Evaluation of the furosine and homoarginine methods for determining reactive lysine in rumen-undegraded protein

S E Boucher, C Pedersen, H H Stein, C G Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Three samples of soybean meal (SBM), 3 samples of expeller SBM (SoyPlus, West Central Cooperative, Ralston, IA), 5 samples of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and 5 samples of fish meal were used to evaluate the furosine and homoarginine procedures to estimate reactive Lys in the rumen-undegraded protein fraction (RUP-Lys). One sample each of SBM, expeller SBM, and DDGS were subjected to additional heat treatment in the lab to ensure there was a wide range in reactive RUP-Lys content among the samples. Furosine is a secondary product of the initial stages of the Maillard reaction and can be used to calculate blocked Lys. Homoarginine is formed via the reaction of reactive Lys with O-methylisourea and can be used to calculate the concentration of reactive Lys. In previous experiments, each sample was ruminally incubated in situ for 16 h, and standardized RUP-Lys digestibility of the samples was determined in cecectomized roosters. All rumen-undegraded residue (RUR) samples were analyzed for furosine and Lys; however, only 9 of the 16 samples contained furosine, and only the 4 unheated DDGS samples contained appreciable amounts of furosine. Blocked RUP-Lys was calculated from the furosine and Lys concentrations of the RUR. Both the intact feed and RUR samples were evaluated using the homoarginine method. All samples were incubated with an O-methylisourea/BaOH solution for 72 h and analyzed for Lys and homoarginine concentrations. Reactive Lys concentrations of the intact feeds and RUR were calculated. Results of the experiment indicate that blocked RUP-Lys determined via the furosine method was negatively correlated with standardized RUP-Lys digestibility, and reactive RUP-Lys determined via the guanidination method was positively correlated with standardized RUP-Lys digestibility. Reactive Lys concentrations of the intact samples were also highly correlated with RUP-Lys digestibility. In conclusion, the furosine assay is useful in predicting RUP-Lys digestibility of DDGS samples, and the guanidination procedure can be used to predict RUP-Lys digestibility of SBM, expeller SBM, DDGS, and fish meal samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3951-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Female
  • Homoarginine
  • Lysine
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rumen
  • Soybeans
  • Evaluation Studies
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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