Isolipidic replacement of krabok oil by whole krabok seed reduces in vitro methanogenesis, but negatively affects fermentation

Paiwan Panyakaew*, J.T. Schonewille, John W. Cone, Wilbert F. Pellikaan, Veerle Fievez, Chalermpon Yuangklang, Wouter H. Hendriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The background of the current in vitro study involves the issue of methane (CH4) production inherent to rumen fermentation. One of the dietary strategies to reduce enteric CH4 production by ruminants involves the supplementation of medium-chain fatty acids in diets. As such, oils containing high amounts of MCFA, such as coconut, palm kernel and krabok oil, are of much interest to formulate energy efficient and environmentally friendly rations for ruminants. Krabok oil (KO) reduces methanogenesis, but the appropriate inclusion level of dietary KO is unclear. We therefore investigated the dose–response relationship between krabok oil and CH4 production. In practice, the use of whole krabok seed (WKS), instead of KO, is easier, but the efficacy of WKS to inhibit methanogenesis was hitherto unknown. Thus, we also investigated whether WKS provides an alternative tool to inhibit CH4 production. The experimental substrates contained either KO, WKS, the residue of WKS after fat extraction residue (FER) or FER + KO. Appropriate amounts of WKS or its derivatives were added to a basal substrate so as to attain either a low, medium or high content of KO, that is, 37–46, 90–94 and 146–153 g/kg dry matter respectively. The experimental substrates were formulated to keep the amounts of incubated fat-free OM, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre constant in order to avoid biased results through potential differences in fermentability between WKS and its derivatives, and the basal substrate. The latter resembled the ingredient composition of a total mixed ration commonly used in Thai dairy cows. Fully automated gas production (GP) equipment was used to measure gas- and CH4 production. Irrespective of the type of substrate (p ≥.115), both the absolute (ml/g fat-free OM) and relative (% of total GP) CH4 production was reduced at the highest inclusion level of WKS or its derivatives (p ≤.019). Total GP (ml/g fat-free OM), however, was reduced after incubation of FER, FER + KO, and WKS, but not KO, at the highest inclusion level of the respective substrates (p =.019). Volatile fatty acids were likewise affected (p ≤.001). Krabok oil can inhibit CH4 production but only when the dietary KO content is at least 9.4% (DM). Supplementation of KO in the form of WKS, however, is considered not opportune because the fat extracted residue of WKS is poorly degraded during fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-461
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • in vitro
  • Krabok oil
  • krabok seed
  • medium-chain fatty acids
  • methane


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