The effect of type of fiber, site of fermentation, method for quantifying insoluble and soluble dietary fiber, and their correction for intestinal mucin on fiber digestibility were examined in rabbits.
Three diets differing in soluble fiber were formulated (the low soluble fiber [LSF] diet; the medium soluble fiber [MSF] diet; and the high soluble fiber [HSF] diet). They were obtained by replacing half of the dehydrated alfalfa in the MSF diet with a mixture of beet and apple pulp (HSF diet) or with a mix of oat hulls and soybean protein (LSF diet). Thirty rabbits were used to determine digestibility. Insoluble fiber was measured as NDF, insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) and in vitro insoluble fiber, whereas soluble fiber was calculated as the difference between total dietary fiber (TDF) and NDF (TDF–NDF), IDF (TDF–IDF), and in vitro insoluble fiber (TDF–in vitro insoluble fiber).
Ileal and fecal concentration of mucin increased from the LSF to the HSF diet group. Once corrected for intestinal mucin, ileal and fecal digestibility of TDF and soluble fiber increased whereas cecal digestibility decreased. Ileal digestibility of TDF increased from the LSF to the HSF diet group, with no difference in the cecum, resulting in a higher fecal digestibility from the LSF to the HSF diet group. Ileal digestibility of insoluble fiber increased from the LSF to the HSF diet group, with no difference in the cecum and no effect of fiber method, resulting in a higher fecal digestibility for rabbits fed the HSF diet compared with the MSF and LSF diet groups. Fecal digestibility of NDF was higher compared with IDF or in vitro insoluble fiber. Ileal soluble fiber digestibility was higher for the HSF than for the LSF diet group and fiber method did not affect it. Cecal soluble fiber digestibility decreased from the LSF to the HSF diet group. The lowest cecal and fecal soluble fiber digestibility was measured using TDF–NDF.
In conclusion, a correction for intestinal mucin is necessary for ileal TDF and soluble fiber digestibility, whereas the selection of the fiber method has a minor relevance. The inclusion of sugar beet and apple pulp increased the amount of TDF fermented in the small intestine.
Source: R. Abad-Guamán et al., 2015. Effect of type of fiber, site of fermentation and method of analysis on digestibility of soluble and insoluble fiber in rabbits. J Anim Sci online, May 2015. doi: 10.2527/jas.2014-8767