In current feed evaluation systems, the nutritional value of protein sources in diets for pigs is based on the ileal digestibility of protein and amino acids, which does not account for the kinetics of protein digestion along the gastrointestinal tract. The objective of the present study was to determine the in vitro protein digestion kinetics of different protein sources (soya bean meal (SBM), wheat gluten (WG), rapeseed meal (RSM), whey powder (WP), dried porcine plasma protein, yellow meal worm larvae and black soldier fly larvae (BSF)). Protein sources were incubated with pepsin at pH 3.5 for 0 to 90 min and subsequently with pancreatin at pH 6.8 for 0 to 210 min at 39°C. The in vitro protein digestion kinetics were described as the kinetics of nitrogen (N) solubilisation and the release of low molecular weight peptides (LMW) (<500 Da). The N solubilisation rate ranged from 0.025 min-1 for BSF to 0.685 min-1 for WP during the incubation with pepsin, and from 0.027 min-1 for RSM to 0.343 min-1 for WP during the incubation with pancreatin. The release rate of LMW peptides ranged from 0.027 min-1 for WG to 0.093 min-1 for WP during the incubation with pepsin, and from 0.029 min-1 for SBM to 0.385 min-1 for WP. Black soldier fly larvae showed a similar release rate of LMW peptides as WP during the incubation with pancreatin. At the end of the sequential incubation with pepsin (90 min) and pancreatin (210 min), WG and WP showed the highest percentage of N present in LMW peptides relative to total N (78% and 79%, respectively), whereas SBM showed the lowest (35%). In conclusion, protein sources for pig diets show substantial differences in in vitro protein digestion kinetics as measured by the kinetics of N solubilisation and the release of LMW peptides. The rate of release of LMW peptides was not correlated to the rate of N solubilisation for each of the protein sources evaluated.
- black soldier fly larvae
- gastrointestinal protein degradation
- plant protein sources
- porcine plasma
- yellow meal worm