Enhancing Ruminant Health
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Research

The function of molasses and sugars in the ruminant diet has been studied for many years. Molasses was first extracted from the sugar refining process in the mid-19th century. Since then, refiners have been looking for markets for molasses, and animal feed has been an important component of that.

Like research in many areas, even after a couple of generations, while there are aspects that have become well known, there are others less well known. We still do not understand what form of “sugar” is most beneficial and in what nutritional circumstances.

Included below are a selection of articles and research studies relating to sugar and molasses, from basic considerations to an atomic level view.

Why Feed a Molasses-Based Liquid Supplement When Corn is Cheap

Sugar has been consumed by dairy cattle since the beginning of time. They have come from the pastures which are naturally high in sugars. When we feed fermented forages most of the sugars have been converted to fermentation acids. The rumen and the cow have evolved to use plant sugars.
The reticulo-rumen is the largest compartment of the ruminant digestive tract, and it harbors a complex anaerobic microbial community capable of producing a wide array of enzymes, some of which are important for the breakdown of plant lignocellulosic and non-structural carbohydrate (starch, sugars) material through the process of fermentation.