Nutritional value of high fiber co-products from the copra, palm kernel, and rice industries in diets fed to pigs

Hans Henrik Stein, Gloria Amparo Casas, Jerubella Jerusalem Abelilla, Yanhong Liu, Rommel Casilda Sulabo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


High fiber co-products from the copra and palm kernel industries are by-products of the production of coconut oil and palm kernel oil. The co-products include copra meal, copra expellers, palm kernel meal, and palm kernel expellers. All 4 ingredients are very high in fiber and the energy value is relatively low when fed to pigs. The protein concentration is between 14 and 22 % and the protein has a low biological value and a very high Arg:Lys ratio. Digestibility of most amino acids is less than in soybean meal but close to that in corn. However, the digestibility of Lys is sometimes low due to Maillard reactions that are initiated due to overheating during drying. Copra and palm kernel ingredients contain 0.5 to 0.6 % P. Most of the P in palm kernel meal and palm kernel expellers is bound to phytate, but in copra products less than one third of the P is bound to phytate. The digestibility of P is, therefore, greater in copra meal and copra expellers than in palm kernel ingredients. Inclusion of copra meal should be less than 15 % in diets fed to weanling pigs and less than 25 % in diets for growing-finishing pigs. Palm kernel meal may be included by 15 % in diets for weanling pigs and 25 % in diets for growing and finishing pigs. Rice bran contains the pericarp and aleurone layers of brown rice that is removed before polished rice is produced. Rice bran contains approximately 25 % neutral detergent fiber and 25 to 30 % starch. Rice bran has a greater concentration of P than most other plant ingredients, but 75 to 90 % of the P is bound in phytate. Inclusion of microbial phytase in the diets is, therefore, necessary if rice bran is used. Rice bran may contain 15 to 24 % fat, but it may also have been defatted in which case the fat concentration is less than 5 %. Concentrations of digestible energy (DE) and metabolizable energy (ME) are slightly less in full fat rice bran than in corn, but defatted rice bran contains less than 75 % of the DE and ME in corn. The concentration of crude protein is 15 to 18 % in rice bran and the protein has a high biological value and most amino acids are well digested by pigs. Inclusion of rice bran in diets fed to pigs has yielded variable results and based on current research it is recommended that inclusion levels are less than 25 to 30 % in diets for growing-finishing pigs, and less than 20 % in diets for weanling pigs. However, there is a need for additional research to determine the inclusion rates that may be used for both full fat and defatted rice bran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalJournal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 23 2015


  • Copra expellers
  • Copra meal
  • Palm kernel expellers
  • Palm kernel meal
  • Rice bran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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