This study evaluated the effect of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) on the chemical composition (fibrous structure) and nutritive value of Hedychium gardnerianum (ginger lily), a fibre source traditionally used in ruminant feeding in the Azores. Ginger lily samples were manually harvested and dried in a forced-air oven at 65ºC until constant weight. Treatments were applied by spraying the ginger lily with a NaOH solution at a concentration of 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8%, at a rate of 1 L of solution per 1 kg of dry ginger lily, and waiting 7 days. The samples were subject to chemical analyses in a laboratory for the determination of the dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), ash, NDF (neutral detergent fibre), ADF (acid detergent fibre), and ADL (acid detergent lignin). The DM digestibility (DMD) and organic matter digestibility (OMD) were determined in vitro. The NaOH treatment led to a significant (p<0.05) reduction of NDF and ADF and led to a significant (p<0.05) in vitro DMD and OMD increase, with best results obtained for an 8% NaOH concentration. It was concluded that the NaOH treatment influences the ginger lily’s chemical composition, reducing the NDF and ADF concentrations, and increasing the in vitro DMD.
Key words: Hedychium gardnerianum, in vitro digestibility, NaOH treatment, roughage.
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