Sugarcane molasse and whey as additives in the silage of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus [DC.] Stapf) leaves.

Lucía María Ventura-Canseco1,José Alfredo Mendoza-Nuñez1,Miguel Abud-Archila1,María Angela Oliva-Llaven2, Luc Dendooven3, andFederico Gutiérrez-Miceli1*

After extraction of essential oil from lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus[DC.] Stapf) leaves by steam distillation (heat treatment), large amounts of organic wastes are obtained. This by-product could easily be used as animal feed. The potential of sugarcane molasse and whey as additives to ensile lemongrass leaves was investigated. The vegetative material was obtained after essential oils were extracted from lemongrass leaves with steam distillation. Lemongrass leaves were chopped, mixed with sugarcane molasse and whey, placed in cylindrical plastic containers, hermetically closed. The experimental design for pH optimization was a response surface 3-level factorial design 32 with three replicates. Sugarcane molasse at 5, 10 and 15% (w/w) and whey at 20, 25 and 30% (w/w) were used. The pH of the silage decreased significantly in each treatment, but it was faster when sugarcane molasse was added. The lactic acid concentration was 2.8 g kg-1 DM in silage amended with 15% molasse plus 25% whey and was higher than in silage supplemented with commercial additive after 15 d. In conclusion, it was shown that lemongrass leaves obtained as by product after extracting essential oils can be effectively ensiled with whey and sugarcane molasse as additives inducing a faster production of lactic acid.

Keywords: Silage quality, response surface methodology, pH, lactic acid.
1Instituto Tecnológico de Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Carretera Panamericana km 1080, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas CP 29050, A.P. 599, México. *Corresponding author (biotecveg@hotmail.com).
2Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Rancho San Francisco km 8 Tuxtla Gutiérrez Chiapas, México (biotecveg@yahoo.com. mx).
3Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV), C.P. 07360, México D.F., México (dendoove@cinvestav.mx).