Short Communication: The effects of physical feed properties on gastric emptying in pigs measured with the 13C breath test

B.M.J. Martens, H.A. Schols, E.M.A.M. Bruininx, W.J.J. Gerrits*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The performance of pigs is affected by the rate of nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, which depends in turn strongly on the rate of stomach emptying. The 13C breath test provides a non-invasive diagnostic tool to measure gastric emptying patterns. Despite the wide acceptance of this method in human intervention studies, it has not found its way to the domain of animal sciences. In this study, we used the breath test to measure gastric emptying in young growing pigs using [1-13C] octanoic acid to trace digesta solids and [1-13C] glycine to study liquids. Pigs were fed a starch-rich diet, varying in starch source (isolated starch from barley, maize or high-amylose maize) or form (isolated barley starch, ground barley or extruded barley), after which 13CO2 enrichment was frequently measured during 11 h. Outliers in 13CO2 enrichment in the response curve of each pig were identified with a Cook 1/4s distance outlier test in combination with a leave-one-out analysis. Effects of experimental treatments on breath test parameters were tested using a GLM. In general, pigs were easy to train and the tailor-made mask allowed effortless sampling. Gastric emptying of all pigs followed a biphasic pattern, with a higher 13C recovery during the first peak. The first peak in gastric emptying of solids reached its maximum enrichment within 2 h after feeding in all cases. For digesta liquids, this peak was reached earlier for pigs fed ground barley (2.2 h after feeding), compared to pigs fed diets containing isolated starch (2.8 h after feeding). The second peak in gastric emptying of solids was reached later for pigs fed ground barley (5.9 h after feeding), compared with pigs fed extruded barley (4.5 h after feeding) and pigs fed diets containing isolated barley starch (4.8 h after feeding). In conclusion, the 13C breath test is a convenient, non-invasive tool to gain more insights into the gastric emptying pattern of pigs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • extrusion
  • glycine
  • liquid phase
  • octanoic acid
  • solid phase

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