Dietary starch from feed grains represent the major energy-yielding sources in diets for large animals and starch effective digestion has a great impact on animal energy intake for meeting the substantial energy requirement to improve meat or milk productions. In general, site, extent and rate of starch digestion are affected by intrinsic and external factors that can be interrelated and are thus not easily defined. As a consequence, research to obtain a deeper knowledge on how starch chemical and structural compositions may affect starch digestion potential of feed grains and therefore their nutritional value has progressed recently. The objectives of this review are: (1) to give an overview on inherent starch primary structures and interactions with other compounds within feed grains; (2) to discuss factors affecting starch digestion potential in feed grains; (3) to explore starch digestion mechanism, and linkages with animal performances, both for swine and ruminants. The criticism of methods commonly used to estimate starch digestibility from feed grains for swine and ruminants are also discussed.
- Feed grains