Estimation of correction factors to determine the true amino acid concentration of protein after a 24-hour hydrolysis


Lapierre, H., Binggeli, S., Sok, M., Pellerin, D., Ouellet, D.R. (2019). Estimation of correction factors to determine the true amino acid concentration of protein after a 24-hour hydrolysis. Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), [online] 102(2), 1205-1212.

Plain language summary

The time of hydrolysis required for a complete recovery of each amino acid (AA) from proteins varies between AA. The true AA composition was estimated by nonlinear regression or as the maximal concentration using multiple hydrolysis times of different proteins. The ratios of the true AA composition relative to 24-h hydrolysis values were not affected by the types of proteins for essential AA: a single factor, different for each AA, can be applied to all protein sources. We propose correction factors to apply to 24-h hydrolysis values to improve the accuracy of the predictions of AA supply by dairy ration formulation models.


Although it has been acknowledged for a long time that a single period of hydrolysis, normally 21 to 24 h, is not the optimal time for most of the AA, a single period is routinely used due to time and cost constraints. As models to balance dairy rations for proteins are evolving toward balancing for AA, it becomes critical to improve the predictions of AA supply from digested proteins. Our objective was to develop correction factors that could systematically be applied to AA concentrations obtained after a 24-h hydrolysis of proteins to account for incomplete recovery and therefore determine their true AA composition. Thirteen substrates were selected to represent different types of proteins commonly used to estimate the supply of AA in ration formulation models: feed ingredients (grass silage, corn silage, soybean meal, canola meal, high-protein corn dried distillers grains, and wheat dried distillers grains plus solubles), 16-h rumen residues (soybean meal and canola meal), digesta (duodenal digesta and feces), and rumen microorganisms (fluid-associated bacteria, particle-associated bacteria and protozoa). Each protein was hydrolyzed in 6 N HCl for multiple hydrolysis times: 13 (2, 4, 8, 12, 18, 21, 24, 30, 48, 72, 96, 120, and 168 h) for feed ingredients, rumen residues, and digesta, and 9 (2, 4, 8, 18, 24, 30, 48, 96, and 168 h) for rumen microorganisms; all analyses were conducted in triplicate. Using nonlinear regression, the AA composition in the protein before the hydrolysis (A 0 ) was derived for each AA in each protein. Two ratios were calculated as potential correction factors: A 0 /24-h concentration (A 0 /24h) and the maximal concentration/24-h concentration (max/24h). Both ratios were tested to determine if the type of proteins was affecting them. The ratios A 0 /24h were not affected by the type of proteins, whereas the ratios max/24h were also not affected by the type of proteins except for 3 nonessential AA (Ala, Glu, and Gly). In an attempt to propose correction factors, our results were combined with results from the literature reporting ratios A 0 /24h, ratios max/24h, or the ratio of the AA composition calculated from gene structure/24 h. The correction factors proposed for individual AA varied from 1.02 (Asp) to 1.12 (Thr). For the essential AA, the highest ratios were obtained, as expected, for the branched-chain AA and Thr. Formulation programs balancing dairy rations for essential AA would need to acknowledge the incomplete recovery of AA when obtained from 24-h hydrolysis and include correction factors, specific for each AA, but the same across different types of proteins, to correctly estimate the true AA supply to dairy cows.

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