Why Protein Quality Matters in Livestock Production
Protein quality is not just about the nutritional needs of livestock, it is also about the nutritional needs of humans, which evolution has also shaped over time from early hunter-gatherers to our modern agricultural society today.
Combined with livestock’s ability to convert lower-quality feed into highly-nutritious, protein-based food, it is easy to see why farming evolved and why livestock play a key role in our food system. The modelling of different food production systems shows that the most efficient systems always have livestock playing a key role in this ‘up-cycling’ of food by-products and plant material that humans gain little nutritive value from. The common thread in these ideas is protein quality.
CIEL has commissioned the new report ‘Why Protein Quality Matters in Livestock Production’ to inform wider industry on the key issues to be aware of relating to how livestock nutrition is critically important to producing high quality food products, delivering farm profit and making efficient use of feed resources while reducing the carbon footprint of livestock food products.
CIEL has produced another relevant report focusing on the importance of nitrogen cycling which is available here. Given that proteins differ from carbohydrates and lipids due to their nitrogen content, that report is highly complementary to this protein report. We recommend you read that as well in order to gain a wider appreciation of nitrogen, protein and efficient production of highly nutritious food, in the context of net zero and livestock.
The report ‘Why Protein Quality Matters in Livestock Production’, published in November 2023, was accompanied by a special launch webinar where we were joined by report authors Dr Marwa Hussein and Lorna Shaw from SRUC who presented key report findings and answered questions from the audience.
If you have a particular interest in future events and initiatives CIEL is planning around this topic area, please indicate this on the contact form and we’ll be in touch to discuss further.