Amid tight global supplies of feed corn due to drought in the United States, researchers of Central Research Institute for Feed and Livestock said Thursday, October 10, that feed corn imported from the U.S. can be replaced by those imported from Argentina and Brazil, which have been on increase in recent years.
In a symposium held in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Kazuyoshi Matsubara, a researcher of the Ibaraki-based institute run by the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations (JA Zen-noh), reported on the comparison of nutritional components in corn grown in different countries. Although they differ little in terms of gross energy or the amount of protein contained, the research found that Argentine corn contains more xanthophyll, a yellow pigment, and Brazilian corn contains higher amount of carotene and vitamin A.
Higher amount of xanthophyll is considered to have effects on the color of chicken meat and egg yolk. Kazuaki Suzuki, a researcher on poultry raising at the institute, said experiments have shown that the color changes a little according to the amount of xanthophyll. But he said the change is within the range of individual differences in the case of chicken, and in the case of egg yolk, the differences in color can be minimized by giving paprika to chickens.
As for Brazilian corn with higher amount of carotene, the researchers examined its effect on cattle, comparing it with U.S.-grown corn. According to researcher Masahide Tani, there were no differences found in the amount and nutritional components of milk when comparing cattle that were fed U.S. corn and those fed Brazilian corn. Similarly, no differences were found in gain and feed efficiency, Tani explained. Further experiments will be conducted to see the effects of higher amount of vitamin A, Tani said.
(Oct. 11, 2013)