Part of the book: Biotechnology of Biopolymers
This chapter highlights the importance of fiber digestibility and utilization in ruminants and to summarize the main factors that influence fiber digestibility in silages. Forage provides at least half of the diet of lactating cattle and greatly affects energy and carbohydrate intake. It is important to maximize the intake of digestible carbohydrate from forages, because energy requirements for maintenance and milk production often exceed the amount of energy high-producing cows can consume, particularly in early lactation. There are many approaches used for enhancing fiber utilization in silage and subsequent maximizing energy intake and productivity of dairy cattle. Out of these approaches are: selecting appropriate forages with high fiber digestibility, applying the appropriate agronomic practices such as harvesting at the proper stage of maturity, fertilization, and cutting height at harvest, along with using of esterase-producing inoculants or fibrolytic enzymes have been proposed as approaches to improving the productivity of dairy cattle.
Part of the book: Advances in Silage Production and Utilization
The biofunctions of biopolymers are closely related to their microstructures in the complex plant-based tissue in biological systems. In this chapter, molecular spectroscopy is introduced as an approach to microprobe the structural architecture of plant-based seed tissues. Some recent progresses are made using molecular spectroscopy techniques. The working principles of the techniques, along with the methods of molecular spectral analyses and applications in feed architecture research are described.