Corn hybrid affects in vitro and in vivo measures of nutrient digestibility in dogs

M. Gajda, E. A. Flickinger, C. M. Grieshop, L. L. Bauer, N. R. Merchen, G. C. Fahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Corn is a commonly used ingredient in dry pet foods because there is a stable supply and it is a relatively inexpensive source of nutrients. Corn hybrids are available that are higher in CP and amylose and lower in phytate concentration than conventional hybrids. Approximately 500 mg of high-protein (HP), high-protein, low-phytate (HPLP), and high-amylose (HA) corn were compared with conventional (CONV) corn and amylomaize starch (AM) in triplicate and exposed to pepsin/hydrochloric acid and pancreatin to simulate hydrolytic digestion. Substrate remaining after this was used to determine in vitro colonic fermentation. Organic matter disappearances as a result of hydrolytic digestion were >80% for CONV, HP, and HPLP, whereas HA (60.7%) and AM (43.7%) were lower (P < 0.05). Total digestion (TD) values after hydrolytic digestion and 8 h of fermentation using canine fecal inoculum were greater (P < 0.05) for CONV, HP, and HPLP vs. HA and AM. The residue left after hydrolytic digestion of all substrates was poorly fermented. Five ileal-cannulated dogs were fed each corn hybrid at approximately 31% of the diet in a 5 x 5 Latin square design. Dogs fed diets containing HP corn had higher (P < 0.05) ileal OM digestibility (70.3%) and tended (P < 0.10) to have higher DM digestibility (64.6%). Ileal starch digestibilities were lower (P < 0.05) for dogs fed HA (64.0%) and AM (63.0%). Ileal digestibilities of essential (71.2%), nonessential (67.4%), and total (69.0%) AA tended to be higher (P < 0.10) for HP diets compared with CONV (66.4, 62.4, and 64.0%, respectively). Total-tract DM, OM, CP, and GE digestibilities. (77, 82, 77, and 84%, on average, respectively) were higher (P < 0.05) for dogs fed CONV, HP, and HPLP than for those fed AM (66.9, 71.6, 72.6, and 76.5%) and HA (60.6, 65.7, 69.7, and 71.5%). Total-tract fat digestibilities were lower (P < 0.05) for dogs fed HA diets (86.6%) than for all other treatments (91.0%, on average). Total-tract starch digestibilities were higher (P < 0.05) for dogs fed CONV, HP, and HPLP (98%, on average) compared with HA (72.8%) and AM (76.5%). No differences were detected among treatments in fecal bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, or Clostridium perfringens concentrations. The experiments demonstrated that HP and HPLP corn had hydrolytic digestion and fermentation characteristics similar to those of CONV corn, whereas HA resulted in similar responses to AM, a well-established resistant starch ingredient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-171
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Corn Hybrid
  • Digestion
  • Dog
  • In Vitro

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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