1655
The effect of dietary supplementation of artificial sweetener on performance of milk-fed calves

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
Adriana Siurana , Animal Nutrition and Welfare Service, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain
Emma H Wall , Pancosma, Geneva, Switzerland
Maria RodrŪguez , Animal Nutrition and Welfare Service, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain
Lorena Castillejos , Animal Nutrition and Welfare Service, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain
Alfred Ferret , Animal Nutrition and Welfare Service, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain
Sergio Calsamiglia , Animal Nutrition and Welfare Service, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain
Abstract Text:

The small intestine contains nutrient receptors that react to changes in the composition of ingested feed. The feed additive Sucram® (Pancosma, Switzerland) is an artificial sweetener that has been shown to increase absorption of glucose from the small intestine by activating sweet taste receptors in swine, this response results in improved animal performance. Recently, it was reported that a similar increase in glucose absorption was observed in calves supplemented with Sucram®; however, it was unclear if there is a corresponding improvement in calf performance.  Therefore, the current experiment was performed to determine the effect of Sucram® on performance of milk-fed calves. Sixteen male Holstein calves were assigned to two treatments (n = 8 per treatment): control (no additive), or Sucram® (daily supplementation of 400 mg g Sucram® per kg dry matter of milk replacer). All calves received 2 feeding/d of 2 L of milk replacer plus ad libitum commercial concentrate until weaning (50 days of age). Calves were weighed at the beginning and at the end of the experiment. Individual calf concentrate intake was measured weekly. Blood samples were collected the last day of the trial before feeding to analyze levels of insulin and glucose.  Feed efficiency was calculated for each animal (total weight gain/average weekly concentrate intake from weeks 2 to 5).   Data were subjected to analysis of variance using the Mixed Procedure of SAS.  For body weight and concentrate intake, data for week 1 were used as a covariate in the analysis.  There were no effect of Sucram® on final body weight (67.0 vs. 67.3 kg; P = 0.93), but there was a decrease in feed intake of Sucram® calves (6.5 vs. 5.7 kg/wk; P = 0.10). Therefore, efficiency of feed was higher in animals supplemented with Sucram® (gain/feed = 4.8 vs. 5.71; P = 0.10). There was no effect of Sucram® on the concentration of serum insulin (0.23 vs. 0.21 µg/L; P = 0.74) or glucose (78.8 vs. 82.6 mg/dL; P = 0.45).  We conclude that supplementation of milk-fed calves with artificial sweetener improves feed efficiency.  However, additional experiments are needed to determine the mechanism underlying this response.  The use of Sucram® in milk replacer represents a potential management tool for dairy producers to increase feed efficiency of milk-fed calves and decrease the cost of animal rearing on commercial farms.


Keywords: sweetener, performance, milk-fed calves