All diets for poultry and swine are today formulated to match the amino acid requirement of the species to achieve optimal growth and feed conversion. To do this the nutritionist needs reliable data on the amino acid composition of his feed raw materials. If NIR amino acid calibrations are available any quality fluctuations can be corrected by supplementation of amino acids. Due to the complexity and high cost of the technique, chromatographic amino acid analysis is usually not available to the feed manufacturer, but he will seek to improve his matrix data in the medium term by having his own raw materials analysed in an external laboratory. Up-to-date tabular data by national organizations (CVB, 2001; NRC, 1998, 2001) summarizing the amino acid concentrations of raw materials across many samples are also helpful. Fickler et al. (2001) have compiled more than 15,000 amino acid profiles of 120 raw materials which provide information on variations in the concentrations, together with breakdowns by country of origin. The authors have even established linear regression equations for most raw materials, allowing an estimation of the amino acid content of a sample from the analysed crude protein.
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