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Effects of betaine and condensed molasses solubles on ileal and total tract nutrient digestibilities in piglets

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The study was carried out to investigate the effects of betaine monohydrate (BET) and betaine derived from condensed molasses solubles (CMS) on ileal and total tract nutrient digestibility in weaned piglets. The experiment included three treatments with 12 eight-week-old barrows with an average initial body weight (BW) of 8.5 kg. The piglets were fitted with a simple T cannula at the distal ileum. They were fed a basal diet (control, CON) based on wheat, barley and soybean meal alone or either supplemented with betaine monohydrate (betaine treatment, BET) or condensed molasses solubles (condensed molasses solubles treatment, CMS). Each treatment included four piglets in two repeated measurements. Titanium dioxide was added as a digestibility marker. The collection of faeces began at 20.00 h on day 7 and continued for 48 consecutive hours. Ileal digesta were collected for 24 h from 20.00 to 08.00 h on day 9 and 10 and from 08.00 to 20.00 h on day 11. The second collection period started on day 14 following the same procedure. The ileal and total tract digestibilities of NDF, ADF and crude ash were improved (p<0.05) due to supplemental BET and CMS. The supplementation of CMS increased (p<0.05) the ileal digestibilities of and most amino acids by 2 to 8 percentage units whereas BET supplementation resulted in a decrease (p<0.05) in the ileal digestibilities of crude protein and most amino acids by 2 to 7 percentage units. It can be concluded that, in piglets, betaine originating from different sources promotes efficiently the fermentation of dietary NDF and ADF in association with improved mineral absorption, whereas the effects on ileal amino acid digestibility are equivocal.

Keywords: Amino acids; betaine; condensed molasses solubles; fibre; osmolyte; piglet

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Animal Nutrition, Stuttgart, Germany 2: Bioinformatics Unit, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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