Relationship between in vitro assays and standardized ileal amino acid digestibility of animal protein meals in broilers.
The in vivo protein quality of 14 meat and bone meals (MBM) was evaluated in three chick growth assays and a 48-h excreta collection assay using conventional and cecectomized roosters. In addition, in vitro evaluation of protein quality was assessed using pepsin N digestibility (0.2, 0.002, or 0.0002% pepsin), KOH protein solubility, and multi-enzyme pH change. Crude protein, lysine, and SAA in the MBM varied from 48 to 56, 2.32 to 3.01, and 1.0 to 2.13%, respectively. Protein efficiency ratio (weight gain:protein intake) estimated from feeding chicks diets containing 9% protein from a MBM ranged from 0.61 to 2.89 and averaged 1.78. Lysine bioavailability determined by slope-ratio chick assay ranged from 43 to 89%. True amino acid digestibility and TMEn values determined in cecectomized roosters were generally lower (P < 0.05) than those determined in conventional roosters. True digestibility of amino acids (percentage) also varied among MBM, with the mean (and range) for lysine, methionine, and cystine in cecectomized birds being 81 (73 to 88), 85 (77 to 91), and 58% (37 to 72%), respectively. Pepsin N digestibility values determined using 0.002 or 0.0002% pepsin were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with lysine digestibility. Pepsin N digestibility determined using 0.2% pepsin, KOH protein solubility, and multi-enzyme pH change were not significantly correlated with in vivo protein quality. Ash content was negatively correlated (-0.80, P < 0.05) with protein efficiency ratio. These results indicated that there is substantial variation in protein quality among commercial MBM and that pepsin N digestibility and ash content are correlated with some in vivo protein quality measurements.