Effect of Processing on Protein Utilization by Ruminants

  • Glen A. Broderick
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 86)


Processing with heat or chemical reagents will reduce protein digestibility by reducing protein solubility in digestion media, due in part to crosslinking of peptide chains. This effect will have adverse effects on protein utilization by monogastric animals. However, processing may actually improve ruminant protein utilization by reducing ruminal microbial degradation, thereby increasing the proportion of dietary protein escaping to the small intestine for digestion there. Chemical treatments, particularly formaldehyde-treatment, have been used to obtain ruminai protein protection. Results with formaldehyde however, have not yielded consistent improvements in ruminant protein utilization, probably because proteins have been over-protected. Heat-treatments, such as those used during oil extraction from oilseed meals, will also increase ruminal protein escape or by-pass. Experimental results illustrating these effects were obtained with samples of “cold-extracted” cottonseed meal (CSM) which were subjected to graded levels of heat-processing by autoclaving for various lengths of time. Reaction of lysine ε-amino groups with carbohydrate and other compounds was assessed by ninhydrin assay on intact CSM samples. Also measured were N-solubilities in.02N NaOH, free gossypol content, in vitro ruminal degradation rate and estimated ruminai by-pass. Heat-treatment of CSM proteins was found to reduce solubility and ruminai degradation, with corresponding increases in estimated ruminai protein by-pass. Gossypol binding appeared to account for much of the loss of protein amino groups and possibly acted as a crosslinking agent, reducing ruminai solu-bility and therefore degradation. Other aspects of processing and ruminant protein nutrition are also discussed


Formaldehyde Fermentation Sedimentation Carbonyl Lysine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen A. Broderick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceTexas A&M University and Texas Agricultural Experiment StationCollege StationUSA

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