Non-Structural Carbohydrates

Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC or water soluble carbohydrates as they are also referred to) are the sugars, starches and pectins which make up a large part of the energy component in feeds.

• Pectins
Soluble and rapidly fermented in the rumen producing acetic acid which aids in determining milk-fat. Grasses are low in pectins (2-5%), while legumes contain higher quantities (7-14%). Pectins decline with increasing plant maturity.

• Sugars 
Glucose, fructose and sucrose. Simple sugars that are amongst the most rapidly fermented, and are readily digested as they reach the small intestine.

• Starch
Starch is the predominant storage carbohydrate found in plants and is 90% fermentable in the rumen. Cereal grains contain large amounts of starch, however the smooth covering of the seed provides the  rst barrier to digestion, and a protein ‘matrix’ surrounding the starch granules the second. It is proven that up to 30% of whole grain may pass undigested into the manure.

The optimum range for NSC for high producing dairy cows is 35-42% of DM. Below this we see poor rumen microbial growth and digestion and a negative effect on body condition and milk protein levels. Too much will lead to acidosis problems and a low fat test.

As part of the pelletising process at CopRice, grains are exposed to a combination of moisture, heat and mechanical grinding to both rupture the protein matrix and gelatinise the starch, thereby increasing overall digestibility.

For more information, speak to your CopRice representative Free call 1800 267 742.