Growth performance, carcass characteristics and bioavailability of isoflavones in pigs fed soy bean based diets

Gerda Kuhn, U. Hennig, Claudia Kalbe, Charlotte Rehfeldt, M. Q. Ren, S. Moors, Gisela H. Degen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A growth trial with 38 weaners (castrated male pigs) was designed to compare the growth performance and carcass quality of pigs fed diets containing either soy bean meal or soy protein concentrate in a pair-feeding design. Soy bean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) differed in isoflavone (daidzein plus genistein) content (782 μg/g in SBM and 125 μg/g in SPC, respectively). During the experiment, all pigs were fed four-phases-diets characterized by decreasing protein concentrations with increasing age (weaner I, weaner II, grower, finisher diets). Rations of control and experimental groups were isoenergetic, isonitrogenous, and isoaminogen. The weanling pigs with an initial live weight of 8.4 ± 1.1 kg were allotted to flat deck boxes. During the growing/finishing period (days 70-170 of age), the pigs were housed in single boxes. Both, the weaning and the grower/finishing performances (daily body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio) were similar in both groups. No differences were found between the groups in carcass composition (percentages of cuts, tissues, and protein/fat), and meat quality of pigs. Moreover, the IGF-1R mRNA expression in longissimus muscle was not influenced by the kind of soy product. However, circulating levels of isoflavones were clearly different between pigs fed SBM (genistein 239 ± 44; daidzein 162 ± 42; equol 12 ± 4 ng/ml plasma) and animals fed SPC (genistein 22 ± 9 and daidzein 8 ± 3, and equol 10 ± 3 ng/ml plasma). The results confirm the expected differences in the bioavailability of soy isoflavones, yet, there were no significant differences in performance of pigs fed either soy bean meal or soy protein concentrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-276
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Animal Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Carcass composition
  • Growth performance
  • Insulin-like growth factor-1R mRNA
  • Meat quality
  • Pigs
  • Soy bean isoflavone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Growth performance, carcass characteristics and bioavailability of isoflavones in pigs fed soy bean based diets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this