Nutritional Properties of Cocoa Pods as Ruminant Feedstuff
An attempt to increase cocoa pods quality feed for ruminant have been done using fermentation techniques with or without urea addition. Five treatments (Fresh cocoa pod = C; fermentation with addition urea 0 g/kg = U0 or ensilage; 10 g/kg = U1; 20 g/kg = U2 and 30 g/kg fresh substances of cocoa pods) have been examined for their effect on pH, proximate composition, N-fractions, amino acid compositions, cell wall constituents, anti nutritive compounds, in vitro gas production (Gb), estimate organic matter digestibility (OMD) and metabolizable energy (ME) of cocoa pods. Ensilage (U0) improve feed values of cocoa pods by weakening the lingo-cellulose or –hemicellulose bonds, resulting in higher in vitro gas production as well as higher OMD and ME contents compare to fresh cocoa pods. The protein value of cocoa pods, expressed as true protein (TP) or non ammonia nitrogen (NAN) minus urea nitrogen (UR) was also improved. Addition of urea affected the composition of the fibre fraction as to the proportion of NDF, ADF and ADL and the content of TP was slightly increased. Urea treatment increased Gb, OMD and ME compared to ensiled or fresh cocoa pods. The optimum level of urea for maximum Gb was 6.7 g/100 g DM cocoa pods. The optimum level to reach maximum OMD and ME were also reached at urea level 6.5 – 6.7 g/100 g DM cocoa pods.