Nutritional value and physiological effects of D-xylose and L-arabinose in poultry and pigs

J.B. Schutte

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


The main sugars other than glucose, which will be released from a hydrolysis of nonstarch polysaccharides, are D-xylose and L-arabinose. The results of studies on the fate of both pentose sugars after oral administration in poultry and pigs are presented. Digestibility of L-arabinose at the end of the ileum was found to be lower than that of D-xylose. The presence of D-xylose or L-arabinose in the diet increased the ileal flow of volatile fatty acids in pigs, suggesting microbial degradation of both sugars in the small intestine. Both pentose sugars were partly excreted in the urine. The extent of this urinary excretion, as a percentage of intake, increased as the dietary inclusion of either of the two sugars was increased. At equal dietary levels, more xylose than arabinose was excreted in the urine. Feeding of D-xylose and L-arabinose to pigs and poultry caused some physiological changes. In chicks these changes resulted in wet droppings. The net energy value of both pentose sugars was calculated to be approximately 25 to 35% of that of D-glucose.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Verstegen, Martin, Promotor
  • Tamminga, S., Promotor
  • van Weerden, E.J., Promotor, External person
Award date16 Dec 1991
Place of PublicationS.l.
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • feeds
  • nutritive value
  • poultry
  • fowls
  • pigs
  • monosaccharides


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