Send to

Choose Destination
Vet Q. 2000 Oct;22(4):212-6.

The impact of the quality of silage on animal health and food safety: a review.

Author information

NIZO Food Research, Ede, The Netherlands.


This paper reviews the microbiological aspects of forage preserved by ensilage. The main principles of preservation by ensilage are a rapid achievement of a low pH by lactic acid fermentation and the maintenance of anaerobic conditions. The silage microflora consists of beneficial micro-organisms, i.e. the lactic acid bacteria responsible for the silage fermentation process, and a number of harmful micro-organisms that are involved in anaerobic or aerobic spoilage processes. Micro-organisms that can cause anaerobic spoilage are enterobacteria and clostridia. Clostridium tyrobutyricum is of particular importance because of its ability to use lactic acid as a substrate. Silage-derived spores of C. tyrobutyricum can cause problems in cheese making. Aerobic spoilage of silage is associated with penetration of oxygen into the silage during storage or feeding. Lactate-oxidizing yeasts are generally responsible for the initiation of aerobic spoilage. The secondary aerobic spoilage flora consists of moulds, bacilli, listeria, and enterobacteria. Mycotoxin-producing moulds, Bacillus cereus, and Listeria monocytogenes in aerobically deteriorated silage form a serious risk to the quality and safety of milk and to animal health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center