Amino Acids

, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 1795–1803 | Cite as

Use of homoarginine for measuring true ileal digestibility of amino acids in food protein

  • Jie Yin
  • Wenkai Ren
  • Yongqing Hou
  • Miaomiao Wu
  • Hao Xiao
  • Jielin Duan
  • Yurong Zhao
  • Tiejun Li
  • Yulong YinEmail author
  • Guoyao Wu
  • C. M. Nyachoti
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Homoarginine, Arginine and Relatives


A useful application of homoarginine in animal nutrition is the determination of the true ileal digestibility (TID) of amino acids (AA) in swine complete diets and feed ingredients. The homoarginine method involves the conversion of dietary lysine to homoarginine in a guanidination reaction with methylisourea. Accurate determination of TID of AA, especially in heat-treated feed ingredients, is a key prerequisite for accurate diet formulation with respect to the provision of dietary AA. Thus, the aim of this review is to highlight the homoarginine methodology and its application in animal nutrition. Based on the data from published studies, the homoarginine method can be used to accurately determine the digestibility of lysine and the majority of other acid-stable AA in complete diets and feed ingredients fed to animals.


Homoarginine Guanidination Amino acids True ileal digestibility 



Amino acids


Apparent ileal AA digestibility


True ileal digestibilities



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31330075; 31110103909, 31272217, 31272450, 31101729, 31201813 and 31272451), National Science and Technology Support Program (2012BAD39B03), Scientific Research Program of Hubei Provincial Department of Education (D20141701), the Hubei Hundred Talent program, The Chinese Academy of Science STS Project (KFJ-EW-STS-063), and a Hatch project from Texas A&M AgriLife Research (H-8200).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

No human or animal experiments were required by any of the authors in order to write this review article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Yin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenkai Ren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongqing Hou
    • 3
  • Miaomiao Wu
    • 1
  • Hao Xiao
    • 1
  • Jielin Duan
    • 1
  • Yurong Zhao
    • 4
  • Tiejun Li
    • 1
  • Yulong Yin
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Guoyao Wu
    • 3
    • 5
  • C. M. Nyachoti
    • 6
  1. 1.Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science in South-Central, Ministry of Agriculture, Hunan Provincial Engineering Research Center of Healthy Livestock, Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical RegionInstitute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of SciencesChangshaChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Animal Nutrition and Feed SafetyWuhan Polytechnic UniversityWuhanChina
  4. 4.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of Hunan AgricultureChangshaChina
  5. 5.Department of Animal ScienceTexas A&M UniversityTXUSA
  6. 6.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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