Interaction between dietary fiber fermentation kinetics and consequences for protein and mineral metabolism in growing pigs

Feed formulation is based on ingredient digestibility data, and the assumption of additivity. However, digestibility data generally do not account for interactions among nutrients or ingredients. An enhanced understanding of protein and fiber digestion rates and extent of their fermentation between feedstuffs would help to optimize feed formulation. Furthermore, macro-minerals, including phosphorus, copper and zinc, are essential nutrients necessary for optimal health and performance. They are, however, also an environmental concern. The proposed study aims: (1) To describe fermentation kinetics of fiber and impacts on nutrient bioavailability and bio-efficacy; (2) To assess the interaction of different rates of dietary fiber and protein digestion kinetics on minerals; (3) To determine nutritional solutions to maximize animal performance and minimize environmental pollution. The milestones of the proposed research project are: (1) Writing a literature review on the impact of rate of fiber and protein digestion on mineral availability and utilization; (2) Developing in vitro fermentation model; (3) and (4) Determining in vivo fiber, protein and mineral kinetics using ileal-cannulated pigs and pigs with portal-vein catheterization; (5) Performing a performance trial. The partner organization gains knowledge to enhance nutrient bioavailability and to increase the utilization efficiency of protein and minerals, thereby limiting their excretion.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ruurd Zijlstra


Charlotte Maria Elisabeth Heyer


Trouw Nutrition Canada


Food science




University of Alberta



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