Protein characteristics reflecting in vivo protein quality in pig diets

The first PhD project in this sub-line is entitled: Protein characteristics reflecting in vivo protein quality in pig diets. The project aims to find and/or develop fast and accurate chemical analysis techniques for the evaluation of protein quality in pig diets in order to formulate diets reflecting the pigs’ needs.

Due to the (sometimes) large differences between batches and cultivars of feed ingredients, there is a growing interest in the development of chemical techniques that can rapidly and accurately reflect protein quality.

This PhD project will focus on several analysis techniques used nowadays to determine protein quality, such as the protein dispensability test (as measure for protein solubility), the urease test (as measure for trypsin inhibitor levels), and the reactive lysine test (as measure for the amount of available lysine).

All tests will be judged on their ability to accurately reflect in vivo protein digestibility, absorption, and utilization. This will be done by performing in vivo digestibility and N-balance trials with pigs. The test that is fast, practically applicable and accurately reflects protein quality will be chosen to be used in feed manufacturing plants. In this way, feed manufacturers can measure protein quality of which the values can be used in feed matrices to formulate pig diets.

There are two additional PhD projects involved in this sub-line which both focus on different or novel processing treatments either for animal feed or human food. The potential effects on protein quality of the different or novel processing treatments can be assessed by the test chosen in this PhD project. The animal feed project also focusses on pig diets and the human food project will use the pig as a model for digestibility in humans.