Phlorotannins have been reported to have positive effects on pig health, including improved gut health and digestibility. In this study, we investigate the effect of phenolics found in two brown seaweeds, Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus serratus, on in vitro dry matter digestibility of seaweeds and commercial pig feed. Phlorotannin extracts and whole seaweeds were supplemented into pig feed to test their effect on digestibility. Solid-phase extraction was used to purify the phenolics to phlorotannins. The results showed a slight decrease in the digestibility of pig feed that was found to be significant when phlorotannin extracts were added from either seaweed. However, when whole A. nodosum was added to the pig feed, the effect on digestibility was less pronounced. Specifically, no significant difference in digestibility was observed at inclusion rates up to 5%, and thereafter results varied. A difference in digestibility was also observed in the same species at the same inclusion rate, collected from different seasons. This suggests that other compounds, e.g., polysaccharides, are having an effect on digestibility when whole seaweeds are supplemented to animal feed. This research has also highlighted the need to base supplementation on phenolic concentration as opposed to a standardised percentage inclusion of seaweeds to ensure that digestibility is not adversely affected.
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Nov 2020|