Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Tocopherol and carotenoid levels in baled silage and haylage in relation to horse requirements

Muller CE, Moller J, Jensen SK, Uden P


The content of a-tocopherol and beta-carotene in a grass crop consisting of timothy (Phleum pratense), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) and couch grass (Agropyron repens) was analyzed before and after conservation as silage and haylage during 11 months in either small square (bale size 80 cm x 48 cm x 36 cm) or round bales (diameter 57 cm, height 68 cm). The purpose of the experiment was to study the effect of degree of fermentation on alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene content by varying dry matter (DM) levels via different wilting times. Silage wilted for 4 h to 300 g DM/kg (SIL), haylage wilted for 24 h to 500 g DM/kg (HL 1) and haylage wilted for 34 h to 600 g DM/kg (HL2), all harvested as long stemmed forage, were made from the same field. Tocopherols and carotenoids were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Generally HL l contained less alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene than SIL or HL2. There were no general effect of bale type on alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene content. SIL square bales and HL2 round and square bales contained 0.60 of initial alpha-tocopherol content and 0.86 of initial beta-carotene content after ensiling, which were higher than SIL round bales and HL1 round and square bales containing 0.39 of initial alpha-tocopherol content and 0.33 of initial beta-carotene content. Thus, there was no clear relation between degree of fermentation and content of alpha-tocopherol or beta-carotene. The strongest correlation was found between lactic acid and beta-carotene (0.44) and lactic acid and alpha-tocopherol (0.41), indicating that a good conservation process (lactic acid fermentation) may favour the preservation of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in conserved forage. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Animal Feed Science and Technology
2007, volume: 137, number: 1-2, pages: 182-197

Authors' information

Möller, Jenny
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Krogh Jensen, Sören

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)