We know that soaking hay and draining can reduce the sugars in the hay, but does that work for beet pulp? A study from the experts at Kentucky Equine Research looked at whether soaking and rinsing beet pulp could result in a lower glycemic index when fed to horses.
Previous studies have shown a marked glucose response when beet pulp is fed to horses. To determine whether this response is due to residual simple sugars in beet pulp shreds, a study was conducted to evaluate how different preparations of shredded beet pulp affect glycemic response in Thoroughbreds.
Rinsed beet pulp (beet pulp allowed to soak overnight, then rinsed to remove sugar) produced a lower glycemic response, mean glucose, and peak glucose than other treatments, including hydrated beet pulp (allowed to soak overnight and not rinsed prior to being fed), dry beet pulp with molasses, and whole oats.
Removal of glucose in dried beet pulp lowers glycemic response in horses when compared with hydrated beet pulp and dry beet pulp with molasses. This study confirms that simple sugars in shredded beet pulp contribute to an increase in blood glucose after feeding.
This report of KER's 2001 research was published in Proceedings of the 17th Equine Nutrition and Physiology Society Symposium.
Read the entire research report, titled Effect of Preparation Method on the Glycemic Response to Ingestion of Beet Pulp in Thoroughbred Horses.