Comparison of fractionation methods for nitrogen and starch in maize and grass silages

M. Ali*, L.H. de Jonge, J.W. Cone, G. van Duinkerken, M.C. Blok, M.H. Bruinenberg, W.H. Hendriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In in situ nylon bag technique, many feed evaluation systems use a washing machine method (WMM) to determine the washout (W) fraction and to wash the rumen incubated nylon bags. As this method has some disadvantages, an alternate modified method (MM) was recently introduced. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the W and non-washout (D+U) fractions of nitrogen (N) and/or starch of maize and grass silages, using the WMM and the MM. Ninety-nine maize silage and 99 grass silage samples were selected with a broad range in chemical composition. The results showed a large range in the W, soluble (S) and D+U fractions of N of maize and grass silages and the W, insoluble washout (W-S) and D+U fractions of starch of maize silages, determined by both methods, due to variation in their chemical composition. The values for N fractions of maize and grass silages obtained with both methods were found different (p <0.001). Large differences (p <0.001) were found in the D+U fraction of starch of maize silages which might be due to different methodological approaches, such as different rinsing procedures (washing vs. shaking), duration of rinsing (40 min vs. 60 min) and different solvents (water vs. buffer solution). The large differences (p <0.001) in the W-S and D+U fractions of starch determined with both methods can led to different predicted values for the effective rumen starch degradability. In conclusion, the MM with one recommended shaking procedure, performed under identical and controlled experimental conditions, can give more reliable results compared to the WMM, using different washing programs and procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-531
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Modified method
  • Nitrogen
  • Silages
  • Starch
  • Washing machine method

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