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Protein enrichment of cactus pear with Saccharomyces cerevisiae for ruminants feeding

The process of protein enrichment of the forage palm (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill) using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast in a semi-solid culture to improve the nutritional value of forage palm for ruminants feeding was evaluated. The yeast concentrations of 1, 2 and 3% (wet basis) in the forage palm substrate were used. The periods of incubation were of 6, 12, 24, and 36 hours. A complete randomized experimental design in a split plot arrangement with four replicates was used. The crude protein content increased from 4.4% (in natura) to 10.4% when 3% of inoculums were used and the processing period was of 6 hours. The observed protein contents for 1% of the inoculum, used for the fermentation periods of 6, 12, 24, and 36 hours were 6.1, 8.1, 8.1, and 9.2%, respectively. These values were 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, and 9.8% for 2% of the inoculum, and 10.4, 10.4, 7.9, and 7.9% for 3% of the inoculum, respectively. An alternative for ruminant feeding can be obtained by bioconversion of forage palm.

forage palm; Opuntia ficus-indica Mill; semi-solid culture; crude protein

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil