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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jan;69(1):562-7.

Acetic acid increases stability of silage under aerobic conditions.

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Department of Environmental Biotechnology, Institute for Agrobiotechnology, A-3430 Tulln, Austria.


The effects of various compounds on the aerobic stability of silages were evaluated. It has been observed that inoculation of whole-crop maize with homofermentative lactic acid bacteria leads to silages which have low stability against aerobic deterioration, while inoculation with heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus brevis or Lactobacillus buchneri, increases stability. Acetic acid has been proven to be the sole substance responsible for the increased aerobic stability, and this acid acts as an inhibitor of spoilage organisms. Therefore, stability increases exponentially with acetic acid concentration. Only butyric acid has a similar effect. Other compounds, like lactic acid, 1,2-propanediol, and 1-propanol, have been shown to have no effect, while fructose and mannitol reduce stability.

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