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Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology

, 8:39

First Online: 03 May 2017Received: 06 October 2016Accepted: 12 April 2017DOI: 10.1186-s40104-017-0171-7

Cite this article as: Święch, E. J Animal Sci Biotechnol 2017 8: 39. doi:10.1186-s40104-017-0171-7


Precise knowledge of the actual nutritional value of individual feedstuffs and complete diets for pigs is important for efficient livestock production. Methods of assessment of protein and energy values in pig feeds have been briefly described. In vivo determination of protein and energy values of feeds in pigs are time-consuming, expensive and very often require the use of surgically-modified animals. There is a need for more simple, rapid, inexpensive and reproducible methods for routine feed evaluation. Protein and energy values of pig feeds can be estimated using the following alternative methods: 1 prediction equations based on chemical composition; 2 animal models as rats, cockerels and growing pigs for adult animals; 3 rapid methods, such as the mobile nylon bag technique and in vitro methods. Alternative methods developed for predicting the total tract and ileal digestibility of nutrients including amino acids in feedstuffs and diets for pigs have been reviewed. This article focuses on two in vitro methods that can be used for the routine evaluation of amino acid ileal digestibility and energy value of pig feeds and on factors affecting digestibility determined in vivo in pigs and by alternative methods. Validation of alternative methods has been carried out by comparing the results obtained using these methods with those acquired in vivo in pigs. In conclusion, energy and protein values of pig feeds may be estimated with satisfactory precision in rats and by the two- or three-step in vitro methods providing equations for the calculation of standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids and metabolizable energy content. The use of alternative methods of feed evaluation is an important way for reduction of stressful animal experiments.

KeywordsEnergy value In vitro Pig Protein value Rat AbbreviationsAAAmino acid

AIDApparent ileal digestibility

ATTDApparent total tract digestibility

DEDigestible energy

EAALEndogenous amino acids losses

EPLEndogenous protein losses

MEMetbolizable energy

MNBTMobile nylon bag technique

NENet energy

NIRSNear-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

SIDStandardized ileal digestibility

TIDTrue ileal digestibility

TIM-1In vitro model of the stomach and small intestine

TIM-2In vitro model of the large intestine

uDMUndigested dry matter determined in vitro

Autor: Ewa Święch


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