British Journal of Nutrition

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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103:1309-1318 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2009

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Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Predicting in vivo starch digestibility coefficients in newly weaned piglets from in vitro assessment of diets using multivariate analysis

Frederic J. Douceta1 p1 c1, Gavin A. Whitea2 p2, Florian Wulferta1, Sandra E. Hilla1 and Julian Wisemana2

a1 Division of Food Sciences, School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, UK
a2 Division of Animal Sciences, School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, UK
Article author query
doucet fj [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
white ga [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
wulfert f [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
hill se [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
wiseman j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The study was based on correlating a dataset of in vivo mean starch digestibility coefficients obtained in the immediate post-weaning phase of piglets with a range of dietary in vitro variables. The paper presents a model that predicts (R2 0·71) in vivo average starch digestibility coefficients in the 0·5 small-intestinal region of newly weaned piglets fed cereal-based diets using seven in vitro variables describing starch properties that are fundamentally associated with the quality of feed materials, i.e. hydration, structure and amylolytic digestion. The variables were: Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA; measures the viscosity of materials when sheared under defined hydration and temperature regimens); RVA end viscosity; RVA (gelatinisation) peak viscosity; ΔH (gelatinisation enthalpy that provides an estimate of helical order or degree of crystallinity in starch); water solubility index (WSI; that denotes the amount of soluble polysaccharides released from starch granules to the aqueous phase); grain endogenous amylase (concentration of endogenous α-amylase in cereals, assessed by pasting cereal flours in 25 g of AgNO3, an amylase inhibitor v. water using RVA).

(Received August 13 2008)

(Revised November 02 2009)

(Accepted November 04 2009)

(Online publication December 21 2009)

Key Words:Piglets; Cereals; Starch digestibility; Prediction; In vitro assessment


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Frederic Doucet, fax +27 86 611 8838, email

p1  Present address: Council for Geoscience, 280 Pretoria Road, Private Bag X112, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

p2  Present address: School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK


Abbreviations: G45, amount of glucose released at 45 min; G300, amount of glucose released at 300 min; PCA, principal components analysis; PLS, partial least squares; RVA, Rapid Visco Analyser; RVAc, RVA cold swelling viscosity; RVAe, RVA end viscosity; RVAp, RVA peak viscosity; WAI, water absorption index; WSI, water solubility index