Bioactive fractions in updated Babito!
By increasing solid feed intake of piglets and exposing them to plant-based products, Babito increases maturing of the piglets’ gastrointestinal tract. This is in contrast to feeding milk replacements, which tend to slow down the maturing process of the gastrointestinal tract. Research showed that piglets taking in solid feed before weaning have a 10% higher villus length and 17% higher maltase activity in the gut (Cabrera, 2013).
In nature, piglets are weaned gradually, ending at an age of 8-20 weeks. In practice, we abruptly wean piglets at 3-4 weeks after birth. As a result, the piglets’ gut is underdeveloped at the time of weaning: low acidifying capacity in the stomach, low activity of pancreas enzymes, unadjusted gut motility, low absorption capacity and a gut flora sensitive to disruption. Babito will accelerate this maturing process of the piglets’ gastrointestinal tract in various ways
Adding specific bioactive fractions of fermented whey powders can further enhance the maturing process of the piglets’ guts. Research in collaboration with Gembloux University showed that specific fractions of fermented whey powder enhance the maturing process of the piglets’ guts. Fermentation of whey powder with specific bacterial strains results in enzymatic conversion of lactose into di-, tri- and tetrasaccharides with a specific prebiotic activity for lactic acid bacteria. Feeding these fractions to piglets from birth up to 14 days after weaning resulted in a 9% higher villus length at an age of 14 days. Furthermore, such fractions also resulted in a shift in gut flora. For example, a significantly higher proportion of lactobacilli over enterobacteriacea was clearly demonstrated. In piglets, this results in higher digestive capacity before weaning and a healthier gut flora. In combination, this results in fewer digestive problems and daily post-weaning growth was 10 g/day higher.
Babito is highly palatable for piglets, which ensures that it is readily eaten by the piglets from day 3 onwards. In field experiments, this ensured feed intake of the piglets similar to feed intake of milk during the first 10 days of the piglets’ lives (Table 1). Additionally, Babito will enhance the gut maturing process more than milk replacers. That means it is ideal for preparing the piglets for weaning at an early stage!