The amino acids in duckweed protein concentrate are relatively well digested by young pigs. This was shown by researchers from the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, USA.
Lemna protein concentrate (LPC; 68.0% CP) is produced by extracting protein from de-oiled and dehydrated biomaterials from plants of the Lemnaceae family (duckweed) and may be used as a protein source for animals. There are, however, no published data on the nutritional value of LPC fed to pigs.
3 experiments were therefore, conducted to determine the concentration of ME, the standardised total tract digestibility (STTD) of P, and the standardised ileal digestibility (SID) of AA in LPC and to compare these values to values for fish meal and soybean meal (SBM). Results indicated that the concentration of ME was not different among corn, fish meal, and SBM (3,855, 3,904, and 4,184 kcal/ kg DM, respectively), but there was a tendency (P = 0.08) for a reduced ME in LPC (3,804 kcal/kg DM) compared with SBM.
From experiment 2 it was shown that the STTD of P in LPC (72.8%) was not different from the STTD of P in fish meal (65.6%), but tended (P = 0.07) to be greater than in SBM (62.8%). The SID of AA in LPC, SBM, and fish meal was determined in the third experiment. It was shown that the SID of most indispensable AA was greater (P < 0.05) in fish meal than in LPC, but the overall SID of AA was not different between fish meal and LPC.
In conclusion, the ME and the STTD of P are not different between LPC and fish meal, but there is a tendency for greater ME in SBM than in LPC, whereas the STTD of P tends to be greater in LPC than in SBM. The SID of the most indispensable AA is greater in fish meal than in LPC.
The full study, published in the Journal of Animal Science, can be read here.