Pea's Protein Potential for Poultry

SPAIN - Heat-processed pea protein concentrate (PPC) is a good alternative to fermented soybean meal and unheated PPC in broiler starter diets, according to researchers at the University Polytechnic in Madrid.
calendar icon 14 August 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The effects of autoclaving two varieties of micronised (fine grinding) PPC on the ileal digestibility (ID) of crude protein and amino acids were studied in broilers by M. Frikha and colleagues at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

According to their paper in Poultry Science, there was a control diet based on fermented soybean meal (FSBM) and four additional diets in which the FSBM was substituted on a crude protein basis by PPC from two different pea cultivars (PPC-1 and PPC-2), either unheated or autoclaved.

Chicks were fed a common diet from 1 to 17 days of age and, then, their respective experimental diets from 18 to 21 days of age. Each treatment was replicated six times.

Autoclaving reduced trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA) but had little effect on the saponin content of the PPC. The apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of crude protein was similar for the FSBM and the unheated PPC and lower for both than for the autoclaved PPC.

In the PPC, autoclaving improved (P<0.001) the AID of crude protein (87.6 versus 82.2 per cent) and most indispensable amino acids, e.g. 92.1 versus. 88.8 per cent for lysine and 83.6 versus 76.5 per cent for threonine.

The improvements in crude protein and amino acid digestibility with autoclaving varied with the PPC used and was consistent with the reduction in TIA observed from 9.4 to 2.8mg per g for PPC-1 and from 9.1 to 5.3mg per g for PPC-2.

The standardised ID (SID) of most indispensable amin acids was similar for the FSBM and the PPC-2 and higher for both than for the PPC-1 (P<0.05). For lysine, the lowest SID value was observed for the FSBM and the highest for the PPC-2 either unheated or autoclaved.

The Madrid-based researchers concluded that the ileal digestibility of the amino acids of the PPC improved with heating and was, in general, higher for the autoclaved PPC than for the FSBM. Consequently, heat-processed PPC is a good alternative to FSBM and unheated PPC in starter diets for broilers, Frikha and colleagues added.


Frikha M., D.G. Valencia, A. de Coca-Sinova, R. Lázaro and G.G. Mateos. 2013. Ileal digestibility of amino acids of unheated and autoclaved pea protein concentrate in broilers. Poult. Sci. 92(7):1848-1857. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03007

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