Maize is used as a supplement to rudimentary livestock diets, providing an essential source of multi-nutrients. In Malaysia no specific maize variety is used in animal feed, reducing efficiency in the livestock industry since a low nutrient diet can impede animal growth and meat production.
Muhammad Azhar Bin Zulkffle and his team at University Teknologi MARA studied the micro and macronutrient content of several maize varieties using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) to screen the best variety. They aimed to find the acceptable nutritive value of maize varieties to be used in animal feed.
ICPMS testing was conducted at the Agriculture Chemical Analysis Laboratory (D10), Mardi Serdang, while the maize was planted under controlled conditions in the maize plantation at UiTM Perlis. Different varieties were planted in one large plot (approximately 0.4 hectare) consisting of 7- 8 rows, and the maize was planted in plots with common agronomy practices.
It was found that maize variety A (Taiwan) produced approximately 11.77% crude protein, 4745.52 cal/gm gross energy, 8.52% crude fiber and 1.88% nitrogen. For maize variety B (Korea) the quantities were 10.87% crude protein, 4786.08 cal/gm gross energy, 11.66% crude fiber and 1.74% nitrogen. Both varieties comprised different percentages of major and trace elements beneficial to livestock diet, including aluminium, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, sulphur and zinc.
In the study, maize variety A showed relative advantages in comparison to maize variety B; maize A showed a higher percentage of compounds and trace minerals important for animal health, while on the other hand maize B only showed higher percentages of fiber components important for animals’ digestion. The study also showed that the different maize varieties had a complete set of nutrients, suitable for consumption by both humans and livestock.
For more information contact:
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Email: [email protected]