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Cara Cargo-Froom

Position/Title: Ph.D. Candidate
Office: ANNU 229

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1. BScH. (Animal Biology, UofG, 2016) 
2. MSc. (Animal Nutrition, Companion Animals, UofG, 2018)
Thesis Title: Mineral Nutrition of Adult Canines: Whole Ingredients as a Primary Source of Minerals Instead of Supplemental Minerals 

Work Experience 
Monogastric Research Assistant, Trouw Nutrition ​(September 2017 - March 2018)
- Running multiple research trials across species 
- Working closely with research scientists and barn technicians to implement and run trials
- Supervise the manufacturing of research diets at the feed mill 
- Collecting, entering, calculating, and reviewing data to be sent off for analysis 

Advisor: Dr. Anna-Kate Shoveller 

About Me
A Day in the Life of a Graduate Student Interview

Currently, I am a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Anna Kate Shoveller. I completed both my BSc.H and MSc. at the University of Guelph and I am looking forward to my next few years continuing my education in this amazing department. I would like to consider myself following the path of a comparative animal nutritionist as far as monogastric species are concerned. I have worked with dogs, poultry (layers & broilers), and swine (weaner, grower, and finisher) in academic and industry research settings.

PhD Research: In my PhD I will be switching over to work with swine, specifically grower pigs. Protein quality is a hot topic in both the animal and human nutrition industry. With a growing population, sustainable food of good quality is becoming increasingly important. My research will focus on pulse crops (e.g. chickpeas) and the effects of processing on protein quality and amino acid availability/digestibility in swine. It will also focus on a comparison of different techniques currently used to assess amino acid availability; in vivo standardized ileal digestibility and indicator amino-acid oxidation methods, and in vitro TIM-1 digestion (digestion mimic of the gastrointestinal tract) will be compared. Currently there is no “best method” for assessing protein quality. In pigs, standard ileal digestibility (digesta recovered at end of the small intestine) is considered the best estimation of amino acid bioavailability, but it does not account for reduced bioavailability due to heat treatment (e.g. roasting or extrusion) or the effects of anti-nutritional factors (nutrients in plants/legumes which inhibit availability/digestibility). In vitro methods such as TIM – 1 digestion system technique will produce results quicker than in vivo methods and reduce the utilization of animals for experiments. This research will establish a benchmark in the use of key methodologies used to assess protein quality for humans and monogastric species. Understanding the quality of novel pulses (i.e. chickpeas, lentils, etc.) will lead to increased use and help meet the demand for protein, in both agriculture and human nutrition practices. I will be helping our western Canadian partners, the Prairie Swine Centre and the University of Saskatchewan, on the processing of pulse crops, but my portion of the study will be conducted at Guelph running multiple trials with ileal cannulated pigs. Pigs will be fed diets with varying levels of pulses, and the study will be replicated with different ingrediets. Data on bioavailability (slope in tracer kinetics), in vivo standardized ileal digestibility, and in vitro digestibility will be compared and will be related back to nutrient profile and processing conditions used in order to estimate protein availability in other feedstuffs.