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Effect of type and level of dietary fibre and starch on ileal and faecal microbial activity and short-chain fatty acid concentrations in growing pigs

  • J. F. Wang (a1) (a2), Y. H. Zhu (a2), D. F. Li (a3), M. Wang (a1) and B. B. Jensen (a2)...


A repeated 4 ✕ 4 Latin square design was conducted with eight ileal cannulated castrated pigs to investigate the effect of source of dietary fibre and starch on ileal and faecal microflora and short-chain fatty acid concentrations. Four experimental diets based on cooked rice were supplied with one of two fibre-rich sources (sugar-beet pulp, S; wheat bran, W) and another two diets were prepared with (P) or without (C) potato starch. The experimental periods were 14 days, consisting of 7 days of adaptation to each diet, followed by 4 days of collection of ileal digesta and 3 days of collection of faeces. Ileal digesta were collected daily in a randomized order 0 (just before feeding the morning meal), 2, 4, 6 and 8 h after feeding the morning meal. Fresh faecal samples were also collected. Ileal pH was lower in pigs given diet P, 2 and 4 h after feeding, respectively. For all four diets ileal pH reached a minimum 4 h after feeding. Faecal pH was higher for diets P and W compared with diets C and S. The highest density of ileal coliform bacteria was found 4 h after feeding for all diets. Compared with other diets, the inclusion of potato starch resulted in an increased density of ileal enterococci at 0 h and an increased density of ileal lactic acid bacteria and lactobacilli, 2 and 6 h after feeding, respectively. The density of ileal enterococci reached a maximum 4 h after feeding for all diets. With the exception of 8 h after feeding, when a higher density of total anaerobes was observed for diet P, no significant differences were seen in the populations of yeasts and total anaerobes between the experimental diets. The concentration of formate in the ileum was high, while low concentrations of acetate, propionate and butyrate were observed for all diets. A lowered level of acetate was found for diet S on all sampling occasions. On a dry-matter basis, the counts of various faecal bacteria were increased by the inclusion of the fibre sources, and a higher level of faecal butyrate was found with the inclusion of potato starch or the fibre sources as compared with diet C, whereas no significant effects on the counts of various bacteria were observed with potato starch supplementation. Overall, the present results indicate that the addition of dietary fibre to pig diets resulted in an enhanced microbial fermentation.


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