Composition of amino acids in feed ingredients for animal diets Academic Article uri icon


  • Dietary amino acids (AA) are crucial for animal growth, development, reproduction, lactation, and health. However, there is a scarcity of information regarding complete composition of "nutritionally nonessential AA" (NEAA; those AA which can be synthesized by animals) in diets. To provide a much-needed database, we quantified NEAA (including glutamate, glutamine, aspartate, and asparagine) in feed ingredients for comparison with "nutritionally essential AA" (EAA; those AA whose carbon skeletons cannot be formed by animals). Except for gelatin and feather meal, animal and plant ingredients contained high percentages of glutamate plus glutamine, branched-chain AA, and aspartate plus asparagine, which were 10-32, 15-25, and 8-14% of total protein, respectively. In particular, leucine and glutamine were most abundant in blood meal and casein (13% of total protein), respectively. Notably, gelatin, feather meal, fish meal, meat and bone meal, and poultry byproduct had high percentages of glycine, proline plus hydroxyproline, and arginine, which were 10-35, 9.6-35, and 7.2-7.9% of total protein, respectively. Among plant products, arginine was most abundant in peanut meal and cottonseed meal (14-16% of total protein), whereas corn and sorghum had low percentages of cysteine, lysine, methionine, and tryptophan (0.9-3% of total protein). Overall, feed ingredients of animal origin (except for gelatin) are excellent sources of NEAA and EAA for livestock, avian, and aquatic species, whereas gelatin provides highest amounts of arginine, glycine, and proline plus hydroxyproline. Because casein, corn, soybean, peanut, fish, and gelatin are consumed by children and adults, our findings also have important implications for human nutrition.

altmetric score

  • 12

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, X., Rezaei, R., Li, P., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 165
  • 169

publication date

  • September 2010