Energy Sources and Quality
Fats and oils are commonly added to grow-finish diets. This is because these ingredients contain approximately 2.25 times more energy and the energy within these ingredients are highly digestible compared to cereal grains. The most common forms of fats used in diet formulation are animal fats derived from the rendering industry while the most common forms of oils used are extracted from seeds (link to general nutrition guide on energy sources). When considering the inclusion of a fat or oil source to increase energy density of the diet, fat quality should be evaluated as it can influence digestibility and energy value. Furthermore, it should be understood that grow-finish pigs will deposit fat in a similar fatty acid profile as the dietary fat or oil source being supplemented to the diet (Gatlin et al., 2002). This is important as fats and oils differ in their degree of saturation and this will effect grow-finish carcass composition and pork quality. This should be understood as it may limit the fat source that can be used in diet formulation in an effort to avoid discounts for carcasses and optimize economic success.