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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The enzymatic in vitro evaluation of protein sources for monogastric animals using the pH-stat method Mann, Jasminder Jason


Three experiments were conducted to study the sensitivity of the pH-stat (in vitro) method in the prediction of true digestibility (TD), as measured by amount of base added, of plant proteins, either alone or in the presence of specific additives (nitrogen-free mixture, vitamin mixture and/or mineral mixture) as part of a complete diet of plant proteins that had been subjected to various levels and forms of heating. The in vitro TD values were then compared with TD values obtained in. vivo (Wistar rats). In experiment 1, the effect of temperature (dry-heating at 80, 100, 120, 150, 180 and 240° C or autoclaving at 121° C) and time (30, 60, 120 and 240 minutes) of heat application on in vitro base consumption (BC) was measured in 3 grains (wheat, barley and sorghum) and whole defatted soybeans. The largest increase in BC measured by the pH-stat method was that of soybeans in response to 30 minutes of autoclaving. Dry heating had various effects on the BC by soybeans, depending upon temperature and time of application, but none of the treatments was as beneficial as autoclaving. Mild, dry-heating of grains at 80-120° C improved BC slightly. The improvement was most marked for wheat. Both dry-heating of grain at temperatures above 120° C and autoclaving reduced the BC significantly for all durations. In experiment 2, the effect of inclusion of non-protein dietary components (minerals, vitamins and a nitrogen-free mixture, singly and in combination) on in. vitro BC measured by the pH-stat method of wheat and fat-extracted soybeans (both proteins in the raw and autoclaved forms) was monitored. For the wheat treatments, the inclusion of a mineral mixture significantly (p<0.001>) increased digestibility. This effect was greatest with autoclaved wheat. It was concluded that, in general, the presence of minerals increased the rate of hydrolysis. With raw soybeans, the distinction between treatments was less well-defined. The treatments containing vitamin or nitrogen-free and mineral combination mixtures were digested to a significantly greater extent than the raw soybeans alone. With autoclaved soybeans, additives had no effect. This lack of response to additives may have been due to the rather large amount of base required by the autoclaved soybean protein alone. In experiment 3, a series of rat-feeding trials were conducted in conjunction with in. vitro digestions. Diets were fed to groups of Wistar rats to determine TD, Biological Value (BV), and Net Protein Utilization (NPU) in vivo. Although BV was measured it was not relevant for this work. Concurrently, the same diets were tested for in. vitro TD by the pH-stat method. Specific regression equations were developed for each protein-type tested, after it was determined that a much lower correlation coefficient was obtained when one general equation was utilized. The newly-developed equations followed the format y = a + bx, where y = TD (as a part of one), a = the y-intercept, b = slope of the function and x = ml 0.10N NaOH added during the 10-minute digestion. Regression equations, correlation coefficients (r) and standard errors for each regression (s) between in. vitro and in vivo true digestibility of proteins were as follows; Soybean, soybean (autoclaved), soybean/wheat combinations (n = 6) r = 0.93 TD = 0.7868 + 0.2175x s = 0.018 Sorghum (raw, autoclaved, 90° C, 120° C, 180° C dry-heated, steamed) (n = 6) r = 0.92 TD = 0.4575 + 1.8841x a = 0.058 Alfalfa pellets/hay in combination with either wheat or barley (n = 13) r = 0.91 TD = 0.3446 + 1.0356x s = 0.046Alfalfa hay and barley combinations (n = 5) r = 0.96 TD = 0.2360 + 1.3194x s = 0.048 Grains (19 barleys, 10 triticales, 6 sorghums, and 2 wheats) (n = 37) r = 0.74 TD = 0.7419 + 0.4759x s = 0.044 In general, it can be stated that the pH-stat method is a useful method for screening proteins for the effect of various treatments on digestibility. Damage due to abnormally severe processing conditions (i.e. heating) is readily detected by the pH-stat technique as indicated by a decrease in the amount of base consumed during enzymatic hydrolysis.

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