Mercedes Gonzalez & Fernando Diaz
Silages contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) that arise from fermentation of organic matter by yeasts and heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria (LAB), enterobacteria or clostridiums, which produce acetic, propionic or butyric acids, and alcohols such as ethanol or propanol. Other VOC are esters and aldehydes. The concentration of VOC in silage varies depending on each forage type, storage conditions and the use of additives.
The VOC present in silages can impart strange smells and result in feed rejection decreasing feed intake, reducing production, and altering cow metabolism.