Scientists at the City University of Hong Kong and Kansas State University have produced a study showing that replacing some of the standard corn–soybean meal in pig farming with distiller-dried grain with solubles (DDGS) could reduce carbon dioxide emissions, land use and terrestrial ecotoxicity.

Low-carbon pork production is a topic getting increasing attention as a result of global efforts to build a sustainable economy. The team of researchers for this study focused on the swine diet formulation in the US and examined the impact of DDGS inclusion levels of 10.1%, labelled low, and 28.8%, labelled high. They set out to prove that DDGS, being a by-product of ethanol production, are a more sustainable feed option.

The results show that a 28.8% DDGS diet could save 0.04 kg of CO2 equivalent per pound of DDGS feed at the feed production stage, as compared to the standard corn–soybean meal. It could also reduce land use by 26% and terrestrial ecotoxicity by 8% compared to a standard diet.