Fibre analysis and fibre digestibility in pet foods - a comparison of total dietary fibre, neutral and acid detergent fibre and crude fibre
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Six dry dog foods and six dry cat foods with different carbohydrate sources were investigated in digestion trials. Food and faecal samples were analysed for CF, TDF and starch. In dogs, also neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) and acid detergent fibre (ADFom) were analysed. N-free extract (NfE) was calculated for CF, and similarly for all other fibre analyses. Linear regressions were calculated between fibre intake and faecal fibre excretion. True digestibility was calculated from the regression coefficients [true digestibility in % = (1) regression coefficient)*100], with the intercept of the equation representing excretion of material of non-food origin. Crude fibre analyses gave the lowest values, and TDF the highest, while ADFom and aNDFom were in between. Variation between diets was lowest in CF and highest in TDF. Total dietary fibre, aNDFom and ADFom in food were positively correlated. Crude fibre in food did not correlate with any other method. The NfE analogue for TDF was closest to the starch content. Methods of fibre analyses in faeces did not agree very well with each other. Crude fibre had the lowest apparent digestibility, followed by ADFom, TDF and aNDFom. For all fibre analyses, there was a significant correlation between fibre intake and faecal fibre excretion. True digestibility was close to zero for CF, with a high uniformity in both species. In dogs, true digestibility of aNDFom was 53%, of ADFom 26% and of TDF 37%; in cats, true digestibility of TDF was 31%. Except for CF, the intercept of the regression equations suggest that faecal excretion of some material of non-food origin is analysed as fibre. A combination of TDF and CF analyses might give good information on the content of total (TDF), unfermentable (CF) and partially fermentable fibre (TDF-CF) in pet foods.
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