Peculiarities of enhancing resistant starch in ruminants using chemical methods: opportunities and challenges.

PMID 23736826


High-producing ruminants are fed high amounts of cereal grains, at the expense of dietary fiber, to meet their high energy demands. Grains consist mainly of starch, which is easily degraded in the rumen by microbial glycosidases, providing energy for rapid growth of rumen microbes and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) as the main energy source for the host. Yet, low dietary fiber contents and the rapid accumulation of SCFA lead to rumen disorders in cattle. The chemical processing of grains has become increasingly important to confer their starch resistances against rumen microbial glycosidases, hence generating ruminally resistant starch (RRS). In ruminants, unlike monogastric species, the strategy of enhancing resistant starch is useful, not only in lowering the amount of carbohydrate substrates available for digestion in the upper gut sections, but also in enhancing the net hepatic glucose supply, which can be utilized by the host more efficiently than the hepatic gluconeogenesis of SCFA. The use of chemical methods to enhance the RRS of grains and the feeding of RRS face challenges in the practice; therefore, the present article attempts to summarize the most important achievements in the chemical processing methods used to generate RRS, and review advantages and challenges of feeding RRS to ruminants.