U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in Journal of Dairy Science 91:4830–4833; doi:10.3168/jds.2008-1183


Methods for processing feedstuffs before analysis can affect analytical results. Effects of drying temperature (corn silage), preservation method (corn grain), and grinding method (corn silage and grain) on starch analysis values were evaluated. Corn silage samples dried at 55 or 105°C and grain samples dried at 55°C were ground to pass the 1-mm screen of an abrasion mill or cutting mill and analyzed for free glucose and starch corrected for free glucose. Starch analyses were performed in triplicate to assess the effect of treatment on precision of starch determination. Drying at 105°C decreased free glucose and tended to decrease starch detected in silage. Decreased free glucose and starch values in silages dried at 105°C may have been caused by the destruction of glucose and production of Maillard products through nonenzymatic browning. Maillard products with reducing activity could potentially interfere with the glucose oxidase-peroxidase glucose detection method used. Compared with the cutting mill, grinding samples through the abrasion mill increased the precision of starch measures in silage, likely due to the effect of the finer particle size produced by the abrasion mill allowing more accurate subsampling of a more homogeneous matrix. Starch values were greater for grain ground with an abrasion mill than with a cutting mill, with the difference greater for dry-rolled than for high-moisture corn. For starch analysis of corn silage and corn grain, drying at lower temperatures (55°C) in forced-air ovens and grinding through the 1-mm screen of an abrasion mill or its equivalent is recommended.