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Digestibility of protein and amino acids in selected foods as determined by a rat balance method

Abstract

Values (%) for true digestibility of crude protein and individual amino acids in 20 selected foods were determined by the rat balance (fecal) method. The products were fed as the sole source of protein in diets containing 8% crude protein (N × 6.25). Lowest true protein digestibility values (79–84) were obtained for pinto beans, kidney beans and lentils; intermediate values (89–92) were obtained for chick peas, beef stew, skim milk (over heated), rolled oats, whole wheat cereal, and pea protein concentrate; and highest values (94–100) were obtained for sausage, macaroni-cheese, rice-wheat gluten cereal, skim milk, tuna, soy isolate, peanut butter, chicken frankfurters, beef salami, casein and casein + methionine. In animal foods, peanut butter and soy isolate, the differences between true digestibility of crude protein and most individual amino acids were less than 5%. However, the values for true digestibility of methionine and cystine were up to 44% lower than those of crude protein in pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, chick peas and pea concentrate. In these legumes, digestibility of crude protein was not a good predictor of digestibility of the limiting amino acids.

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Sarwar, G., Peace, R.W., Botting, H.G. et al. Digestibility of protein and amino acids in selected foods as determined by a rat balance method. Plant Food Hum Nutr 39, 23–32 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01092398

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Key words

  • animal and vegetable proteins
  • protein and amino acid digestibilities
  • rat balance method