An emerging method for rapid characterization of feed structures and feed component matrix at a cellular level and relation to feed quality and nutritive value

Yu, P.

Archives of Animal Nutrition 60(3): 229-244


ISSN/ISBN: 1745-039X
PMID: 16736857
DOI: 10.1080/17450390600679017
Accession: 011749267

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Feed quality, feed characteristics, nutrient utilization and digestive behaviour are closely related to: (i) total feed composition, (ii) feed intrinsic structures, and (iii) biological component matrix (such as protein to starch matrix, protein to carbohydrate matrix). Conventional "wet'' chemical analysis can determine total chemical composition, but fails to detect the feed intrinsic structures and biological component matrix due to destruction of feed samples during the processing for chemical analysis and the "wet'' chemical analysis cannot link structural information to chemical information within intact feed tissue. Recently, advanced synchrotron-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy has been developed as a non-destructive and non-invasive structural-chemical analytical technique. This technique can link chemical information to structural information of biological samples within intact tissue within cellular dimensions. It can provide four kinds of information simultaneously: tissue composition, tissue structure, tissue chemistry and tissue environment. However, this novel technique has been found mainly for medical science research, extremely rare for feed science and nutrition research. The objective of this review article was to illustrate synchrotron-based FTIR microspectroscopy as a novel research tool for rapid characterization of feed structures at a cellular level and for detection of chemical features and molecular chemical make-up of feed biological component matrix and nutrient interaction. The emphasis of this article was to show that feed structural-chemical features at a cellular level are closely related to feed characteristics, feed quality and nutritive value in animals. The synchrotron-based technology will provide us with a greater understanding of the plant-animal interface.