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J Anim Sci. 2006 Oct;84(10):2766-78.

Influence of the amount of dietary fiber on the available energy from hindgut fermentation in growing pigs: use of cannulated pigs and in vitro fermentation.

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  • 1Department of Animal and Food Science, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain.


Available energy from hindgut fermentation to pigs fed various amounts of dietary fiber was investigated using an in vivo-in vitro methodology. Six growing pigs fitted with a simple T-shaped cannula at the terminal ileum, and following a Latin-square design, were fed 3 diets differing in the content of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP): a low fiber diet (LFD, 77 g/kg of DM), a standard fiber diet (SFD, 160 g/kg of DM), and a high fiber diet (HFD, 240 g/kg of DM). After adaptation to the diet for 10 d, samples from feces and ileum were collected and analyzed for DM, energy, NSP, and chromic oxide; feces were also analyzed for short chain fatty acids (SCFA). Freeze-dried ileal samples (10 g/L) were fermented in vitro in a fecal slurry consisting of an anaerobic mineral salt medium and feces (50 g/L) from cannulated pigs fed the same diets. Available energy was calculated from the amount of SCFA produced in vitro after 48 h of incubation. Nonstarch polysaccharide content in the fermented material was measured to assess the in vitro degradation of this fraction. Increasing dietary NSP from 77 to 240 g/kg of feed DM increased (P < 0.001) ileal flow from 199 to 468 g/kg of feed, leading to a reduction in the energy digested at the terminal ileum, from 15 to 11 MJ/kg of feed DM and an increment in energy digested in the hindgut, from 1.6 to 3.5 MJ/kg of feed DM. Total in vitro production of SCFA/kg of feed DM was dependent on the amount of ileal substrate available for fermentation; that is, increased concentrations of NSP in the diet led to an increase in the SCFA that may be available to the animal (P < 0.001). The molar ratio of SCFA produced in vitro was affected by diet; the high fiber diet showed the greatest (P = 0.004) proportion of acetic acid, and the low fiber diet showed a tendency (P = 0.081) to an increased butyric acid proportion compared with the other 2 diets. Net disappearance of NSP during fermentation in vivo and in vitro were compared and showed a close relationship (P < 0.001, slope = 0.906, r = 0.960). In our experimental conditions, available energy as SCFA to the animal from hindgut fermentation increased with the concentration of dietary NSP (P < 0.001) and provided between 7.1 and 17.6% of the total available energy.

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