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Carbohydrate fermentation and microbial cell growth in suspensions of pig large bowel contents

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Mathers


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Five contrasting carbohydrate substrates were incubated anaerobically for up to 24 hours with pig large bower contents as a source of inoculum, The progress of fermentation was followed by observing changes in pH and the accumulation of short chain fatty acids (SCFA). An attempt was made to quantify bacterial growth by measuring the incorporation of S-35 from S-35-sulphate into trichloroacetic acid-precipitable material. After 24 h incubation, the pH was little different with crystalline cellulose as substrate than in the absence of added substrate. However there were substantial and similar falls in pH with starch, pectin and pea fibre but a much lower final pH with raffinose as substrate. Bacterial cell growth (as indicated by S-35-incorporation) rose rapidly and plateaued at about 10 h with raffinose as substrate but increased throughout the period of study with the other fermentable carbohydrates. There was no simple relationship between the extent of carbohydrate fermentation (as measured by SCFA accumulation) and bacterial growth (indicated by S-35-incorporation) but these preliminary studies suggest the the S-35-incorporation technique shows some promise as a means of quantifying bacterial growth in vitro.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mathers JC; Goodlad JS

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sciences des Aliments

Year: 1999

Volume: 19

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 491-497

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 0240-8813

ISSN (electronic): 2116-5912