• Grinding;
  • in situ method;
  • in vitro method;
  • nutritive value;
  • pea;
  • ruminant


In ruminant nutrition, peas are characterized by high protein solubility and degradability, which impair its protein value estimated by the official in situ method. Grinding can be used as a technological treatment of pea seeds to modify their nutritional value. The aim of this study was to compare the in situ method with an in vitro method on the same pea either in a coarse pea flour form (PCF) or in a ground pea fine flour form (PFF) to understand the effect of grinding. Both forms were also reground (GPCF and GPFF). PCF presented a lower rate of in vitro degradation than PFF, and more stable fermentation parameters (pH, ammonia, soluble carbohydrates) even if gas production was higher for the PCF after 48 h of incubation. In situ dry matter and protein degradation were lower for PCF than those for PFF; these differences were more marked than with the in vitro method. Reground peas were very similar to PFF. The values for pea protein digestible in the intestine (PDI) were higher for PCF than those for PFF. This study points out the high sensitivity of the in situ method to grinding. The study needs to be validated by in vivo measurements.