Glycine and Its Uses in Food Chemistry and Animal Nutrition

Dorota Clapa
9 min reading
Glycine and Its Uses in Food Chemistry and Animal Nutrition
Table of contents
  • Glycine is an organic chemical compound, the simplest of the standard protein amino acids.
  • Glycine is found naturally in many foods.
  • Glycine is used in various industries such as cosmetics and supplements, medicine, animal nutrition.

Glycine is a nonpolar amino acid, the simplest of the 20 natural amino acids. Glycine is optically inactive and has a small side chain. It is essentially involved in the formation of α-helices.

Glycine’s properties

Glycine is mild and sweet tasting and counteracts the saccharine aftertaste. The ingredient is sensitive to antibiotics that fight folate, and blood levels of glycine drop within a minute of antibiotic administration. Some antibiotics can break down more than 90% of glycine within minutes of administration.

The shelf life of Glycine is 24 months if stored under suitable conditions. Optimal storage conditions for this substance mean that it is kept in a closed container at a temperature below 37°C. Glycine, which is offered by Foodcom S.A. comes in 25-kilogram packages.

Glycine occurs naturally in many foods. It is found in wheat germ, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, red lentils, flaxseeds, fresh fish, chicken breast, pork loin, beef, wheat bran, white rice, cauliflower, raspberries, walnuts, jelly beans, buckwheat groats, oatmeal, seafood, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and broth, among others. 

Glycine applications

Glycine is a component of some solutions used in protein analysis by SDS-PAGE. It serves as a buffering agent that maintains pH and prevents damage to samples during electrophoresis.

Glycine is a substance with a wide range of applications. In medicine, Glycine is used for intravenous injections. It is important to remember that only the highest quality possible can be used for medical and related applications, in this case – pharmaceutical grade Glycine. Technical grade glycine, on the other hand, is used, for example, as an agent in metal production.

However, this is not the end of its applications. Glycine is also commonly used in infusions and in food chemistry as a flavoring or preservative. In addition, it is added to animal feed in the form of copper glycinate (II).

Glycine is also used in the manufacture of cosmetics. Cosmetic manufacturers value this substance for its properties that allow the restoration of creatine, improving the appearance of hair. In addition, Glycine prevents static charge of the hair, strengthens it and smoothes it.

Glycine is also used in the production of medicines and dietary supplements, as the substance has a very positive effect on the human body in many ways. Many consumers supplement it for neurobehavioral disorders, kidney and heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, stomach ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, constant fatigue and sleep disorders.

The use of Glycine in animal nutrition

The use of Glycine in animal nutrition

Amino acids are substances that are extremely important for keeping animals healthy. They have a significant impact on production efficiency, feed conversion or weight gain. Among the amino acids considered particularly important in animal nutrition, including poultry, glycine plays an important role. It is involved in hematopoietic processes, the formation of bile salts, and uric acid – the primary form of nitrogen excretion in birds. In very young birds, the synthesis of glycine is low, which is why it is often considered a semi-essential amino acid in them.

Amino acids, a group of substances that includes Glycine, are also valued by pig farmers, mainly because the use of pure amino acids in pig feed reduces the use of post-extraction soybean meal by up to 50%. The use of using pure amino acids in animal feed can also reduce the production of greenhouse gasses by pigs by about 54-56%.

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