Translational Animal Science, 2021
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Abstract Traditionally, protein by-products from oil seeds and cereal grains have been used in pet foods as sustainable, inexpensive, and protein-rich ingredients. However, the on-going demonization of soy- and corn-based ingredients continue to hinder their use in pet food and treat formulations. Ideally, the further demonstration of their protein quality and nutrient composition may encourage their favorable return as acceptable ingredients in pet foods and treats. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the macronutrient composition, indispensable amino acid profile, standardized amino acid digestibility, true metabolizable energy content corrected for nitrogen (TMEn), and digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS-like) of soy flakes (SF), peanut flour (PF), soybean meal (SBM), and corn gluten meal (CGM). Standardized amino acid digestibility was assessed using the precision-fed cecectomized rooster assay. All test ingredients demonstrated a profile of highly digestible indispensable amino acids except for lysine in PF, which was lowest (P < 0.05) at 45.5%. The SBM and CGM had the highest (P > 0.05) digestibilities of indispensable amino acids. A DIAAS-like values was calculated for each ingredient using either AAFCO (2020) recommended values or NRC (2006) recommended allowances as the reference protein pattern. For adult dogs compared to AAFCO recommended values, the first-limiting amino acid was lysine for PF and CGM but it was methionine for SF and SBM. For adult cats compared to AAFCO recommended values, the first-limiting amino acid was lysine for PF and CGM but it was threonine for SF. There was no first-limiting amino acid in SBM for cats as DIAAS-like values were over 100% for all indispensable amino acids. The TMEn values were highest (P < 0.05) for PF and CGM (4.58 and 4.31 kcal/g [dry matter basis], respectively). The protein quality of these plant-based protein by-products reflect their value as nutritional ingredients for canine and feline diets. However, the prior processing of these by-products must be considered before exposing them to additional processing methods, such as extrusion. Additionally, the inclusion of complementary proteins or supplemental amino acids will be needed to meet all indispensable amino acid requirements for a nutritionally complete and balanced pet food.