Enhancing Ruminant Health
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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.


This study was designed to determine the effect of adding a molasses-based liquid feed (LF) supplement to a total mixed ration (TMR) on the feed sorting behavior and production of dairy cows.

<Research Document>

Total mixed rations are designed to be a homogenous mixture that provides dairy cattle a balanced supply of nutrients within a day and across multiple days within a given stage of lactation. Unfortunately, cows fed TMR will often preferentially select (sort) for the grain component and discriminate against the longer forage components (Leonardi and Armentano, 2003). Excessive sorting of TMR can result in over-consumption of rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, increasing the risk of SARA (DeVries et al., 2008).