Effect of toasting grain silages from field peas (Pisum sativum) and field beans (Viciafaba) on in vitro gas production, methane production, and post-ruminal crude proteincontent
Legume grains such as field peas and field beans can be produced on a local level, and may be reliable sources of dietary protein and energy apart from common soybean and rapeseed meals. In ruminants, protein, starch, and carbohydrates from peas and field beans are fermented in large part before reaching the small intestine. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a combination of ensiling and hydro-thermic treatment (i.e., toasting at 160 °C for 30 min) of grains of peas and field beans on the concentrations of post-ruminal crude protein (PRCP) and rumen-undegraded protein (RUP). Moreover, 24-h gas production and methane production were measured. For this, an in vitro batch-culture system with ruminal fluid from sheep was used. Rumen-undegraded protein was determined using the Streptomyces griseus protease test. Scanning electron micrographs were used to visualize morphological changes of starch granules and their joint matrices in peas and field beans after ensiling, toasting, or a combination of both. The crude protein (CP) content of native pea grains was 199 g/kg DM, and PRCP content was155 g/kg DM at a ruminal passage rate of 0.08/h (Kp8), RUP 33 g/kg DM at Kp8, and starch 530 g/kg DM. Native field beans had CP 296 g/kg DM, PRCP 212 g/kg DM at Kp8, RUP 54 g/kg DM at Kp8, and starch 450 g/kg DM. The PRCP did not considerably differ among native and treated peas or field beans. Especially in the peas, RUP at Kp8 increased after ensiling by 10 g/kg DM (i.e., 30%; P < 0.05). Toasting increased RUP (Kp8) in ensiled peas by another 28% (P < 0.05). Toasting had no effect on PRCP or RUP, when the peas or field beans were not ensiled before. Gas and methane production were not affected by any treatment, and scanning electron micrographs did not reveal structural changes on the starches doubtless of any treatment. Protein seemed to be more affected by treatment with ensiled + toasted peas than with ensiled + toasted field beans, but starches and other carbohydrates from both legumes remained unaffected.