In Vitro Methods of Assessing Protein Quality for Poultry
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N5A8, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(4), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040551 (registering DOI)
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
Over the years, broiler chickens have been selected for rapid growth which makes them very efficient at depositing body protein in a short period of time. This is important since the broiler sector is expected to contribute to the growing global demand for poultry meat. In light of this, the quality of proteins fed to poultry is becoming more important. The concept of protein nutrition is based on the sequential process through which proteins are digested, and the amino acids are absorbed and become available for metabolic processes. The nutritional quality of protein ingredients for poultry is based on their amino acid bioavailability. Animal and plant ingredients are the main sources of protein used in poultry diets and they vary in digestibility and amino acid composition. Although in vivo digestibility assays for poultry are available, they are expensive and time consuming to conduct. In vivo digestibility assays are the optimum tools for characterizing protein sources to be used in commercial production, but it is not always practical to conduct these assays in commercial settings. Commercial production, therefore, relies on the use of other assays such as in vitro assays to evaluate the quality of protein sources.