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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Variations in Methods for Quantification of Crude Ash in Animal Feeds

Quirino, Daiana F.; Palma, Malber N. N.; Franco, Marcia O.; Detmann, Edenio


Background Crude ash is categorized as an empirical method playing an important role in the nutritional interpretation of animal feeds, allowing indirect estimation of total organic matter (OM). Objective Our objective was to evaluate variations in laboratory procedures for crude ash quantification regarding physical parameters (i.e., time, temperature) and ashing aids and their influences on crude ash, repeatability, and discrimination power among feeds. Methods The "control" method was based on a simple ignition time of 3 h at 550 degrees C. The variations are briefly described: increasing ashing time to 6 h; increasing temperature to 600 degrees C; and using two 3 h ignition cycles at 550 degrees C with ashing aids inclusion between them: fresh air supply, fresh air supply plus distilled water, and fresh air supply plus hydrogen peroxide. A color evaluation was also performed using a colorimetric technique. Twenty-four study materials from eight different feed types were evaluated. Results The crude ash results differed among the method variations, but a consistent decrease in the estimates was observed when liquid aids were applied, which also improved repeatability. Ash residues did not present a consistent color pattern among methods, but the residues were darker when the control method was applied. Conclusion The method of obtaining ash residues in animal feeds based on 550 degrees C x 3 h does not have enough robustness and may overestimate crude ash in some feeds. Adjustments in either ignition time or temperature might improve crude ash test results, but the best test results are obtained using liquid ashing aids between two ignition cycles.

Published in

2023, Volume: 106, number: 1, pages: 6-13

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

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