The SAAs are limiting in the major poultry feed ingredients, ranking first and fifth in soya bean meal and maize, respectively. Feed ingredients rich in protein, in particular and other nutrients, enhance Energy supply and protein accretion. Modern commercial broilers have reduced maintenance needs and high amino acid requirements, and are more responsive to protein (amino acids) than energy. Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid belonging to the SAAs. It plays essential roles in protein synthesis, structure and function, causing growth depressing effects in broiler chicks when there is methionine:cysteine imbalance. Genetically predetermined amino acid sequences in proteins are essential for production of adequate quantities of meat, milk and eggs. Therefore, ideal amino acid ratios which conform to the requirements of broilers should be utilized. In nutrition, amino acids are equivalent to proteins, hence the shift in focus from proteins to individual amino acids, expressed as ideal ratios to lysine. The SAAs are practically relevant and have critical nutritional roles in animal nutrition with over 90% production being used to fortify animal (particularly poultry) diets. A balance in the methionine:cysteine ratio is necessary to ensure efficient utilization of the SAAs for proper growth and development in broiler poultry.
Part of the book: Bioactive Compounds