The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of slow-release α-amylase in ruminal in vitro digestion of maize and sorghum grains. Digestibility was measured using an in vitro procedure with 40 mL of buffer and 10 mL of ruminal fluid, flushed with CO2 and incubated at 39 °C. The digestibility of sorghum and maize grain was measured after 6 and 12 hours of fermentation with or without exogenous α-amylase in powder form or dispersed in a matrix system for slow release by a diffusional mechanism. Tablets were used as the drug release matrix system, and were formulated with barium sulphate and ethylcellulose as the core of the final tablet. Treatments consisted of incubation of sorghum or maize grains with four doses of enzyme, using α-amylase in powder or in the press-coated tablet (16 treatments). The results showed that with a higher dose of exogenous enzyme, the digestibility of the grains was improved. Sorghum and maize digestion with tablets were improved compared with α-amylase in powder form. Releasing α-amylase from matrix tablets represents a potential technology to improve grain digestion in ruminants.
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