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Buffering capacity of common feedstuffs used in ruminant diets¤


Capacidad amortiguadora de ingredientes comúnmente utilizados en la alimentación de rumiantes


Capacidade tampão dos ingredientes utilizados na alimentação de ruminantes



Oziel D Montañez-Valdez1*, IAZ, PhD; José de Jesús Solano-Gama1, MVZ; Jaime J Martínez-Tinajero2, MVZ, PhD; Cándido Enrique Guerra-Medina3, IAZ, PhD; Alejandro Ley de Coss4, IAZ, PhD; Rogelio Orozco-Hernandez5, MVZ, PhD.

* Corresponding author: Oziel D Montañez-Valdez. Centro Universitario del Sur de la Universidad de Guadalajara. Av. Enrique Arreola Silva No. 883, CP 49000, Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, México.

1 Centro Universitario del Sur, Universidad de Guadalajara, Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, México.

2Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas, Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, México.

3Centro de Investigaciones Pecuarias, Departamento de Producción Agrícola CUCSUR Universidad de Guadalajara, Autlán, Jalisco, México.

4Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México.

5 Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Centro Universitario de Los Altos, Universidad de Guadalajara, Tepatitlán de Morelos, Jalisco, México.


(Received: February 16, 2012; accepted: March 22, 2012)



Background: buffer substances are commonly used in cattle nutrition. However, factors such as buffer type and amount added do not take into account the intrinsic buffering capacity of other dietary ingredients. Objective: to determine the buffering capacity (BC) of 25 commonly used energy and protein feedstuffs as well as additives, silages, and forage ingredients. Methods: BC was measured using the technique described by Jasaitis et al. (1988). Results are expressed in milliequivalents of hydrochloric acid required to generate a unit change in pH in the original feed sample. Results: the results of this study are in agreement with those reported by other authors. Conclusion: protein feedstuffs resulted in the highest BC values, followed by forages, while energy ingredients showed the lowest results.

Key words: buffering value index, cattle, nutrition.


Antecedentes: la utilización de sustancias amortiguadoras es común en nutrición bovina, sin embargo, factores como la cantidad y tipo de amortiguador utilizado no tienen en cuenta la capacidad amortiguadora intrínseca de los ingredientes utilizados en la dieta. Objetivo: evaluar la capacidad amortiguadora (CA) de 25 ingredientes de tipo energético, proteico, ensilados, aditivos y forrajes comúnmente utilizados en dietas para rumiantes. Métodos: la CA se determinó mediante la técnica descrita por Jasaitis et al. (1988) expresando los resultados en miliequivalentes de ácido clorhídrico requerido para producir un cambio en una unidad de pH de la muestra original de alimento. Resultados: los resultados obtenidos son similares a los reportados por otros autores. Conclusiones: los ingredientes que fueron clasificados como proteicos presentan una CA elevada, los forrajes presentan una CA intermedia, en comparación con los energéticos que presentan una CA baja.

Palabras clave: índice de capacidad tampón, ganado, nutrición.


Antecedentes: a utilização de substâncias tampão em gado é comum, no entanto, fatores como a quantidade e o tipo de tampão utilizado não ter em conta a capacidade tampão intrínseca dos ingredientes utilizados na dieta. Objetivo: avaliar a capacidade tampão (CA) de 25 ingredientes de tipo energético, proteico, silagem, aditivos e pastagens comunmente utilizados em dietas para ruminantes. Métodos: o CT é determinado pela técnica descrita por Jasaitis et al. (1988) apresentando os resultados em miliequivalentes de ácido clorídrico necessário para produzir uma mudança em uma unidade de pH da amostra original do alimento. Resultados: os resultados obtidos foram similares com outros estudos anteriormente reportados por outros autores. Conclusões: os ingredientes que foram classificados como proteicos apresentam um alto CT, aqueles que sua origen é o forragem têm uma CT intermediária, e os ingredientes energéticos têm um baixo CT.

Palavras chave: índice de capacidade tampão, gado, nutrição.




Non-structural carbohydrates comprise several main components of diets. Their fermentation reduces ruminal pH, which in turn reduces total tract digestibility of milk-fat and fiber (Garret et al., 1999; Oetzel, 2001; Montañez et al., 2006). Antibiotics, ionophores, and buffers are usually added to diets to help animals cope with the adverse effects of high level of dietary carbohydrates, which in turn improves fermentation, reduces by-products, and enhances the ruminal environment. The use of feed additives in high concentrate diets helps the buffer systems in the rumen of dairy and fattening cattle, but produces variable fermentation responses. The buffering capacity (BC) of the diet is related to the ingredients that it contains, so the individual impact of single ingredients is usually not taken into account (Sears and Walsh, 1998; Staples and Lough, 1989) and not typically assessed. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to determine BC of feedstuff ingredients commonly used in ruminant feeding.


Materials and Methods

The twenty-five most commonly used ingredients in ruminant feeding were collected and chemically analyzed (dry matter, crude protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, and ash). Analyses were conducted in triplicate using standard procedures (AOAC, 1990). Fiber fractions were analyzed using the Van Soest et al. procedure (1991). Samples of each ingredient were assessed for BC using the method described by Jasaitis et al. (1988). 5 g of each ingredient were suspended in 50 mL of deionized water (pH 7), stirred continuously and initial pH was measured with a pH-meter (Orion model 720A). The BC was determined by titrating a 30 mL solution under continuous stirring from its initial pH to pH 4, using 0.1 N HCl, and by further titrating the solution of the individual feedstuff. The BC was calculated by multiplying the amount of HCl by the normality, which was then expressed as milliequivalents (meq).


Results and discussion

Table 1, shows the nutrient content of the evaluated feedstuffs.

Table 2, shows the BC of feedstuffs with small differences compared to results published by Jasaitis et al. (1988) and Montañez et al. (2006).

For the ingredients used as energy source, the BC values were higher than those reported by some authors (Jasaitis et al.,1988; Montanez et al., 2006; Moharrery 2007), but protein sources and fermented ingredients were quite similar, except for corn gluten. The BC in protein sources ranged from 85 to 333 × 10-3 meq, where soybean meal had the lowest values and fish meal had the highest. This difference is possibly related to the amino groups and bone calcium present in fish meal (Canale and Stokes, 1988; Jasaitis et al., 2008; Van Soest et al., 1984). The BC in energy ingredients ranged from 7.75 to 17.35, similar to feedstuffs with low fiber and highly fermentable feedstuffs which also contain low amounts of fiber. The BC in forages, on the other hand, ranged from 21.7 to 66.9. Additives and forage source influenced the BC of fermented ingredients (Crawford et al., 1983; Le Ruyet et al., 1992; Sniffen and Robinson, 1987; Bujňák et al., 2011). The BC of concentrates was closely related to the source of minerals (Jasaitis et al., 1988; Moharrery, 2007). The natural buffering capacity of the ingredients was high (> 85 meq × 10-3) in foods high in protein and legumes with more than 15% crude protein (blood meal, alfalfa), medium (> 21 meq ×10-3 and < 70 meq × 10-3) in foods such as corn silage, and low (<17 meq × 10-3) in grasses (maize, sorghum, barley). Buffering capacity is additive, making its use potential for formulated diets, allowing us to decide when to use or not a particular ruminal buffer by showing its potential effectiveness.


Notas al pie

¤ To cite this article: Montañez-Valdez OD, Solano-Gama JDJ, Martínez-Tinajero JJ, Guerra-Medina CE, Ley de Coss A, Orozco-Hernández R. Buffering capacity of common feedstuffs used in ruminant diets. Rev Colomb Cienc Pecu 2013; 26:37-41.



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