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In modern pork production it is important to maximize the animal’s potential for daily lean gain by increasing the body protein deposition with as little wastage of the ingested amino acids as possible. Therefore, it is important to maximize the efficiency with which dietary amino acids are used for protein deposition or lean gain. This efficiency is measured by using nitrogen balance studies or comparative slaughter procedures. Supplementing swine diets with crystalline amino acids and replacing part of the dietary protein can reduce diet cost and will also reduce the amount of nitrogen excreted in manure. However, it has been demonstrated that the efficiency of utilization of crystalline amino acids may be lower than that of amino acids bound in protein. Although the reasons for this are unclear, it may be associated with the frequency of feeding and differences in the rate of absorption between the two sources of amino acids. Research in progress is designed to investigate the efficiency with which crystalline lysine is utilized for protein deposition in nursery pigs. This research will obtain additional information about the relative utilization of crystalline and protein-bound amino acids.