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NIRA can provide accurate digestible energy, amino acid values

A review article in Feedstuffs documented the grow-ing evidence that near infrared reflectance (NIR) analy-sis can provide a relatively accurate estimate of digest-ible energy and amino acids if enough calibration infor-mation is provided. Data on digestible energy and amino acids are going to be needed if we are to increase the precision of formulating livestock and poultry diets. Table values, average values or historical values may not have the needed accuracy compared to values that are esti-mated using NIR instruments. NIR calibrations that could explain 80-85 percent of the variation in digestible amino acid content between batches of various feed in-gredients would help feed formulators to formulate feeds with greater accuracy, which should result in reduced feed costs, improved performance and reduced envi-ronmental waste problems. The key to expanding the use of NIR instruments will be the development of calibra-tions that can fully characterize the ingredient being tested.

Dudley-Cash, William A. 1998. NIRA can provide accurate digestible energy, amino acid values. Feedstuffs. May 4. P16.