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In situ ruminal degradation of amino acids and in vitro protein digestibility of undegraded CP of dried distillers’ grains with solubles from European ethanol plants*

  • E. Westreicher-Kristen (a1), H. Steingass (a1) and M. Rodehutscord (a1)


The objectives of this study were to compare the in situ ruminal degradation of CP and amino acids (AAs) of dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS), and to estimate intestinal digestibility (ID) of undegradable crude protein (UDP) with the in vitro pepsin–pancreatin solubility of CP (PPS), using either DDGS samples (DDGS-s) or DDGS residues (DDGS-r) obtained after 16 h ruminal incubation. Thirteen samples originating from wheat, corn, barley and blends were studied. Lysine and methionine content of DDGS-s varied from 1.4 to 4.0 and 1.3 to 2.0 g/16 g N, respectively. The milk protein score (MPS) of DDGS-s was low and ranged from 0.36 to 0.51, and lysine and isoleucine were estimated to be the most limiting AAs in DDGS-s and DDGS-r. DDGS-r contained slightly more essential AAs (EAAs) than did the DDGS-s. Rumen degradation after 16 h varied from 44% to 94% for CP, from 39% to 90% for lysine and from 35% to 92% for methionine. Linear regressions showed that the ruminal degradation of individual AAs can be predicted from CP degradation. The PPS of DDGS-s was higher than that of DDGS-r and it varied from 70% to 89% and from 47% to 81%, respectively. There was no significant correlation between the PPS of DDGS-s and PPS of DDGS-r (R2=0.31). The estimated intestinally absorbable dietary protein (IADP) averaged 21%. Moderate correlation was found between the crude fibre (CF) content and PPS of DDGS-r (R2=0.43). This study suggests an overestimation of the contribution of UDP of DDGS to digestible protein supply in the duodenum in some currently used protein evaluation systems. More research is required and recommended to assess the intestinal digestibility of AAs from DDGS.


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Presented in part at the annual meeting of the Society of Nutrition Physiology, Göttingen, Germany, March 20 to 22, 2012: Westreicher, E., Steingaß, H., Rodehutscord, M. (2012): In situ ruminal degradation of crude protein and amino acids and in vitro protein digestibility of undegraded protein in DDGS. Proc Soc Nutr Physiol 21: 99.



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