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Detergent fiber analysis

The concept behind detergent fiber analysis is that plant cell substances can be divided into less digestible cell walls (made up of hemicelluloses, cellulose, and lignin) and highly digestible cell contents (containing starch and sugars).
These components can be separated by using two detergents: a neutral detergent and an acid detergent.
  • Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) is the residue or insoluble fraction left after boiling a feed material in a neutral detergent solution. The NDF contains insoluble plant cell wall components that include cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, silica, and cutins. The hemicelluloses, cellulose, and lignin represent the fibrous content of the forage. NDF is a good indicator of bulk and thus feed intake. As NDF percent increases, the dry matter intake generally decreases
  • Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF(: this fibrous component represents the most minor digestible fiber portion of forage or other roughage. This highly indigestible part of forage includes lignin, cellulose, silica, and insoluble forms of nitrogen, but not hemicellulose. Forages with higher ADF values are lower in digestible energy than forages with lower ADF values, which means that as the ADF concentration increases, digestible energy concentration decreases. During laboratory analysis, ADF is the residue remaining after boiling a test material in an acid detergent solution. ADF is a good indicator of digestibility and thus energy intake. As ADF increases the ability to digest or the digestibility of the forage decreases
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