Metabolic Characteristics

Metabolic Characteristics

Oct 26 2018 by Chaffhaye



Non-Fiber Carbohydrates (NFC)

Min 3.2% to 5.4%

7.1% to 12.0%

Consists of starch, fermentation acids and pectin. This is a measure of the energy in feeds


Min/Max 0.85% to 1.9%

1.9% to 4.2%

A polysaccharide used by the animal as an energy source

Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC)

Min/Max 2.5% to 4.0%

5.6% to 9.0%

A measure of easily digestible carbohydrates, usually consisting of sugars and starches. In current lab analysis, this component further is broken down into separate analysis for starch, water soluble carbohydrates and ethanol soluble carbohydrates (see below)

Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC)

Min/Max 2.3% to 3.5%

5.1% to 7.8%

Simple sugars and fructans. Fructans digest in the large intestine of a horse. Excessive amounts can upset the microbial populations leading to colic or laminitis

Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates (ESC)

Min/Max 1.5% to 2.3%

3.3% to 5.2%

A subset of WSC that include the sugars that is primarily Carbohydrates digested in the small intestine and gives a true glycemic response in horses