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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Steam Blanching and Method of Drying on Solubility of Alfalfa Constituents1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 2, p. 171-172
    Received: Sept 1, 1965

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  1. D. G. Routley and
  2. G. L. Byers2



Steam blanching has been shown to accelerate the drying of alfalfa. The object of this experiment was to determine the effect of blanching on the solubility of alfalfa constituents important in animal nutrition. Four treatments consisted of a combination of steam blanching for 2 minutes vs no steam, and oven (36C) vs freeze drying. Total nitrogen, alcohol-soluble nitrogen, and sugars were measured. Also measured were nitrogen and dry matter dissolved by a buffer solution (pH 4,0), a buffered cellulase-pepsin solution, and an acid detergent solution. Sugars and total nitrogen were unaffected by the treatments but blanching reduced the alcohol-soluble nitrogen. Blanching also significantly reduced the dry matter and nitrogen removed by buffer, but had only small effect on the amount removed by the enzymes. Oven drying slightly lowered enzyme-soluble nitrogen. Detergent-soluble nitrogen and dry matter were reduced by oven drying, particularly after blanching. The results show that blanching effectively inactivates enzymes which may cause deterioration during drying or storage. A combination of blanching and oven drying appears to cause some reaction involving the nitrogen compounds which could reduce their digestibility.

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