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Nutritive value of different processed elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus companulatus) tuber meal for broiler chickens

Theresia Nur Indah Koni, Tri Anggarini Yuniwati Foenay and I Gusti Komang Oka Wirawan

Department of Animal Science, Kupang State Agricultural Polytechnic, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia


This research were aim to study the effect of processed elephant foot yam ( Amorphophallus companulatus, AC) tuber on performance of broiler chickens. AC tuber were processed by two methods; sun drying for two days (DAC) and fermented for 7 days using Bacillus subtilis (FAC). This research used 84 broiler chickens, divided into 3 treatments that is C as control feed without AC tuber, DAC consist of 15% dried AC tuber, FAC contain 15% fermented AC tuber with Bacillus subtilis.

Feed treatment with fermented AC tuber (FAC), and control (C) has the same result in feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion. Otherwise, feed treatment with DAC has the lowest value in feed intake, body weight gain, final body weight and feed conversion. The addition of FAC can be use 15% in broiler chicken feed.

Keyword: Bacillus subtilis, broiler, fermentation, growth, sun drying


The scarcity and domestic production of corn that lower than local demand resulted in the increasing price of commercial broiler feed. Corn is the main energy source in broiler feed, its use reaches 50-60% (Yunusa et al 2014). Fifty-one percent of the use of national maize is used as raw material for the animal feed industry (Zakaria 2011). Therefore, it is necessary to use alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on corn. Amorphophallus companulatus (AC) tuber is a plant that can be used as an energy source for feed.

AC is a potential plant used as source of energy in feed ingredient. Koni et al (2015) stated that the AC tuber production can reach 3 to 5 kg/ tree and contain chemical composition of crude protein 7.33%, crude fiber 15.71%, and gross energy 3570.60 kcal/kg. The tuber also contains anti-nutrient compounds such as calcium oxalate. Calcium oxalate content in Amorphophallus companulatus was about 0.6 to 1.85% (Chattopadhyay et al 2010; Behera and Ray 2016) Oxalate is a secondary metabolic product in plants and is stated as an anti-nutrient (Rahman et al 2014), that can bind several minerals to form insoluble oxalates (Al-Wahsh et al 2012). This insoluble oxalate forms crystals in the urinary tract (Noonan and Savage 1999). Consumption of feed ingredients containing high oxalate will cause hypocalcemia. Calcium deficiency results in decreased growth, disruption of muscle activity, and bone growth.

One of the efforts to reduce oxalate content in Amorphophallus sp tubers was fermentation using microorganisms that can degrade oxalate. Anaerob fermentation on taro reduced the concentration of soluble and insoluble oxalates over the 21-day fermentation period (Hang et al 2018) Some bacterias can degrade oxalates such as Bacillus subtilis (Burrell et al 2007). Five days of fermentation with Bacillus subtilis in Phaseolus lunatus can reduced the oxalate content by 70.81%, decline from 1.61 mg/g before fermentation to 0.47 mg/g after fermentation (Tope 2014). Fermentation were expected to degrade and decrease oxalate content in Amorphophallus sp., considering to be utilized as an ingredient in broiler chickens feed. In this context, a study was carried out to determine the effect of the sun drying and fermentation processes of AC tubers on the performance of broiler chickens.

Materials and methods

Source, treatment, and chemical analysis of Amorphophallus companulatus (AC)

Amorphophallus companulatus (AC) tubers were obtained from East Amarasi village, East Amarasi sub-district, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. AC tubers were cleaned with tap water to remove the dirt. The root hair was also removed, then the tuber were sliced approximately 7 cm in length and 3 cm thick, dehydrated by sun drying for about 2 days, then milled the dried tuber. Bacillus subtilis FNCC 0059 in solid form was obtained from Microbiology Laboratory Pusat Antar Universitas (PAU), Universitas Gadjah Mada. Solid fermentation were done on AC tuber with 20% dry matter of Bacillus subtilis. AC were mixed with the inoculant according to the treatment then placed on plastic medium as silo at 1 kg capacity, then compacted and incubated at room temperature for 7 days. Harvesting after 7 days, oven dried at 50oC for 48 hours and then analyzed for proximate, Ca, P, and oxalate content.

Proximate and mineral composition were determined according to (AOAC 2005) methods, by oven drying at 105oC (method 934.01) for moisture content, by the Kjeldahl method consisted of digestion, distillation, and titration (method 990.02) for crude protein (nitrogen×6.25) content, by extraction in acid and alkali solution (method 978.10) for crude fiber. Mineral content such as calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) were measured by dissolving ash samples in acids (mixture of HCl and HNO3), Ca determined by using AAS (method 942.05) and P was determined by using UV-VIS Spectrophotometer (method 965.17). Oxalates were measured using the kinetic spectrophotometer catalyst method according to Jiang et al (1996).

Feeding trial

The inclusion of AC tubers in broiler diet were administered for 4 weeks. A total of 84 male broilers age 8 days old, New Lohmann strain, MB-202 Platinum were used in this study. The chickens were divided into 3 treatment groups, namely C as control feed without AC tuber, DAC consist of 15% dried AC tuber, FAC contain 15% fermented AC tuber with Bacillus subtilis. Each treatment was replicated 4 times and each replication used 7 chickens.

Table 1. Ingredients and chemical composition of dietary treatments


Dietary treatment








Rice bran




Meat bone meal




Soybean meal




Vitamin and trace element premix1)








Lysine hydrochloride








Amorphophallus companulatus








Calculated values

Dry matter, %




Crude protein,%




Metabolizable energy, kcal/kg




Crude fibre, %




Crude fat, %




Calcium, %




Phosphorus, %




Lysine, %




Methionine, %




Oxalate, mg/kg




C as control feed without AC tuber, DAC consist of 15% dried AC tuber, FAC contain 15% fermented AC tuber with Bacillus subtilis

The chickens were weighed weekly; feed intake was recorded daily.

Experiment design and statistical analysis

The study use randomized complete design with three treatments and four replication. Every replication consist of seven broiler chicken. Data results were analyzed according to one way ANOVA. Differences among means were determined with Duncan’s multiple range test with 5% level of significance.


Nutrient content of sun drying and fermented Amorphophallus companulatus tubers (Table 2). Fermentation can reduce oxalate levels by 74.47%, and increase calcium levels by 18.82%

Table 2. Composition of sun drying and fermented AC


Sun-drying AC

Fermented AC

Dry matter, %



Crude protein, %



Crude fat, %



rude fiber, %



Ash, %



Phosphor , mg/kg



Calcium, mg/kg



Oxalate, mg/kg



Chicks fed DAC had the lowest feed intake, daily weight gain, and final weight (Tabel 3)

Table 3. The effect of AC in production performance of broiler chickens








Feed intake, g/d






Weight gain, g/d






Final weight, kg






Feed conversion#


2.02 b




#Feed intake/weight gain C as control feed without AC tuber, DAC consist of 15% dried AC tuber, FAC contain 15% fermented AC tuber with Bacillus subtilis. SEM: Standar error of mean, p: probability
abMeans in the same row without common letter are different at P<0.05


Fermentation with Bacillus subtilis reduced oxalate levels and increased calcium levels in AC (Table 1). This is because Bacillus subtilis can produce the enzyme oxalatase so that it degrades oxalate, and the bound calcium is released making calcium available. Koni et al (2017) stated that Bacillus subtilis is capable to producing oxalate decarboxylase.

Feed intake in broiler chickens fed with DAC were lower (P <0.01) than fed FAC and control Fermentation with Bacillus subtilis reduced oxalate content in AC (Table 2) which have a positive impact on feed intake. High oxalate content in feed will reduce feed consumption and increase water consumption (Rahman et al 2014). Utilization of tubers such as Amorphophallus sp. were limited due to the taste of acrid nature that irritate the mouth and resulting in reducing the amount of feed consumed (Ravindran and Blair 1991); irritation and itching due to oxalate in the form of raphide (Chattopadhyay et al 2010); a raphide is a long-form of calcium oxalate with sharp needle-like ends (Chairiyah et al 2016). Samarasinghe and Rajaguru (1992) reported that the digestive tract of chickens was irritated by the administration of fresh Colocasia esculenta tubers, due to the calcium oxalate crystals in the form of raphide. The oxalate content increased by 0.12, 0.24, 0.36, and 0.48 g/kg in broiler feed using Artocarpus heterophyllus causing a decrease in consumption for 732, 720, 705, and 594 g / bird, respectively (Ndyomugyenyi et al 2015).

The final body weight in the control treatment (1.53 kg) and those given fermented feed (1.46 kg) higher than the dried treatment (0.78 kg). This result was probably due to the oxalate content in AC tuber feed, namely 47.8 mg/kg in the drying treatment and 14.5 mg/kg in the fermented feed (Table 1). Abdulrashid and Agwunobi (2009) state that oxalate causes low calcium absorption and consumption of broiler chicken feed fed with Colocasia esculenta tubers with oxalate content of 45.3 ± 0.02 mg/100 g. Furthermore, it was stated that increasing of Colocasia esculenta tubers inclusion by 0, 25, 50, and 100% caused a decrease in the weight of broiler chickens, namely 2.88, 2.83, 2.29, and 1.88 g. Shafey (1991) stated that the body weight of broiler chickens aged 9 days decreased from 182.1 to the control to 166 g when given 0.1% oxalic acid.

The presence of anti-nutrient factor components such as protease inhibitors, alkaloids, phytates, and oxalates will reduce feed consumption and suppress livestock growth (Ferket and Gernat 2006). The body weight of White Leghorn chickens aged 6 weeks decreased with the increasing of oxalic acid in the feed, on 495, 464, 460, 392 g at each oxalic acid administered at 0, 0.25, 0.50, 1% (Robertson et al 1947).

According to similar studies using Amorphophallus sp. and fermentation by Bacillus subtilis., the Amorphophallus sp. contains carbohydrates in the form of glucomannan which is very good in reducing body fat content. Harijati et al (2011) stated that administering Amorphophallus muelleri tubers can reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) in mice, LDL is important in the process of forming body fat. Choi et al (2014) reported a reduction of abdominal fat in broiler chicken fed with brown seaweed fermented using Bacillus subtilis and Aspergilus oryzae, with reduction of 1.70 g and 1.68 g/100 g body weight, respectively for each in unfermented and fermented brown seaweed. This is due to the use of Amorphophallus sp. contains carbohydrates which are good for lyzing fat. Amorphophallus companulatus has a low glycemic index, since consumed carbohydrates slowly stored as fat (Farida 2005); Amorphophallus has starch content which is for obese and hyperlipidemic sufferers (Surya et al 2017).



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