Characteristics of wheat and barley inoculated with a homo-fermentative (HO) or hetero-fermentative (HE) lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were investigated in separate 97 d studies conducted using a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement comparing inoculants (no inoculant, HO or HE) and multi-enzyme (no or yes) addition. The pH declined (P < 0.05) to below 4.5 by day 6, coinciding with peaks in lactobacilli and yeast counts. A more rapid decline (P < 0.05) in pH and lactobacilli count but higher (P < 0.05) yeast count was observed with HO relative to HE. Enzyme addition reduced pH in inoculated grains only, particularly with HE (inoculant × enzyme effect; P < 0.05). Higher dry matter losses (P < 0.05) were observed with HE, most apparent in barley. Lactate was generally highest in HO and was increased by enzyme addition. Acetate was higher (P < 0.05) in HE. Ethanol and ammonia were lowest (P < 0.05) in HO. Wheat neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was reduced by both inoculants compared with control, whereas enzyme addition reduced NDF content in both grains. In conclusion, although not marked, fermentation responses appeared greater in wheat than barley although either LAB inoculant improved grain fermentation characteristics. The multi-enzyme appeared active during fermentation.
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