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The effect of equi-molar dietary betaine and choline addition on performance and carcass quality of pigs

  • H. Siljander-Rasi (a1), K. Tiihonen (a2), S. Peuranen (a2) and P.H. Simmins (a3)

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Betaine has three chemically reactive methyl groups attached to the nitrogen atom of the glycine molecule. Therefore, it can be used as a methyl group donor partially to replace methionine in poultry and pig diets. Recent work also suggests that betaine has an energy sparing role by reducing maintenance requirement of the pig (Schrama and Gerrits, 2000). Betaine has improved performance and carcass leanness in some studies but the results are variable and seem to depend on age and sex of the animal, feeding level and diet composition.

Choline can also be used as methyl donor in animal feeds. In poultry, methyl groups are available after the conversion to betaine in the liver. However, dietary betaine is twice as efficient as the equi-molar dietary choline for increasing liver betaine levels in broiler chick (Saarinen et al., 2000). The aim of this study was to compare the response of pigs fed equi-molar betaine and choline in terms of pig performance and carcass characteristics.

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Cromwell, M.D., Lindemann, J.R. Randolph, H.J., Moneque, K.M. and Parker, G.R. 1999. Efficacy of betaine as a carcass modifier in finishing pigs fed normal and reduced energy diets. Journal of Animal Science 77, Suppl. 1: 179.
Saarinen, M.T., Kettunen, H., Pulliainen, K., Peuranen, S., Tiihonen, K. and Remus, J. 2000. A novel method to analyse betaine in chicken liver – the effect of dietary betaine and choline supplementation on the hepatic betaine concentration in broiler chicks. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, in press.
Schrama, J.W. and Gerrits, W.J.J. 2000. Effect of dietary betaine supplementation on energy partitioning in pigs. Internal report, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands. 24 p.

The effect of equi-molar dietary betaine and choline addition on performance and carcass quality of pigs

  • H. Siljander-Rasi (a1), K. Tiihonen (a2), S. Peuranen (a2) and P.H. Simmins (a3)

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