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In situ degradability of conventional and unconventional starch sources for ruminants, and factors determining their washable fraction: methodological implications

Abstract : Background: The in situ technique (IS) is used for characterising, screening and evaluating feedstuffs in ruminants. However, it is often not adapted to the particular characteristics of feeds (i.e. kinetics of starchy feeds with a standard framework used in forage). This may lead to potential biases in the final conclusions. In two successive experiments, we evaluated the degradative characteristics of conventional (CON) and unconventional (UNC) starchy feedstuffs (ING) and factors affecting their washable fractions (WF). The suitability of IS was then assessed. Results: Two well-defined ruminal fermentation patterns (CON and UNC) were observed. The WF and insoluble washable (ISWF) fractions were affected by ING, state of presentation [WAY, fresh (F) or pre-dried (D)], particle size (PSI) and their interactions. The UNC and F feeds had greater WF and ISWF than CON and D, respectively. Increasing PSI linearly reduced WF and its proportion of ISWF. Conclusion: The PSI and WAY are critical factors to consider when designing experiments for the evaluation of starchy feedstuffs for ruminants using IS. It is still very risky to propose ‘standard’ parameters as this will always depend on the particular ING evaluated. Conducting pre-evaluation tests before implementing each research protocol could help to refine the procedure.
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Eliel González García, Yann Alexandrine, Tatiana Silou Etienne, Harry Archimède. In situ degradability of conventional and unconventional starch sources for ruminants, and factors determining their washable fraction: methodological implications. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Wiley, 2009, 89 (11), pp.1918-1926. ⟨10.1002/jsfa.3673⟩. ⟨hal-02665962⟩

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