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An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of cereal carbohydrate form (isolated v. cereal matrix) and level, especially mixed-linked β-glucan (hereafter referred to as β-glucan) and starch amylase/amylopectin ratio on nutrient digestibility and fermentation parameters in the intestines of weaned pigs. Four hulless barley cultivars containing varying β-glucan levels (41 to 84 g/kg) were compared with hulled barley, supplemented or not with a β-glucan concentrate (BBG; 270 g/kg β-glucan) and two oat cultivars for digestibility and fermentation metabolites. Seventy-two weaned piglets (BW = 12.8 ± 1.9 kg) were assigned to one of nine diets composed of 815 g/kg cereal, 60 g/kg whey, 90 g/kg soy protein isolate and 35 g/kg minerals. After 15 days, the pigs were killed, and digesta collected from ileum and colon were analyzed for proximate nutrients, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), lactic acid (LA) and ammonia. Ileal and total tract digestibility of proximate nutrients and non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) were determined using HCl-insoluble ash as a marker. Organic matter (OM) ileal digestibility was greater (P < 0.05) for diets based on hulless barley (77% ± 1.1% on average), as compared with hulled barley (64% ± 1.4%) and oat (58% ± 1.5%). Similar trends were found for total tract OM digestibility, varying from 90% ± 0.3% for hulless barley to 67% ± 0.4% for oat, on average. NSP digestibility differed (P < 0.05) within and between cereal types, ranging from 20% (hulled barley plus 163 g/kg BBG or 40 g/kg β-glucan) to 51% (SB94893 hulless barley cultivar with high β-glucan and high amylose ratio) at the ileum and from 44% (hulled barley) to 84% (SB94893 cultivar) at the total tract level. No dietary effect (P > 0.05) was found for SCFA concentration in ileal contents, whereas in colonic contents, SCFA was lower in pigs fed oat (P < 0.001). LA concentration was greater (P < 0.001) in the colon of pigs fed hulless barley than in pigs fed hulled barley and oat. Expressed per kg carbohydrate (NSP + starch) fermented, the ammonia concentration at the colon was lowest for hulled barley diets (supplemented with β-glucan) and the highest for oat diets. In conclusion, the interaction of both form and level of β-glucan impacted nutrient digestibility and fermentation. Hulless barleys with high soluble NSP such as β-glucan and resistant starch yielded, in general higher SCFA and LA and lower ammonia. Hulless barleys may, therefore, have potential for use in feeding strategies designed to improve gut health in pigs.