Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 September 2010
Experiment 1 investigated the effects of calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2)treatment (80 g/kg malt distillers' grains (MDG) dry matter (DM) at ambient temperature (L) and at 60°C (LH). Organic matter digestibilities in vitro (1V0MD) were 0·30, 0·50 and 0·56 (s.e. 0·023) for untreated (C), L and LH respectively. The increase in IVOMD was less with MDG that had previously been ether-extracted (corresponding values 0·47, 0·53 and 0·54). The proportion of lipid in soap form was 0·03, 0·35 and 0·46 (s.e. 0·03) for C, L and LH respectively. Experiment 2 investigated the effects of treatment time, temperature and Ca(OH)2 concentration on composition, IVOMD and organic matter digestibility in sacco (ISOMD). Response was most dependent on Ca(OH)2 concentration. Mean values for 0, 40, 80 and 120 g Ca(OH)2 per kg DM were for neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) (g/kg DM) 704, 586, 422 and 382; for water-soluble carbohydrate (g/kg DM) 2, 4,40 and 44; for ISOMD 0 h (without incubation) 0·25, 0·25, 0·51 and 0·57; for ISOMD 24 h (24-h rumen incubation) 0·63, 0·66, 0·84 and 0·86 and for IVOMD 0·51, 0·55, 0·65 and 0·65. Increasing treatment temperature from 20 to 80°C increased mean ISOMD 0 h from 0·31 to 0·49 but had less effect on ISOMD 24 h (0·74 and 0·79 respectively). Experiment 3 investigated the effects of treatment with 80 g Ca(OH)2 per kg DM at 60°C for 16 h on rumen degradation in sacco. Instantaneous losses (a values%) for OM and NDF were increased by treatment from 14·6 to 45·5 and from 8·6 to 18·6 respectively. Treatment increased effective degradability (at 0·06 per h rumen outflow rate) from 0·43 to 0·66 for OM and from 0·40 to 0·46 for NDF. Total potentially digestible OM (a + b) increased from 0·65 to 0·91 for OM and from 0·58 to 0·84 for NDF. Ca(OH)2 treatment enhances the nutritional value of MDG. Its mode of action involves reduction of the toxicity to rumen micro-organisms of unsaturated lipid by soap formation and the effect of alkali on the composition of the carbohydrate fraction.
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