Dynamics of early fermentation of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) silage

Tao Shao, N. Ohba, M. Shimojo, Y. Masuda

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44 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamics of fermentation were studied with Italian ryegrass ensiled in the laboratory silos. The silos were kept in the room set at 25°C, and then were opened on 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 14 days after ensiling, respectively. The samples were taken from three silos at each sampling time for chemical analyses. Mono-and disaccharides composition was determined for glucose, fructose and sucrose by high performance liquid chromatography. The Italian ryegrass silage succeeded to achieve lactate type fermentation; high values of lactic acid (85.83 g/kg) and lactic acid/acetic acid at the end of ensiling (14 day), low values of pH (3.74), acetic acid (5.38 g/kg), ethanol (19.20 g/kg) and NH3-N/Total N (75.84 g/kg), no or only small amounts of butyric acid, valeric acid and propionic acid. The fermentation dynamics showed a fast and large pH decrease caused by a fast and large production of lactic acid during the first 5 days. Mono-and disaccharides composition largely decreased within initial 0.5 day (12 h) of ensiling. Sucrose disappeared rapidly within initial 0.5 day of ensiling, and fructose and glucose contents showed an initial rise during ensiling, and then decreased gradually. These indicated that the enzymes of plant tissue were active within 2 days of ensiling, which caused the initial rise in fructose and glucose from the hydrolysis of sucrose and fructans. After 5 days of ensilage, glucose was consumed completely, suggesting that glucose was the first fermentation substrate. After 2 days of ensiling, sum amounts of lactic acid and remaining mono-and disaccharides proved to be larger than the quantity of mono-and disaccharides in the initial grass. From the facts mentioned above, it was suggested that considerable amounts of lactic acid were produced from some other substrate such as fructans than initial mono-and disaccharides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1606-1610
Number of pages5
JournalAsian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Engineering(all)


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