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The nutritional value of rat diets of differing energy and protein levels when subjected to physical processing

Dean, Jill, Edwards, D. G.
Laboratory animals 1985 v.19 no.4 pp. 311-319
diet, rats, nutritive value, metabolizable energy, digestible energy, food intake
4 diets formulated to contain 8&middot5, 10·0, 11·5 and 12·5 MJ/kg metabolizable energy and 85, 133, 192 and 250 g/kg of protein respectively were prepared in 3 physical forms: meal, reground pellets or reground expanded and fed to growing rats from 28 to 56 days of age. Food intake was increased by pelleting and expanding in lower energy diets, whereas these differences tended to disappear in the higher energy diets. Growth and food conversion efficiencies showed a similar pattern, with the greatest differences evident in the low energy diets. Male rats showed greater differences than females in all parameters measured. Expanding the diet improved the microbiological status over pelleting both being superior to unprocessed meal. Measurements of digestible and metabolizable energy values of the 8·5 and 12·5 MJ/kg diets revealed consistent decreases in energy availability following processing. This suggested that the observed growth responses were due mainly to increased food intake coupled with increased nitrogen retention.