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Relative contributions of two functional properties, viscosity and fermentability of dietary fibre, on apparent ileal digestibility (AID), apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD), digesta passage rate, N retention and SCFA concentration have not been established. Thus, eight ileal-cannulated pigs randomised in a double 4 × 4 Latin square were fed four diets based on maize starch and casein supplemented with 5 % of actual fibre in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement: low-fermentable, low-viscous cellulose (CEL); low-fermentable, high-viscous carboxymethylcellulose (CMC); high-fermentable, low-viscous oat β-glucan (LBG); high-fermentable, high-viscous oat β-glucan (HBG). Viscosity and fermentability interacted to affect (P < 0·001) digesta viscosity and AID and ATTD of nutrients. These properties tended to interact to affect (P < 0·10) digesta passage rate and butyrate. Pigs fed the CMC diet had the lowest (P < 0·05) digesta passage rate and the highest (P < 0·001) AID of energy, crude protein and DM, and ATTD of energy and DM. Post-ileal DM digestibility was highest (P < 0·001) for pigs fed the CEL and HBG diets. Post-ileal DM digestibility had a negative, curvilinear relationship with the AID of energy and crude protein (R2 0·85 and 0·72, respectively; P < 0·001). Digesta viscosity had a less strong relationship with the AID of energy and crude protein (R2 0·45 and 0·36, respectively; P < 0·001). In conclusion, high-viscous, low-fermentable dietary fibre increases the proportion of a diet that is digested in the small intestine by reducing digesta passage rate.