University of Manitoba Prepares to Expand Assessment of Pearling to Clean Fusarium Contaminated Barley

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2210. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 3 August 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2210

Scientists at the University of Manitoba are preparing to launch an expanded full scale assessment of the value of pearling as a means of removing mycotoxin from fusarium contaminated barley.

Fusarium head blight, a fungal infection which primarily affects cereal crops, produces a mycotoxin, deoxynivalenon, which, when included in swine rations, tends to cause feed refusal resulting in slower growth.

Commercial scale pilot studies conducted by the University of Manitoba have shown pearling or dehulling to be an effective way to decontaminate affected grain and researchers are now planning a large scale economic assessment of the technique.

Associate professor Dr. Jim House explains the preliminary work, which used a commercially available abrasive dehuller that grinds away the outer portion of the grain, removed up to 70 percent of the DON.

"By getting rid of the hull fraction of barley, we actually increase the digestible energy fraction because you get rid of the fibre fraction which has a dilution effect on the energy so you get a benefit of increasing the energy level and you also get rid of the DON, so you get a double benefit. That's really at the heart of the economic assessment, to make sure we factor in all of these parameters. We were able to characterize the energy value.

We were able to characterize that yes, in fact, pigs do perform very well on these dehulled grains so that's really at the heart of our current study that we're setting up, to really assess it over three production cycles to determine what are the potential advantages of using this technique as a risk management strategy."

Dr. House notes, while the commercial scale study provided enough grain to conduct a number of short term feeding studies with pigs during the starter, or early weaned phase, the expanded program will allow scientists to assess the economic viability of the technique throughout the grower finish phase.

The large scale study is scheduled to get underway next month and continue until August 2008.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

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