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Short communication: Gelatinization and enzymatic hydrolysis characteristics relevant to digestion and analysis of glycogen granules isolated from ruminal protozoa

Hall, M.B.
Journal of dairy science 2019 v.102 no.5 pp. 4205-4208
corn, corn starch, dairy cows, digestion, enzymatic hydrolysis, enzymes, gelatinization, glucose, glycogen, granules, hydrogen bonding, hydrolysis, lactating females, lactation, nutrients, rumen protozoa, starch, wheat, wheat starch
Glycogen is an α-glucan produced by rumen microbes from various feed carbohydrates. It may be digested ruminally or intestinally to provide nutrients. The physicochemical and enzymatic hydrolysis characteristics of microbial glycogen have not been described in detail, but do influence its conversion to absorbable nutrients in vivo, its nutritional comparability with plant starch sources, and its accurate analysis in vitro. The objectives of this study were to determine presence or absence of a gelatinization response and to describe enzymatic digestion characteristics of glycogen granules isolated from ruminal protozoa obtained from lactating dairy cows. Protozoal glycogen granules were determined to be 98.3% α-glucan. Granules displayed gelatinization, the breaking of hydrogen bonds between molecules or branches, at 65°C compared with purified wheat and corn starches, which initiated gelatinization at 50 and 65°C, respectively. Digestion of ungelatinized samples with amyloglucosidase for 2 h at 39°C showed approximately 3-fold greater hydrolysis to glucose for protozoal glycogen (25.2% of dry matter; DM) than for wheat (9.9% of DM) or corn (8.2% of DM) starches. Based on enzymatic digestion results, protozoal glycogen may be more readily digested than intact corn or wheat starches and should be gelatinized or the hydrogen bonds otherwise disrupted to allow more complete recovery in enzymatic analysis.