Characterization of dietary protein in Brassica carinata meal when used as a protein supplement for beef cattle consuming a forage-based diet.
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As a novel oilseed crop in Florida, Brassica carinata has the capacity of producing high-quality jet biofuel, with a protein-dense meal (~40% crude protein; CP) obtained as a by-product of oil extraction. Characterization of the meal protein is limited, yet necessary for formulation of beef cattle diets; therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine ruminal and postruminal digestibility of protein from B. carinata. Eight ruminally cannulated Angus crossbred steers (473 119 kg) were used in a duplicated 4 4 Latin square design, in which in situ ruminal and postruminal degradability of nutrients were evaluated. The three-step in vitro procedure was used to compare CP and amino acid (AA) degradation in B. carinata meal pellets (BCM) with that of cottonseed meal (CSM), dry distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), and soybean meal (SBM). In situ bags were incubated in the rumen for 0 to 96 hr, with the undegraded supplement remaining after 16 hr subjected to serial in vitro enzymatic solutions. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS. Ruminal rate of degradation of dry matter, organic matter, and CP was greatest (P 0.01; 10.9, 11.3, and 11.5 %/h, respectively) for SBM. Rumen degradable protein (RDP) content did not differ (P = 0.20; 47.8% and 55.1%, respectively) between CSM and DDGS, but was decreased (P 0.01) compared with SBM and BCM, which did not differ (P = 0.99; 72.3% and 71.8% RDP, respectively). Compared with DDGS, SBM had greater (P < 0.01) intestinal digestibility of rumen undegradable protein (RUP). Intestinally absorbable digestible protein (IADP) was greatest (P < 0.01) for CSM, with SBM and BCM having the least IADP. Total tract digestibility of CP (TTDP) was greater (P < 0.01) for SBM compared with CSM and DDGS. The contribution of RUP to intestinally absorbable AA was 7.2 and 3.1 g of lysine and methionine per kilogram of CP in BCM, respectively. The evaluation of B. carinata meal as protein supplemented for cattle consuming a forage-based diet resulted in 71.8% RDP and 97.1% TTDP, thus indicating its viability as a high-quality protein supplement for beef cattle.