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Research article2012Peer reviewedOpen access

Impact of chicory inclusion in a cereal-based diet on digestibility, organ size and faecal microbiota in growing pigs

Ivarsson, Emma; Liu, Haoyu; Dicksved, Johan; Roos, Stefan; Lindberg, Jan Erik


A total of 30 7-week-old pigs were used to evaluate the effects of chicory inclusion on digestibility, digestive organ size and faecal microbiota. Five diets were formulated: a cereal-based control diet and four diets with inclusion of 80 and 160 g/kg chicory forage (CF80 and CF160), 80 g/kg chicory root (CR80) and a mix of 80 g/kg forage and 80 g/kg chicory root (CFR). Generally, the pigs showed a high growth rate and feed intake, and no differences between the different diets were observed. The coefficients of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of energy, organic matter and CP did not differ between the control and CF80, whereas they were impaired in diet CF160. The CTTAD of non-starch polysaccharides and especially the uronic acids were higher (P < 0.05) with chicory inclusion, with highest (P < 0.05) values for diet CF160. Coliform counts were lower and lactobacilli: coliform ratio was higher (P < 0.05) in diet CFR than in the control. Global microbial composition was investigated by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism combined with cloning and sequencing. Analysis of gut microbiota pattern revealed two major clusters where diet CF160 differed from the control and CR80 diet. Chicory forage diets were correlated with an increased relative abundance of one species related to Prevotella and decreased abundance of two other species related to Prevotella. For diet CFR, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus johnsonii was higher than in the other diets. This study shows that both chicory forage and root can be used as fibre sources in pig nutrition and that they modulate the composition of the gut microbiota differently.


pig; fibre; chicory; digestibility; microbiota

Published in

2012, Volume: 6, number: 7, pages: 1077-1085