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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effects of feeding fermented wheat with Lactobacillus reuteri on gut morphology, intestinal fermentation, nutrient digestibility, and growth performance in weaned pigs1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 94 No. 11, p. 4677-4687
    Received: June 02, 2016
    Accepted: Aug 23, 2016
    Published: October 27, 2016

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. M. H. A. Le*,
  2. S. Galle*,
  3. Y. Yang*,
  4. J. L. Landero*,
  5. E. Beltranena*†,
  6. M. G. Gänzle* and
  7. R. T. Zijlstra 2*
  1. * Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P5
     Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6H 5T6


Feeding fermented feed to weaned pigs may improve nutrient digestibility and gut health and thereby reduce diarrhea incidence. Effects of feeding wheat grain fermented for 24 h with Lactobacillus reuteri were evaluated with 36 weaned pigs (7.3 kg BW). Fermented wheat grain contained (DM basis) 14.2% CP, 0.45% chemically available Lys, and 7.8% NDF, whereas unfermented wheat grain contained 16.4% CP, 0.45% chemically available Lys, and 9.9% NDF. Pigs were fed 6 mash wheat-based diets balanced for water content during 2 phases: Phase 1 diets for 1 wk (d 0–7) with 20% unfermented or fermented wheat and, subsequently, Phase 2 diets for 2 wk (d 8–21) with 50% unfermented or fermented wheat. The 6 diets were unfermented wheat (CTRL), unfermented and chemically acidified wheat (ACD), fermented wheat with L. reuteri TMW1.656 and 10% sucrose, fermented wheat with L. reuteri TMW1.656 and 5% glucose + 5% fructose, fermented wheat with L. reuteri LTH5794 and 10% sucrose, and fermented wheat with L. reuteri LTH5794 and 5% glucose + 5% fructose. Diets were formulated to provide 2.5 and 2.4 Mcal NE/kg and 5.3 and 5.0 g standardized ileal digestible Lys/Mcal NE for Phase 1 and 2 diets, respectively. Feeding fermented wheat reduced (P < 0.05) apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of diet DM (84.7 vs. 85.4%), GE (84.4 vs. 85.3%), and CP (81.8 vs. 83.6%) for d 15 through 21 compared with the CTRL and ACD diets. Weaned pigs fed fermented wheat diets had lower (P < 0.05) ADFI than pigs fed the CTRL and ACD diets for d 0 through 7. The ADFI, ADG, and G:F did not differ between pigs fed fermented and unfermented diets. Concentrations of acetic, propionic, and branched-chain fatty acids and total VFA in feces increased (P < 0.05) for pigs fed fermented wheat diets containing exopolysaccharides (EPS). However, VFA did not differ in ileal digesta. Villus height in the duodenum and jejunum increased in pigs fed fermented wheat without EPS (P < 0.05) compared with pigs fed fermented wheat with EPS. However, pigs fed the CTRL and ACD diets had longer (P < 0.05) villi and deeper crypts in the ileum than pigs fed fermented wheat. The ratio of villus height to crypt depth did not differ in the 3 segments of small intestine of weaned pigs. In conclusion, feeding fermented wheat grain diets to weaned pigs did not affect gut morphology, intestinal fermentation, growth performance, and ATTD of nutrients; however, EPS stimulated hindgut fermentation and may promote health benefits.

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