Hindgut fermentation in pigs induced by diets with different sources of starch

J. Suárez-Belloch, S. Doti, N. Rodríguez-Romero, J. A. Guada, M. Fondevila, M. A. Latorre


A proportion of dietary starch reaches the hindgut, being fermented there. The characteristics of in vitro caecal fermentation and microbial community in pigs given different sources of starch were studied. Twenty-four Duroc × (Landrace × Large White) gilts given diets based on barley (B), broken rice (R), maize (M) or peas (P) (n=6) for five weeks were slaughtered with 93.6 ± 6.41 kg. No differences (p>0.10) were recorded in caecal pH, total short chain fatty acid (SCFA) and total bacterial concentration, nor in in vitro gas production from caecal contents, indicating the lack of a quantitative dietary effect on caecal environment. This could be partly due to the length of fasting time before slaughter (around 10 h). Molar SCFA proportions did not differ among diets; however, relative proportion of Lactobacillus sobrius/amylovorus as the species-type in starch digestion in hindgut of pigs, was highest with P diet (p = 0.010), and gas production from potato starch as substrate with P diet was highest at 2 h incubation (p = 0.012), and higher than B and R diets at 4 (p = 0.055) and 6 (p = 0.10) h incubation. Caecal bacterial biodiversity was higher for M and R diets than for P and B diets (Shannon index, p = 0.003). Sources of resistant or slowly digestible starch such as peas promote a microbial community with a different profile and higher capacity to ferment the starch arriving to the organ than other sources which are mostly digested in the small gut.


gilts; caecal fermentation; starch; in vitro; bacterial diversity

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2013113-3958