The objective of this study was to determine whether fermentation could increase apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of dry matter, nitrogen, energy and amino acids in fermented soybean meal (FSBM) compared to soybean meal (SBM) in weaned pig diets. Four weaned pigs weighing about 10 kg were surgically equipped with T-cannulas and randomly followed a 4 × 4 Latin square design of treatments (SBM, FSBM, fish meal and spray-dried plasma protein).
The results indicated the fermentation process was able to reduce the amount of anti-nutritional factors, including trypsin inhibitors, raffinose and stachyose, in the FSBM diet, which were significantly reduced by 39.4, 92.2, and 92.9%, respectively, as compared to the SBM diet. As a consequence of these reductions in FSBM, the AID of dry matter, nitrogen, energy and amino acids were significantly greater in the FSBM treatment compared to the pigs fed the SBM diet. The results of this study showed the fermentation process improved the nutritional quality of SBM, due to reduction of certain meal components and improved digestibility of amino acids. The research team concluded that FSBM could be used as a specialized feed ingredient, especially for young animal diets.