A Simplified Alkane Analysis Method for the Determination of Herbage Intake by Dairy Cows
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-29, 04:33 authored by Z Liu, V Ezernieks, AD Bui, C Krill, M Wright, Simone RochfortSimone Rochfort
An accurate dry matter intake (DMI) measurement method is of great importance for determining the performance of dairy cows. While n-alkane technique is commonly used to estimate the DMI of ruminants, the protocols used to measure alkanes are complex, time consuming and low throughput. Herein we present a simplified and miniaturised protocol that combines a smaller sample matrix (60 mg of faeces or herbage), a shorter (3 h) saponification step and a direct purification of the crude extract by filtration through silica powder or mixing with silica powder prior to GC-FID analysis. In addition to a much higher throughput compared with the existing methods, by skipping the commercial SPE columns and reducing the organic solvent volume, our miniaturised protocol should significantly reduce the sample processing cost and is thus suitable for alkane determination for large-scale experiments.