Growth Performance, Plasma Fatty Acids, Villous Height and Crypt Depth of Preweaning Piglets Fed with Medium Chain Triacylglycerol

  • Chwen, Loh Teck (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia) ;
  • Foo, Hooi Ling (Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia) ;
  • Thanh, Nguyen Tien (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia) ;
  • Choe, D.W. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia)
  • Received : 2012.10.09
  • Accepted : 2012.12.15
  • Published : 2013.05.01


A study was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding medium chain triacylglycerol (MCT) on growth performance, plasma fatty acids, villus height and crypt depth in preweaning piglets. A total of 150 new born piglets were randomly assigned into one of three treatments: i) Control (no MCT); ii) MCT with milk (MCT+milk); iii) MCT without milk (MCT+fasting). Body weight, plasma fatty acid profiles, villus height and crypt depth were measured. Final BW for the Control and MCT+fasting was lower (p<0.05) than MCT+milk. The piglets fed with MCT regardless of milk provision or fasting had greater medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) than the Control. In contrast, the Control had greater long chain fatty acid (LCFA) and unsaturated fatty acid (USFA) than the MCT piglets. The piglets fed with MCT regardless of milk provision or fasting had higher villus height for the duodenum and jejunum after 6 h of feeding. Similar observations were found in piglets fed with MCT after 6 and 8 days of treatment. This study showed that feeding MCT to the piglets before weaning improved growth performance, with a greater concentration of MCT in blood plasma as energy source and a greater height of villus in duodenum, jejunum and ileum.


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