[en] Banana ; Plantain ; Peels ; In vitro fermentation ; Nutritive value
[en] Musa sp. peels are widely used by smallholders as complementary feeds for cattle in the tropics. A study of the influence of the variety and the maturation stage of the fruit on fermentability and metabolisable energy (ME) content of the peels was performed using banana (Yangambi Km5) and plantain (Big Ebanga) peels at three stages of maturation in an in vitro model of the rumen. Peel samples were analysed for starch, free sugars and fibre composition. Samples were incubated in the presence of rumen fluid. Kinetics of gas production were modelled, ME content was calculated using prediction equation and short-chain fatty acids production and molar ratio were measured after 72 h of fermentation. Final gas production was higher in plantain (269–339 ml g−1) compared to banana (237–328 ml g−1) and plantain exhibited higher ME contents (8.9–9.7 MJ/kg of dry matter, DM) compared to banana (7.7–8.8 MJ/kg of DM). Butyrate molar ratio decreased with maturity of the peels. The main influence of the variety and the stage of maturation on all fermentation parameters as well as ME contents of the peels was correlated to changes in the carbohydrate fraction of the peels, including starch and fibre.