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Abstract

The potential of seaweeds as alternative protein source was investigated in relation to their amino acid (AA) profiles and the ruminal and total tract digestibility of these AAs. Three red (Mastocarpus stellatus, Palmaria palmata, and Porphyra sp.), four brown (Alaria esculenta, Laminaria digitata, Pelvetia canaliculata, and Saccharina latissima), and two green (Cladophora rupestris. and Ulva sp.) seaweed species were used in this study (hereafter, referred to by Genus name only). All seaweeds were collected in Bodø, Northern Norway, during Spring and Autumn in 2014 and 2015, except Ulva, which was only sampled in Autumn of both years, and Saccharina which was not sampled in Spring 2014. All the samples were studied for AA concentration. Six species (Cladophora, Laminaria, Mastocarpus, Palmaria, Porphyra and Ulva) were selected for the more resource demanding in situ study. Species and season interactively affected the content of total AA in crude protein in different seaweeds investigated (P=0.02), with values ranging from 67.2 for Laminaria in Spring to 90.2 gAA/16 g N for Ulva in Autumn. in situ AA degradability was also species specific. The seasonality of total AA in crude protein of different seaweed species mostly did not affect their ruminal degradability, except for alanine, while species and season interactively affected proline’s ruminal degradability. The total tract degradability showed that for Laminaria and Mastocarpus, methionine followed by leucine, isoleucine, histidine and lysine, were protected against rumen degradation. These protections seemed to be acid labile allowing digestion in the lower digestive tract. However, due to high indigestible fractions, these two seaweeds provided low amounts of AA to the intestines. Total tract AA digestibility values were the highest for Porphyra (906 g/kg) followed by Palmaria (843 g/kg) and the green seaweeds. To conclude, Laminaria and Mastocarpus are beneficial sources for bypass protein supply as they contain AA protected against rumen degradation. Based on their amount of AA and their AA degradability, Porphyra, followed by Palmaria and the green seaweeds (Ulva and Cladophora) can be considered as relevant sources of protein for ruminants.

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Abstract

The effects of a commercial seaweed (SW) product and extracts collected from wild SWs in the Northern Norway on cultivable commensal intestinal bacterial groups isolated from Norwegian White sheep ewes were studied in vivo and in vitro. Bacterial counts from faeces from the ewes fed with supplement which contained SW meal throughout the entire indoor winter period had significantly lower lactic acid bacteria (LAB) counts (P ≈ .05). The screening of extracts from red and brown SWs showed that a number of the organic extracts had an inhibitory effect on the growth of the two Enterococcus sp. isolates. The results indicate that Ascophyllum nodosum supplementation reduces LAB counts in the ewes and the lambs, and that extracts from this SW have an inhibitory effect on the growth of Enterococcus sp. isolates.

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Abstract

Seaweeds have potentials as alternative feed for ruminants, but there is a limited knowledge on their nutritive value. Seven seaweed species collected along the coast above the Arctic circle of Norway, both in spring and autumn, were assessed for nutrients and total polyphenols (TEP) content, gas production kinetics and in vitro rumen fermentation in batch cultures of ruminal microorganisms. The seaweeds were three red species (Mastocarpus stellatus, Palmaria palmata and Porphyra sp.), three brown species (Alaria esculenta, Laminaria digitata and Pelvetia canaliculata) and one green species (Acrosiphonia sp.). Additionally, the abundance and diversity of total bacteria, protozoa and archaea in the cultures with the three red seaweeds collected in spring were analyzed by quantitative PCR and PCR-DGGE, respectively. The crude protein (CP) content varied widely. Pelvetia had the greatest (P < 0.001) ether extract (EE) content. Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) content varied from 135 to 541 g/kg DM with brown seaweeds having the greatest values. Ash and CP contents were higher in spring than in autumn (P = 0.020 and 0.003, respectively), whereas concentrations of EE and NSC were not affected by collecting season (P = 0.208–0.341). The TEP values ranged from 1.46 to 50.3 mg/g dry matter (DM), and differed (P < 0.001) among seaweed species and collecting season, being greater in autumn than in spring. The DM effective degradability (DMED), estimated from gas production parameters for a rumen passage rate of 3.0% per h, ranged from 424 to 652 g/kg, the highest values were recorded for Mastocarpus stellatus and Porphyra sp. The lowest DMED values were registered for Pelvetia canaliculata and Acrosiphonia sp. In 24-h incubations (500 mg DM), Palmaria palmata had the highest (P < 0.05) volatile fatty acids (VFA) and methane production (4.34 and 0.761 mmol, respectively) and the lowest (P < 0.05) final pH values and acetate to propionate ratios (6.57 and 2.34, respectively). There were no differences (P > 0.05) among the other seaweeds in VFA production, but Porphyra sp. had the second highest methane production (P < 0.05; 0.491 mmol) compared with the other seaweeds (0.361 mmol; averaged value). The methane/total VFA ratio was not affected (P > 0.05) by either seaweed species or the collection season. Higher final pH (P < 0.05) and lower (P < 0.05) methane and VFA production, ammonia-N concentrations and DMED values were promoted by the fermentation of seaweed collected in autumn compared with those from spring. Among the red seaweeds, there were no species-specific differences (P > 0.05) in the abundance or the diversity of total bacteria, protozoa and archaea. In the PCR-DGGE analysis, samples were separated by the incubation run for all microbial populations analyzed, but not by seaweed species. The results indicate that seaweed species differ markedly in their in vitro rumen degradation, and that samples collected in autumn had lower rumen degradability than those collected in spring.

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Abstract

The use of seaweeds in animal diets is not new. However, little is known about the feed value of seaweed, both in terms of chemical composition and protein digestibility, and regarding variation between species and season. In this study, eight seaweed species of the genus Acrosiphonia, Alaria, Laminaria, Mastocarpus, Palmaria, Pelvetia, Porphyra, and Ulva were sampled in spring (March) and autumn (October and November) 2014 at the coast of Bodø in Northern Norway, and were analysed for chemical composition, in situ rumen degradability and total tract crude protein (CP) digestibility. Ash content in dry matter (DM) was generally high (overall mean 190 g/kg in DM) and varied considerably, between species (P < 0.01) and between seasons (P = 0.02). CP concentration in DM varied both between species (P < 0.0001) and seasons (P < 0.01). Highest CP in DM was found for Porphyra (350 g/kg DM) and lowest for Pelvetia (90 g/kg DM). Spring samples were higher in CP than autumn samples. The effective degradability estimated at 5% rumen passage rate (ED5) of CP varied between species (P < 0.0001) but not between seasons (P = 0.10). The highest ED5 of CP was found for Alaria (550 g/kg CP) and lowest for Ulva (240 g/kg CP). Digestible rumen escape protein (DEP) varied significantly between species (P < 0.0001) but not between seasons (P = 0.06); highest DEP was found for Ulva (530 g/kg CP) and Porphyra (500 g/kg CP). Based on our results, Acrosiphonia, Alaria, Laminaria, Mastocarpus and Palmaria can supply the rumen with high amounts of rumen degradable protein, while Porphyra and Ulva can be used as a source of digestible bypass protein. Pelvetia had a very low degradability and should not be used to feed dairy cows.

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Abstract

In Norway domestic sheep are mostly kept on mountain pastures over summer. Previous studies have shown that climate conditions affect the growth of mountain grazing lambs in contrasting ways. We analysed a data-set from the Tjøtta Research farm in northern Norway comprising weights and growth of 8696 lambs over 17 years. The lambs grazed coastal or a mountain pasture, 15 km apart. We found that the lambs grew faster when grazing the mountain pasture. Spring and integrated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) affected only the lambs grazing in the mountains. Winter conditions (North Atlantic Oscillation) and summer temperature had a positive effect on growth in both pastures while spring temperature and spring NDVI were important only in the mountains. The positive effect of spring NDVI suggests that the mountain pasture will produce bigger lambs under future climate warming, while the lambs on the coastal pasture will be less affected.

Abstract

In Norway, most lambs are slaughtered at the end of the grazing season in September. An increased demand for fresh meat during the off-season may change this pattern. Castration of male lambs is not permitted, and off-season slaughtering may affect the acceptability of the meat. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of gender on meat quality from Norwegian White Sheep lambs slaughtered in September at the age of five months. Twenty-nine male lambs and 46 female lambs were included in the experiment. Loin samples of M. Longissimus dorsi were analysed for sensory profile. Meat from male lambs had higher scores for the less pleasant sensory attributes of cloying (P < 0.05) and rancid (P = 0.08) flavour, and lower scores for the more pleasant attributes of sour and sweet taste (P < 0.05 for both attributes) compared to meat from female lambs. The differences were more apparent between lambs grazing ryegrass than between lambs fed a concentrate and roughage diet. It is concluded that even at the normal slaughtering time in September, significant differences between genders may occur.

Abstract

In winter fed organic raised sheep inadequate plasma vitamin E levels is common and therefore supplementation is recommended. The objective of the present work was to test the supplementation of natural vitamin E and seaweed meal on the immune status of ewes and their offspring. Forty Norwegian White Sheep ewes were randomly allocated to three supplementation treatments: natural vitamin E, synthetic vitamin E, seaweed meal, and control. The feeding experiment lasted the entire indoor feeding period. Ewes and newborn lambs were vaccinated against different environmental microorganisms and pathogens. Different immunological parameters were measured. Supplementing the ewes with natural vitamin E had positive effect on immunity against Mycobacterium bovis in lambs. Seaweed, on the other hand, had negative effect on the passive transfer of maternal antibodies in lambs the first week after birth. The adaptive immunity was not affected by seaweed supplementation.

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Abstract

With the objective of studying the effects of production systems on meat quality, 75 Norwegian White Sheep lambs were subjected to one of the following treatments: continuous grazing on a semi-natural lowland pasture until slaughtering (Control); continuous grazing followed by either stall-feeding on concentrate and grass silage or grazing ryegrass pasture for 44 or 24 days before slaughtering (Conc44, Conc24, Rye44, Rye24). Loin samples of M. longissimus dorsi including the subcutaneous fat were analysed for sensory attributes and fatty acid composition. Compared with the control group, a lower intensity of acid taste (P<0.05) and a lower content of C18:3n-6 fatty acids (P<0.001) were observed in the Conc44 group. The n-6/n-3 ratio was higher (P<0.001) in meat tested from the concentrate treatments compared to the ryegrass treatments. These findings indicate that the fattening of lambs on improved pastures or a concentrate-based diet prior to slaughter may alter meat characteristics.

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Abstract

Many consumers perceive lamb meat from mountain pastures to be of superior quality, a quality that may be altered if lambs are kept for a longer period on cultivated pastures before slaughtering. The objective of this experiment was to compare sensory profile and fatty acid composition in meat from lambs slaughtered directly from unimproved mountain pastures with meat from lambs raised on unimproved mountain pastures and fattened on biodiverse cultivated pastures for 26, 39 and 42 days before slaughtering. The experiment was conducted at two different locations in Norway in 2006 and 2007, with a total of 124 Norwegian Crossbred Sheep lambs. Loin samples of M. Longissimus dorsi from lambs above a body weight of 40 kg were selected and analysed for sensory attributes. Fatty acid composition was determined in the subcutaneous fat over the Longissimus dorsi. Small but significant differences were found in hardness, tenderness, fattiness, metallic and rancid flavour, and in polyunsaturated fatty acids. This indicates that to a small extent pre-slaughter fattening on cultivated pastures alters meat characteristics. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.