In vitro fermentation pattern and acidification potential of different sources of carbohydrates for ruminants given high concentrate diets

Zahia Amanzougarene, Susana Yuste, Antonio de Vega, Manuel Fondevila


The in vitro fermentation pattern of five sources of carbohydrates of differing nature (maize grain, MZ; sucrose, SU; wheat bran, WB; sugarbeet pulp, BP; and citrus pulp, CT) under conditions of high concentrate diets for ruminants was studied. A first 8 h incubation trial was performed under optimal pH using inoculum from ewes given a fibrous diet, to compare fermentative characteristics of substrates. As planned, incubation pH ranged within 6.3 to 6.6. The gas produced from CT was higher than MZ, SU and BP from 4 and 6 h onwards, and at 8 h, respectively (p<0.05). There were no differences (p>0.05) on total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, nor on acetate or propionate proportions, but butyrate was lowest (p<0.05) with CT and BP. The second incubation trial was performed in a poorly-buffered medium, with inoculum from ewes given a concentrate diet. All substrates showed a gradual drop of pH, being lowest with SU after 4 h (p<0.05). Throughout the incubation, gas production was highest with CT and lowest with MZ and BP (p<0.05). Total 8 h VFA concentration was higher with CT than BP, SU and MZ (p<0.05). Acetate proportion was higher, and that of propionate lower, with BP than WB (p<0.05), butyrate proportion being higher with MZ and WB than with BP and CT (p<0.05). Lactic acid concentration was higher (p<0.05) with SU than WB and BP. Fermentation characteristics and acidification potential of feeds depend on the nature of their carbohydrate fraction, and must be considered for practical applications.


incubation pH; gas production; sugarbeet pulp; sucrose; citrus pulp; wheat bran

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017152-10753