Effects of the insoluble and soluble dietary fibre on the physicochemical properties of digesta and the microbial activity in early weaned piglets

The use of higher insoluble-soluble dietary fibre concentration in piglet diets may improve intestinal health at weaning
Monday 19 October 2009 (9 years 1 months 22 days ago)
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The aim of the present study was to evaluate what are the effects of increasing the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) content of a piglet diet by using moderate amounts of either a more insoluble wheat bran diet (WB) or/and a more soluble (sugar beet pulp diet (SBP) NSP source on the nutrient utilization, physicochemical properties of digesta, and microbial activity and populations of pigs around weaning.

A total of 32 commercial crossbred piglets were weaned at 24 days of age and were distributed to 4 experimental treatments, a control diet (CT) and 3 NSP supplemented diets, 8% WB, 6% SBP and 4%WB-3% SBP. Two experimental periods (0-10 days and 10-15 days after weaning) were used to evaluate the adaptation of the gut to the experimental diets. BW and voluntary feed intake were measured. On days 10-15 the heaviest animals were euthanized. The caecal content were collected for microbial count analyses and the colon digesta was sampled for water retention capacity analysis (WRC), for unbound water and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) analyses.

Animals fed the WB diet showed a higher ADFI (P<0.05) and tended to have a higher ADG (P=10) compared to the CT diet from days 0 to 10. The organic matter digestibility on colon digesta was higher in the SBP diet (P=0.001) compared to the other three experimental diets on day 15. The inclusion of WB in the diets diminished the percentage of unbound water on the colonic digesta in the two experimental periods (P=0.01 on day 10 and P<0.05 on day 15) compared to the CT diet. A pronounced increase (P<0.01) in the SCFA concentration was observed from days 10 to 15, especially in diets containing WB and/or SBP. Among NSP supplemented diets, WB and WB-SBP promoted an increase in the amount of butyric acid (P=0.027) on day 15 compared to SBP and CT diets. WB-SBP diets showed the lowest enterobacteriaceae counts on day 15 (P<0.05).

This study shows that an increase in the amount of NSP in the diet may enhance the fermentation activity in the large intestine of piglets after weaning. Diets with a higher amount of insoluble NSP or a combination of insoluble and soluble NSP promoted a beneficial shift in the microbial colonization, with a higher production of butyric acid in the large intestine and lower enterobacteriaceae counts in the digesta.

F Molist, A Gómez de Segura, J Gasa, RG Hermes, EG Manzanilla, M Anguita, JF Pérez. 2009.Animal Feed Science and Technology, 149: 346-353.

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