Non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) is one of the products offered in the AusScan Online package. But what are NSPs? And why is it so important to measure them?

Non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) are the carbohydrate fraction which, together with lignin, make up dietary fibre. The major NSPs found in animal feeds are cellulose, hemicellulose and pectins. While these are resistant to the animal's digestive enzymes, they can, to a varying extent, be digested by the microflora in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the rumen. 

NSPs are analysed by firstly removing starch and free sugars from the sample, recovering NSPs by precipitation in ethanol, and hydrolysing the polysaccharides in acid. The resultant sugars can then be analysed by GC or HPLC. More details on these methods are available on the AusScan Online page of the Aunir website - click here.

Knowing how much NSP is in your animal feed will help you work out how digestible that feed is, and therefore how much nutritional content the animal will get out of it. Some companies will also use this information to adjust the addition of feed additives such as enzymes which will help to break down the NSPs.  

And you can now measure NSPs in your cereals using the AusScan calibrations. Simply upload your spectra file to the website and your results will be delivered to you. Contact Caroline for more information or visit the website by clicking here