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Lyons G.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Sharma S.,Plant Health and Environmental Protection Branch | Aubry A.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Carmichael E.,Plant Health and Environmental Protection Branch | Annett R.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland
Animal Feed Science and Technology | Year: 2016

The aim of this study was to investigate the application of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to provide calibration equations for assessing faecal composition, intake and digestibility in sheep. Four grass-based feed types and corresponding faecal samples were collected from two separate sheep digestibility experiments. The feed (n = 41) and faecal samples (n = 132) were analysed for chemical composition, digestibility, were scanned using FTIR spectroscopy and intakes were recorded. Data were analysed using principle component analysis and partial least squares (PLS) regression techniques for calibration equation development. Calibration accuracy and performance were assessed by calculating regression coefficient of cross validation (R2cv) and the ratio of performance to deviation (RPD value) respectively. Results indicated that the composition of feed and faecal samples along with associated digestibilities and intakes were significantly different for a number of parameters studied. Some of the PLS regression equations generated were comparable to those reported in the published literature, and based on calibration statistics and performance those developed for faecal ash and neutral detergent fibre were good and could be used for quantification (R2cv = 0.9–0.8, RPD = 3.0–2.5); those for acid detergent fibre, lignin, feed ash intake and dry matter digestibility (DMD) were adequate for qualitative analysis and screening (R2cv = 0.8–0.7, RPD = 2.3–2.0); and the calibration equations for dry matter, nitrogen, dry matter intake, gross energy, gross energy intake and gross energy digestibility were poor and unsuitable for prediction (R2cv ≤ 0.7, RPD ≤ 1.8). Further development of calibration equations and in particular the prediction of DMD, could be of benefit to animal scientists and the livestock industry. © 2016

Sharma H.S.S.,Plant Health and Environmental Protection Branch | Carmichael E.,Plant Health and Environmental Protection Branch | Carmichael E.,Queen's University of Belfast | Muhamad M.,Queen's University of Belfast | And 5 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2012

This study has demonstrated biorefining steps for ryegrass and silage at a pilot scale to extrude fibre cake for the production of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC), a potentially green biomaterial for replacing conventional fillers in the manufacture of polymer composites. Further treatments of processed ryegrass fibres with mechanical shearing, microfluidising, hydrochloric acid (HCl)/sulphuric acid and a four stage {ethylenediaminetetra- acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite and HCl} hydrolysis yielded 43.8, 36.1, 25.6 and 39.8 kg t -1 DM of NFCs respectively. The NFCs were characterised using microscopy, X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering, spectroscopy and thermogravimetry. The NFC had diameters from 3.0-9.1 nm and length 308 nm-4.6 μm. NFC-polyvinyl alcohol composites containing NFC (5 wt%) exhibited enhanced Young's modulus and thermal stability by factors of 2.5 and 2 respectively compared with control. The mass, energy, water and chemical balances of the four process steps were assessed to evaluate technical feasibility and also to provide baseline production data for scaling up. The microfluidised product has been identified as the best NFC product, but production cost needs to be reduced. This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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