Alltech® IFM

The In Vitro Fermentation Model (IFM) from Alltech® is a diagnostic tool that simulates rumen fermentation and evaluates the digestibility of a ration and end-product formation. IFM is a nutritional tool used by farmers and the feed industry to screen individual ingredients, formulate rations, analyse fodder and make informed decisions on the quality of the feed or total mixed ration (TMR). By using IFM, we can identify barriers to rumen fermentation, formulate rations based on nutrient availability and help to reduce energy losses and feed wastage.

How it works

Feed samples are incubated using rumen fluid and a buffer system to mimic natural rumen fermentation in an oxygen-free environment. Feed samples can include individual ingredients, compound feed, TMR and fodder.

  1. IFM measures gas production, taking into account all nutrients fermented (solubles and insolubles). Total gas production is separated into fast-fermenting carbohydrates (e.g.; starches and sugars) and slow-fermenting carbohydrates (e.g.; fibres).
  2. IFM uses estimates of gas production and identifies TMR inefficiencies that produce excessive gas per unit of dry matter digested.
  3. IFM estimates rates of degradation of the different carbohydrate fractions and provides detailed information on the nutritive value of the feed.

How IFM can be used

  1. Trouble-shoot potential problems in the ration
    • Digestion rates and profiles reveal barriers to rumen fermentation
    • Monitor nitrogen and carbohydrate synchronisation
  2. Improve efficiency and reduce carbon footprint 
    • Identify diets producing more methane and carbon dioxide
    • Use IFM as part of an on-farm carbon assessment
  3. Test on-farm strategies
    • Strategies to solve fermentation problems on individual farms can be tested quickly and easily
    • Identify benchmarks for superior animal productivity
  4. Product development
    • Screen new compounds and formulate diets that maximise rumen microbial efficiency

Combined with a measurement of digestibility provided by IFM, we can calculate the amount of energy lost as methane and methane emissions per animal.

Verified by the Carbon Trust, IFM is an effective tool for predicting farm and feed specific enteric methane emissions.

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