Influence of protein fermentation on gas production profiles

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    With modern equipment, accurate gas-production profiles can be obtained reflecting the organic-matter fermentation in rumen fluid. Although the gas production caused by fermentation of carbohydrates is well understood and described, ignoring the influence of protein fermentation may lead to misinterpretation of the gas-production data. Gas-production profiles, from grass samples differing in growing days, and hence in protein content, showed an unexpected low gas production for the young samples compared to the old ones. The influence of protein fermentation on gas-production profiles was studied by incubation of mixtures of casein with glucose, Zutkovsky starch and/or potato starch. After prolonged incubation, the fermentation of casein produced only 32% gas compared with carbohydrates and it was calculated that each percentage of protein caused a reduction in gas production of 2.48 ml g-1 organic matter. Relative to potato starch, casein was fermented in an earlier stage of incubation. After correction for the influence of protein fermentation, gas production of the youngest grass sample was the highest and of the oldest sample the lowest. It showed that protein fermentation influenced gas production mainly in the initial hours of incubation, because the major part of protein is part of the soluble fraction. It is concluded that a comparison of gas-production profiles of feed samples differing largely in protein content may lead to a misinterpretation, which necessitates correction for protein fermentation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-264
    JournalAnimal Feed Science and Technology
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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