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Supplementation of pig diet with algal fibre changes the chemical and physicochemical characteristics of digesta

Hoebler, C., Guillon, F., Darcy-Vrillon, B., Vaugelade, P., Lahaye, M., Worthington, E., Duee, P.H., Barry, J.L.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2000 v.80 no.9 pp. 1357-1364
swine, dietary supplements, Rhodophycota, Laminaria, xylan, alginates, cecum, colon, short chain fatty acids, digesta, viscosity, fiber content, water content, animal models, humans
Seaweed extracts, because of their physicochemical characteristics and potential nutritional value, could provide a new source of dietary fibre. This study investigated changes in seaweed fibres (physicochemical and fermentative properties) in different digestive sites and their effects on digesta (viscosity and hydration properties). Sixteen pigs were adapted to a test diet supplemented with 5% algal fibre (either Palmaria palmata (PP), a poorly viscous soluble xylan; or Eucheuma cottonii (EC), a partly insoluble carrageenan; or Laminaria digitata (LD), a highly viscous soluble alginate) or 5% cellulose (reference fibre). PP did not modify the characteristics of digesta and was fermented in the caecum (pH 6.1 +/- 0.4; short-chain fatty acids measured in digesta, 1409 +/- 691 micromol g(-1) dry matter). EC and LD were mainly insoluble in the stomach, becoming soluble in the intestine; EC was slightly fermented in the colon, giving a low concentration of short-chain fatty acids (303 +/- 122 micromol g(-1) dry matter). Supplementation of the diet with alginate (LD) increased 3.5-fold the ileal viscosity of digesta and their hydration capacity in the ileum and colon. Thus the physicochemical properties of pig digesta largely depend on the physicochemical properties of the ingested seaweed fibre, the pH and ionic conditions prevailing in the gut, and their fermentability.