Digestion by pigs of non-starch polysaccharides in wheat and raw peas (Pisum sativum) fed in mixed diets

Br J Nutr. 1991 Mar;65(2):259-70. doi: 10.1079/bjn19910085.


The digestion by pigs of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) in wheat and raw peas (Pisum sativum) fed in mixed diets was measured. In the four experimental diets, wheat was included at a constant 500 g/kg whilst peas contributed 0-300 g/kg and these were the only dietary sources of NSP. Separate estimates of digestibility for wheat and peas were obtained by using a multiple linear regression technique which also tested the possibility that the presence of peas might influence the digestibility of wheat NSP. There was little evidence of the latter and it was found that the digestibility of peas NSP (0.84) was considerably greater than that of wheat (0.65). The non-cellulosic polysaccharides (NCP) had twofold greater digestibilities than had cellulose for both foods with essentially all the peas NCP being digested. Faecal alpha, epsilon-diaminopimelic acid concentration increased with feeding of peas, suggesting stimulation of bacterial biomass production in the large intestine using the readily fermented peas NSP. All three major volatile fatty acids produced by large intestinal fermentation were detected in jugular blood and increased significantly with increasing peas inclusion rate in the diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Digestion / physiology*
  • Fabaceae*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / blood
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Fermentation / physiology
  • Intestine, Large / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Swine / growth & development
  • Swine / metabolism*
  • Triticum*


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Polysaccharides
  • Nitrogen