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Research Notes
on February 15, 2015

Effects of novel fibers on short-chain fatty acid production in canines

CEF had a butyrogenic effect and CEF, CHP and their blends had similar bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations as popular prebiotic and fiber substrates.

The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of in vitro fermentation of coconut endosperm fiber (CEF), chicory pulp (CHP) and selective blends of these substrates on short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and changes in microbiota using canine fecal inocula.

A total of six individual substrates—short-chain fructooligosaccharide (scFOS), pectin (PEC), pelletized cellulose (PC), beet pulp (BP), CEF and CHP—and three CEF:CHP blends were tested. Triplicate samples of each substrate were fermented for 0, 8 and 16 hours after inoculation. A significant substrate × time interaction was observed for pH change and acetate, propionate, butyrate and total SCFA concentrations. After 8 and 16 hours, pH change was greatest for scFOS and smallest for PC. After 16 hours, CEF had a greater butyrate concentration than CHP and all the CEF:CHP blends and it was not different than PEC. The substrate × time interaction was significant for bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. After 8 hours, bifidobacteria was greatest for BP and lowest for PC. After 16 hours, PC had the lowest and scFOS had the greatest bifidobacteria.

In general, CEF, CHP and their blends had similar bifidobacteria populations after 8 and 16 hours of fermentation when compared with BP and scFOS. After 16 hours, lactobacilli populations were greatest for B1, B2, B3, BP and scFOS, intermediate for PEC and lowest for PC. Overall, the data suggest that CEF had a butyrogenic effect and that CEF, CHP and their blends had similar bifidobacteria and lactobacilli populations as popular prebiotic and fiber substrates. Future experiments should investigate the effects of CEF, CHP and their blends on gastrointestinal health and fecal quality in dogs, according to researchers.

Source:  M.R.C. de Godoy et al., 2015. In vitro fermentation characteristics of novel fibers, coconut endosperm fiber and chicory pulp, using canine fecal inoculum. J Anim Scionline, January 2015. doi: 10.2527/jas.2014-7962.

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