Skip to main content
Research article, 2006

Effect of the proportions of neutral detergent fibre and starch, and their degradation rates, on in vitro ruminal fermentation

Sveinbjornsson J, Murphy M, Uden P


Effects of proportions of neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) and starch, as well as their degradation rates, on rumen fermentation were tested using an in vitro rumen simulation system (SIMCO). The in vitro system was designed to simulate selective particle retention and had an average fluid volume of 1150 ml with a liquid dilution rate of approximately 0.07 h(-1). Two types of hay (aNDFom sources) and two types of starch were each included at two different levels in the diet and were examined in an experiment following a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments (eight diet combinations). The hay was either late-cut timothy (Phleum pretense L.) or early cut meadow grass (Poa pratensis L.), with ruminal in situ aNDFom digestion rates of 0.03-0.04 and 0.07-0.08 h(-1), respectively. The two starch types were raw (R) and cooked (C) potato starch with previously determined in vitro ruminal digestion rates of 0.04 and 0.20 h(-1), respectively. The starch levels were 300 and 600 g/kg diet dry matter (DM) with the remaining being hay (282-682 g/kg DM) and peptone (14-111 g/kg DM). The aNDFom level varied among the diets with different starch levels and hay types. The peptone acted as a source of peptides and, together with ammonia salts from buffer, was used to balance the N contents of the diets. The feeding level for each of the eight vessels was 28 g DM/d. Two 10-day simulations were made with the system. The average pH was higher (P < 0.05) for all treatments with raw potato starch (6.19) versus cooked starch (6.07). Protozoa scores, on a qualitative scale, declined faster at the higher starch level. The aNDFom digestibility was, as expected, higher (P < 0.001) for meadow hay (0.57) than timothy (0.32), and was also higher (P < 0.001) at the lower starch level (0.54) versus the higher (0.35). Microbial protein production efficiency (mg microbial N/g organic matter truly digested) was higher for the faster degrading aNDFom (P < 0.01) and starch (P < 0.05) sources, but was not affected by starch level. Cooked starch resulted in a lower acetate proportion (449 mmol/mol versus 591 mmol/mol VFA; P < 0.001) but higher proportions of propionate (297 mmol/mol versus 236mmol/mol VIA; P < 0.001), and butyrate (169mmol/mol versus 127mmol/mol VIA; P < 0.01). Butyrate increased with starch level (127 mmol/mol versus 169 mmol/mol VIA; P < 0.01), and was also higher for meadow hay versus timothy (168 mmol/mol versus 128 mmol/mol VIA; P < 0.01). Interactions between the treatments demonstrate that the response in VIA pattern to-starch level is dependent on starch and aNDFom sources. Substrates such as starch and aNDFom are fermented differently depending on their rates of ruminal degradation. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Animal Feed Science and Technology
2006, Volume: 130, number: 3-4, pages: 172-190

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

    Publication Identifiers


    Permanent link to this page (URI)