Stability of fatty acids in grass and maize silages after exposure to air during the feed out period

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Lipids in forages are extensively hydrolysed in the silo with a concomitant increase in the level of free fatty acids (FFA). After opening of the silo, exposure of the FFA to air and light with, a concomitant increase in pH and microbial growth, could induce oxidization. The present study investigated the stability of FA in grass and maize silages exposed to air for 0, 12 and 24 h. Eight maize silages were selected with varying dry matter (DM) contents, being very wet, wet, normal and dry. In addition, eight grass silages were chosen on the basis of ammonia (NH3) concentration and pH level. Grass and maize silages were sampled 8–10 weeks after ensiling and anaerobically transported to the lab in cooled plastic bags. After mixing, each sample was divided into three subsamples and exposed to air for 0, 12 or 24 h. Concentrations of individual FA were quantified by gas chromatography. Among the investigated silages, concentrations of total FA varied greatly and ranged from 16.4 to 23.9 and 9.5 to 21.6 g/kg DM in grass and maize silages, respectively. Exposure to air up to 24 h lowered (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-192
JournalAnimal Feed Science and Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • light-dependent degradation
  • lolium-perenne l.
  • lipid-metabolism
  • sunflower oil
  • cutting date
  • dairy-cows
  • senescence
  • maturity
  • forage
  • quality

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