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In vitro techniques to replace in vivo methods for estimating amino acid supply

  • T. Hvelplund (a1) and M. R. Weisbjerg (a1)

Abstract

Expressing the protein value of a food involves measurements of several of its characteristics. Many in vivo studies have shown, that the protein degradability in the rumen varies substantially both between and within foods and therefore estimation of protein degradability in the rumen is an important task in protein evaluation. The most common method used has been the in situ (in sacco, nylon bag) method but many in vitro methods have been introduced and are based on use of either buffer solubility, chemical methods, rumen fluid or enzymes. None of these in vitro methods has proven to be of general use. In further development of in vitro methods as well as the in situ method a major problem is lack of a set of samples with a ‘true’ in vivo degradability which can be used for calibration of alternative methods. Microbial protein synthesis in the rumen has to be related to food characteristics which can be analysed easily. In vitro methods which can predict organic matter digestibility in foods are available and can be used to predict microbial protein synthesis in the rumen. Intestinal digestibility of undegraded dietary protein varies substantially both between and within foods and easy methods to estimate intestinal digestibility are therefore essential. The mobile bag method is easy to use and seems to give reliable results on most foods but requires access to duodenal cannulated animals which prevents this method from being routine. Alternative in vitro methods have been developed but further research is required for validation of these methods on a wide range of foods before they can be accepted for general use.

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In vitro techniques to replace in vivo methods for estimating amino acid supply

  • T. Hvelplund (a1) and M. R. Weisbjerg (a1)

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