Effects of spray dried plasma on growth performance

Project Title: Comparative effect of ultraviolet light irradiated and non-irradiated spray dried porcine plasma on growth performance of nursery pigs

Executive Summary

The overall objective of this research initiative is to support the development of a collaborative research program between American Proteins Company (APC), Inc. and the Swine Nutrition Group at the University of Minnesota. In this proposal we briefly describe an experiment with the objective of measuring growth performance (feed intake, and average daily gain) of nursery pigs fed ultraviolet light irradiated (UV) spray dried porcine plasma (SDPP) under the conditions experienced at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (Morris, MN). Future studies will be developed after successful completion of this pilot experiment. 


Weaning continues to be a stressful and challenging time for young pigs to achieve optimal growth performance. Spray-dried porcine (SDPP) and bovine plasma (SDBP) are highly digestible, high-protein feed ingredients, which are widely used in feeding programs for weaned pigs. The benefits of SDPP on growth performance, gut function, and immune parameters are very well documented in research articles (Gatnau and Zimmerman, 1990; Boyer et al., 2015), meta-analysis (Torrallardona, 2010), and reviews (Van Dijk et al., 2001). In spite of the clearly demonstrated benefits of using SDPP in diets for young pigs, many swine producers and their nutritional consultants have removed SDPP from diets of young and other pigs due to fear of potential disease transmission. These practices of replacement of SDPP need to be revised, to optimize productivity.

Use of ultraviolet light, UV irradiation, is one effective mean of disinfection that decreases pathogen load in various food ingredients with different matrices of chemical composition (Choudhary and Bandla, 2012; Chirsten et al., 2013). In milk, UV irradiation significantly retains activity of key functional proteins such as immunoglobulin A (89%), lactoferrin (87%), and lysozyme (75%) and subsequently reduces bacterial multiplication at rates that were not different from untreated human milk (Christen et al., 2013). However, there are no data that have measured the impact of UV irradiation on functional proteins in spray dried plasma.

Hypothesis and Objective

Ultraviolet light irradiation inactivates pathogens, but it is innocuous to functional proteins in plasma. Therefore, feeding UV irradiated SDPP supports optimal growth performance and gut function of pigs experiencing weaning stress (e.g. vaccination, transportation, diet change, adaptation to a new environment). Therefore, the objective of this pilot study is to determine if current stress conditions at the West Central Research and Outreach Center are sufficient to cause differences in growth performance of pigs fed diets with plasma.


P. E. Urriola, K. Cottingim, L. J. Johnston*, G. C. Shurson (Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, *West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN)

June 2015