Future trends in nutrition for animals show that the formulation of feeds will face an increasing challenge of a global protein shortage. Solutions to this challenge require a multi-targeted approach including efficient use of existing protein sources, development of new protein sources (for example of plant, insect and/or marine origin), increased use of by-products of food and biofuel production, and of food waste and other strategies to increase global protein utilization.
It is, however, presently unknown what the impact is of the use of new and existing protein sources in animal feeds on the functionality and health of the gut. This project proposes to investigate the impact of the use of new protein sources in animal feeds on the degradation kinetics in the digestive tract and the nutritional value in pigs and poultry.
The objective of this project is to unravel the kinetics of protein digestion in the gut of pigs and poultry and to investigate the effects on biological processes related to the digestive function of the gut, its integrity and barrier function, and its immune capacity. To this end research activities will be performed to unravel the kinetics of protein digestion in the digestive tract of pigs and poultry of important protein sources of plant (e.g. rapeseed, wheat and soya), and animal origin (insects and products of specific tissues of animal origin) in their native or currently available form and after modification by enzymatic hydrolysis with the aim to optimize degradation of these feed ingredients in terms of delivery of nutrients (nutritional value) and functional bioactive proteins and peptides using both in vitro and in vivo models.