the enzyme-treated soy are absorbed faster by the pig compared to those from soybean meal and heat-treated soybean meal. 

Thanks to the faster absorption of amino acids from enzyme-treated soy, there is more protein available for the pig’s development and growth, and the amount of protein that continues undigested through the gastrointestinal tract is minimised. 

Vilomix recommends HP 300 and Vilosoy for weaners, and a mix of Vilosoy and soybean meal for the subsequent mix – for a good start in the controlled environment section.


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