Performance Horse Nutrition

Fructan is a collective term used to describe carbohydrates containing multiple fructose units. Fructo-oligogoasaccharides and inulin are types of short chain fructan. Fructan is a major storage carbohydrate in cool season grasses and is predominantly stored in the stems of the plants and less in the leaves. Fructan production is not self-limiting, which allows high levels of fructan to accumulate. Therefore the average concentration of NSC in warm season grasses tends to be substantially lower than in cool season grasses when grown under the same conditions. Fructan cannot be digested in the small intestine and is fermented in the large intestine and in some cases has been implicated in the onset of pasture associated laminitis. The chain length in fructan determines the fermentation rate and there is a wide variation of fructan chain length in various types of fructan. Grass fructan may have considerably longer chain lengths than FOS or insulin.

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