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J Dairy Sci. 2011 Aug;94(8):3902-12. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-3623.

Effect of lactic acid bacteria inoculant and beet pulp addition on fermentation characteristics and in vitro ruminal digestion of vegetable residue silage.

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National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Nasushiobara, Tochigi 329-2793, Japan.


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of beet pulp (BP) and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on silage fermentation quality and in vitro ruminal dry matter (DM) digestion of vegetable residues, including white cabbage, Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, and lettuce. Silage was prepared using a small-scale fermentation system, and treatments were designed as control silage without additive or with BP (30% fresh matter basis), LAB inoculant Chikuso-1 (Lactobacillus plantarum, 5mg/kg, fresh matter basis), and BP+LAB. In vitro incubation was performed using rumen fluid mixed with McDougall's artificial saliva (at a ratio of 1:4, vol/vol) at 39°C for 6h to determine the ruminal fermentability of the vegetable residue silages. These vegetable residues contained high levels of crude protein (20.6-22.8% of DM) and moderate levels of neutral detergent fiber (22.7-33.6% of DM). In all silages, the pH sharply decreased and lactic acid increased, and the growth of bacilli, coliform bacteria, molds, and yeasts was inhibited by the low pH at the early stage of ensiling. The silage treated with BP or LAB had a lower pH and a higher lactic acid content than the control silage. After 6h of incubation, all silages had relatively high DM digestibility (38.6-44.9%); in particular, the LAB-inoculated silage had the highest DM digestibility and the lowest methane production. The vegetable residues had high nutritional content and high in vitro DM digestibility. Also, both the addition of a LAB inoculant and moisture adjustment with BP improved the fermentation quality of the vegetable residue silages. In addition, LAB increased DM digestibility and decreased ruminal methane production.

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