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Comparisons of in vitro fermentation and high moisture forage processing methods for determination of neutral detergent fiber digestibility

Hall, Mary Beth
Animal feed science and technology 2015 v.199 pp. 127
Dactylis glomerata, Festuca pratensis, Lolium, Phalaris arundinacea, air drying, alfalfa, alfalfa hay, alfalfa silage, corn, corn silage, dry ice, energy, fermentation, freeze drying, grass hay, grasses, grinders, grinding, in vitro digestibility, in vitro digestion, inoculum, neutral detergent fiber, pH, pasture plants, pastures, rumen, rumen fermentation, soybeans
Neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) determined in vitro with rumen inoculum is widely used to assess digestibility and potential energy contributions of feedstuffs. An in vitro fermentation system (IVFS) with potential to improve sample throughput and ease of handling for NDFD determination was investigated. Additionally, methods for preparing high moisture forages and their effect on in vitro NDFD were evaluated. In the IVFS study, a commonly used method that uses Erlenmeyer flasks under continuous CO2 pressure in water baths (GV) was compared to a system that uses sealed glass tubes in a shaking incubator (TU). Fibrous feeds (alfalfa hay, maize silage, soyhulls, and ryegrass hay) were incubated in duplicate for 24, 30, and 48h in three fermentation runs (run) in both IVFS. Overall, NDFD was greater for TU than GV at 24h, and greater for GV than TU at 48h. Maize silage had lower values with TU than GV, with the difference increasing with fermentation time, possibly due to low pH related to amount of fermentable substrate used. Within-run variability at 48h was less with GV than TU. Variability of NDFD across runs was or tended to be less for TU at 24 and 30h, and tended to be less for GV at 48h. In the forage processing study, silages (alfalfa, maize) and pasture grasses (meadow fescue, orchardgrass, reed canarygrass, ryegrass) were ground with dry ice through a meat grinder to pass 4.5mm openings. Subsamples were dried in a 55°C forced-air oven (OD), freeze dried (FD), or retained as undried frozen (UF) material. Samples were fermented in duplicate in TU for 24, 30, and 48h in two runs. NDFD response to processing varied by forage with FD for orchardgrass and UF for maize silage lower than other treatments for those forages. Overall, NDFD did not differ among processing methods at 24h, was greatest for OD and UF at 30h, and for OD at 48h. Based on NDFD and analytical variability results, TU may be recommended at 24 and 30h and GV at 48h, however, substrate amount may need to be restricted in TU to avoid depressing NDFD. Methods of processing high moisture forage samples for NDFD analysis showed no clear advantage for using freeze dried or undried forage over oven dried materials.