Final report summary: Formulating broiler diets based on protein and starch digestive dynamics

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Given the importance of digestive dynamics to broiler growth performance, Liu and Selle (2017) defined digestive dynamics of starch and protein as the digestion of starch and protein absorption of glucose and amino acids from the gut lumen and their transition across enterocytes to enter the portal circulation. This broad definition considers the extent, rate and site of nutrient digestion along the small intestine and the bilateral, post-enteral bioavailability of glucose and amino acids. Feed conversion efficiency may be improved by rapidly digestible protein or slowly digestible starch, and the impact of protein digestion is more pronounced than starch (Liu and Selle 2015). Dietary optimisation for balanced starch and protein digestion, and glucose and amino acid absorption, cannot be explored fully without appreciating rates of nutrient digestion in various feed ingredients. Therefore, seven studies were completed to determine starch, protein and amino acid digestion and absorption rates in common feedstuffs used in Australia (Liu et al. 2019a; Macelline et al. 2020). The possibility of optimising dietary digestion rate via selecting feed ingredients and manipulating their inclusions was also evaluated (Liu et al. 2020).

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