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Chitosan as alternative to growth-promoting antibiotics for ruminants
Date:2/26/2010

of chitosan on ruminant fermentation. Initially, simulation in vitro trials were undertaken to determine the effect of different types of chitosan on ruminant fermentation, as well as the influence of the diet, the dosage and the incubation time on these effects.

For the first in vitro trials, a technique of discontinuous cultures was employed. In this technique a specific feed item is incubated with an inoculum from the rumen of sheep, under conditions of pH and temperature that simulate those of the rumen itself. The trials showed that the chitosan modified the ruminant fermentation in a manner that could turn out to be beneficial for the animal; for example, with increments in the production of propionic acid during the fermentation of up to 95%. Moreover, it was observed that these effects or modifications were more important as the degree of deacetylation of the chitosan molecule increased and as the ration or diet contained a greater proportion of concentrate.

In the second round of in vitro trials the Rumen Simulation Technique or RUSITEC was used. This is different from the previous technique in that in this case semicontinuous fermenters were used in which there is a recycling of the culture medium. It thus enables maintaining a culture of stable ruminant microorganisms for longer periods in order to undertake studies for a longer time and thereby observe the persistance of the effects observed with the previous technique, and enable discarding possible adaptive effects of the ruminant microorganisms to chitosan. In these trials the effect of chitosan on rumen fermentation was observed to persist during the incubation time, thus enabling them to discard adaptive effects of the ruminant microorganisms to this compound.

In this way, in vitro trials obtained highly promising results, based on an improvement on the energy efficiency of the rumen fermentation process with fermentations aimed at the productio
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Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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