In situ ruminal degradability and intestinal digestibility of protein in soybean and dried distillers grains with solubles products.



Document Type


Publication Date



Journal of Dairy Science


E-Suppl. 1








New fractionation and fermentation technologies in the ethanol industry have resulted in the production of different forms of distillers grains (DG). Such products are reduced-fat, high-protein, and "modified" wet feeds. Characterization of protein fractions of these co-products and other commonly used feedstuffs is important for the formulation of dairy cattle diets. In situ and in vitro techniques were conducted to compare crude protein (CP) availability in 4 DG products with commonly used soybean proteins. Soybean protein products included solvent-extracted soybean meal (SBM; 44% CP), expeller soybean meal (ESBM), and extruded soybeans (ES). The DG products were conventional distillers dried grains with solubles, reduced-fat distillers dried grains with solubles (RFDGS), high-protein distillers dried grains, and modified wet distillers grains with solubles (MWDGS). Nylon bags containing 5 g of each feed were incubated in the rumen of 3 cannulated lactating cows for 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, and 48 h. The rapidly degradable CP fraction varied from 8.1 to 37.2% for SBM and MWDGS, respectively. The slowly degradable CP fraction was greatest for SBM, ES, and high-protein distillers dried grains (88.0%+/-3.7), followed by ESBM, distillers dried grains with solubles, and RFDGS (76.8+/-4.1%). The MWDGS had the lowest slowly degradable CP fraction (61.1%). The rate of degradation of the slowly degradable CP fraction ranged from 11.8 for SBM to 2.7%/h for RFDGS. Rumen-undegradable protein varied widely (32.3 to 60.4%), with RFDGS having the greatest and SBM the lowest concentrations. Intestinal digestibility of rumen-undegradable protein (IDP) was estimated by pepsin-pancreatin digestion of ruminally preincubated (16 h) samples. The IDP was greatest for SBM, ESBM, and ES (97.7%+/-0.75), whereas IDP of DG products was 92.4%+/-0.87. Similarly, total digestible protein was greatest (99.0%) for soybean products, whereas DG products had a total digestible protein of 96.0%. Intestinal digestibility of most AA in DG products exceeded 92% and was slightly lower than for soybean products, except for Lys, where the digestibility was 84.6% for DG compared with 97.3% for soybean products. Absorbable Lys was lower for DG (7.0 g/kg of CP) compared with ESBM and ES (average of 23.8 g/kg of CP). Dried DG, ESBM, and ES provided more absorbable AA compared with SBM and MWDGS. These results suggest that the AA availability from DG products is comparable with that from soybean products.