Unprocessed and acid-extruded rapeseed meal (RSM) was fed to broiler chickens, with and without addition of commercial pectolytic enzymes. Nonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) fermentability and unfermented NSP structures from RSM were studied in the excreta in detail. From unprocessed RSM, 24% of the nonglucose polysaccharides could be fermented. Acid treatment did not have a significant effect, but enzyme addition did improve fermentability to 38%. Most likely, the significant increase in NSP fermentability can be ascribed to the addition of pectolytic enzymes, which decreased branchiness of the water-soluble arabinan. Mainly xyloglucan, (glucurono-)xylan, (branched) arabinan, and cellulose remained in the excreta. The proportion of unextractable carbohydrates increased in excreta from broilers fed acid-extruded RSM. Probably, acid extrusion resulted in a less accessible NSP matrix, also decreasing the accessibility for pectolytic enzymes added in the diet. During alkaline extraction of the excreta, 39 to 52% (wt/wt) of the insoluble carbohydrates was released as glucosyl- and uronyl-rich carbohydrates, probably originally present via ester linkages or hydrogen bonding within the cellulose-lignin network. These linkages are expected to hinder complete NSP fermentation and indicate that digestibility of RSM may benefit substantially from an alkaline treatment or addition of esterases.
- nonstarch polysaccharides
- pectic substances