Maillard’s reactions commonly used in cooking for their organoleptic characteristics are very interesting for feeding ruminants. Indeed proteins and sugars react together to form indigestible complexes in the rumen: Bypass protein. These Maillard’s compound are dissolved thanks to the acidic pH of the abomasum, the amino acids they contain become again fully available to be absorbed in the intestine.
Digestive system of cattle
Maillard’s reactions occur in the presence of amino acids and sugars at temperatures between 0 and 150°C, a pH between 6 and 10 and a humidity of about 15%. As shown in the graph below, the temperature has a strong influence on the reaction rate. During extrusion cooking, it is therefore possible to adjust the parameters: temperature and mixing passage time in order to cause or not Maillard reactions. Indeed it is interesting to facilitate these reactions for the production of ruminant feed but it will be important to limit them to the minimum for the production of poultry food for example. Indeed the Maillard’s compounds reduce the protein availability for monogastric species. A good mastery of the extrusion cooking makes it possible to choose characteristics of the product according to the anatomy of the target species.