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Animals (Basel). 2019 Apr 26;9(5). pii: E197. doi: 10.3390/ani9050197.

Methane Production of Fresh Sainfoin, with or without PEG, and Fresh Alfalfa at Different Stages of Maturity is Similar but the Fermentation End Products Vary.

Author information

1
Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón⁻IA2 (CITA-Universidad de Zaragoza), Avda, Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain. pjrufino@cita-aragon.es.
2
Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón⁻IA2 (CITA-Universidad de Zaragoza), Avda, Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain. mblanco@aragon.es.
3
Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón⁻IA2 (CITA-Universidad de Zaragoza), Avda, Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain. jrbertolin@cita-aragon.es.
4
Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón⁻IA2 (CITA-Universidad de Zaragoza), Avda, Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain. mjoy@aragon.es.

Abstract

Alfalfa and sainfoin are high-quality forages with different condensed tannins (CT) content, which can be affected by the stage of maturity. To study the effects of CT on fermentation parameters, three substrates (alfalfa, sainfoin, and sainfoin+PEG) at three stages of maturity were in vitro incubated for 72 h. Sainfoin had greater total polyphenol and CT contents than alfalfa. As maturity advanced, CT contents in sainfoin decreased (p < 0.05), except for the protein-bound CT fraction (p > 0.05). The total gas and methane production was affected neither by the substrate nor by the stage of maturity (p > 0.05). Overall, sainfoin and sainfoin+PEG had greater in vitro organic matter degradability (IVOMD) than alfalfa (p < 0.05). Alfalfa and sainfoin+PEG presented higher ammonia content than sainfoin (p < 0.001). Total volatile fatty acid (VFA) production was only affected by the stage of maturity (p < 0.05), and the individual VFA proportions were affected by the substrate and the stage of maturity (p < 0.001). In conclusion, alfalfa and sainfoin only differed in the IVOMD and the fermentation end products. Moreover, CT reduced ammonia production and the ratio methane: VFA, but the IVOMD was reduced only in the vegetative stage.

KEYWORDS:

ammonia; condensed tannins; gas production; in vitro assay; in vitro organic matter degradability; polyethylene glycol; volatile fatty acid

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