Save Money on a Creative Protein Source

corn for dairy cow protein

As protein ingredient options become more and more expensive, alternative ingredients are sought to control feed cost. One option has been the use of Urea as a source of non-protein nitrogen (NPN) for ruminant micro flora.

 Since the early history of its utilization, it became clear that some of the short-comings of feeding urea are:

  1. Its rapid hydrolysis into ammonia.
  2. The physical properties of the product when used in high protein supplements.
  3. Toxicity can be an issue if urea is not mixed well.
  4. And the failure to adapt animals to diet slowly, especially the first few days it is fed.

To overcome those limitations, a slow release ammonia product was developed where Urea and a grain such as corn, wheat, milo or barley are extruded in a high shear, dry extrusion. The heat generated by friction in the extruder results in the grain starch gelatinization while the urea melts and is encapsulated. After extrusion, the product is cooled, cured and ground to be used as a supplemental protein for all ruminants.

The product was initially marketed by Insta-Pro under the name “Golden Pro®”. Such a product made it possible to utilize all non-protein nitrogen as a supplementary protein in a dry form that can be handled in a conventional feed mill and in conventional forms: pellets, blocks or cubes.

The gelatinized starch in Golden Pro® serves as an energy source as it is converted into fatty acids in the rumen while the nitrogen fraction is converted to ammonia for the production of microbial protein. The microbial protein is then transported to the abomasums where it becomes amino acids and is absorbed and utilized.

Although different ratios of starch bearing material and NPN can be successfully extruded, the most common product that has been produced and utilized is called GOLDEN PRO “60”. As the name suggest, the protein equivalent of this product is 60%. Such a product can compete with many natural sources of protein for ruminants with an economical advantage.



For more information, contact Nabil Said, Ph.D. at


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