Non-conventional feed resources: fruit & vegetable waste

Acute shortage of feedstuffs in developing countries can be taken care of by exploring novel non-conventional feed resources, which do not compete for human food. Processing and evaluation of fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) available to the tune of 1.99 million tonnes in India can solve the problem to certain extent. Some of the major FVW which can be used for feeding are discussed in this article.
Apple pomace
It is the leftover after extraction of juice. The dried apple pomace contains 7.7% CP, 5.0% EE, 1.44–1.62% DCP, 57.1–64.8% TDN, 1.86 Mcal ME /kg DM for lactating dairy cows and 2.6−2.8 Mcal ME/kg DM for broilers. Feeding apple pomace at 12% in the concentrate mixture or after ensiling up to 30% in the diet did not show any adverse effect on the milk production or its composition in crossbred cattle. Best feed conversion ratio was observed at 15% incorporation in the diet.
Banana wastes
Leaves, young stalks and pseudo stems: These are fed either fresh, sun-dried or ensiled with molasses or rice bran. Banana leaves contain about 15% DM and 10−17% CP, and pseudo stems contain 5−8% DM and 3−5% CP; 50−70% NDF. Chopped whole banana plants (stem and leaves) fed ad libitum maintained positive N, Ca and P balances. Fresh banana foliage fed up to 15% in the ration of lactating Friesian cows did not alter milk production.
Banana peels: Banana peel constitutes about 30% of fresh banana by weight. These can be fed to livestock as fresh or dried. Ripe banana peels contain up to 8% CP and 6.2% EE, 13.8% soluble sugars. These are rich in trace elements, but Fe, Cu and Zn contents are much higher than the maximum tolerance limit for ruminants, suggesting that these should not be fed ad libitum. Dairy cows fed 14−21 kg fresh ripe banana peels increased milk production.
Citrus pulp
The citrus pulp contains 60−65% peel, 30−35% internal tissues and up to 10% seeds. It can be fed fresh, after sun drying or ensiling with hay/cereal straw in 70:30 ratio. It contains 5−10% CP and 6.2% EE, 10−40% soluble fibre (pectins), rich in trace elements and is highly palatable. Dried citrus pulp is used as a cereal substitute in concentrate diets due to its high OMD, ME and NE availability. Citrus pectins are easily and extensively degraded. Feeding of peel or pulp decreased ruminal populations of food borne pathogens. It is relished by animals and had no adverse effect on milk yield or composition. It can also be incorporated up to 10 and 2% in layer and broiler diet without affecting performance of birds.
Pineapple waste
It is made up of crowns, peels, cores, fresh trimmings and the pomace. It contains 4−8% CP, 60−72% NDF, 40−75% soluble sugars, but it is poor in minerals. Pineapple wastes is highly palatable and digestible (73−75% OMD) in cattle, sheep and goats. The ME content of ensiled pineapple waste was better than ensiled maize fodder. Lambs fed TMR containing either maize or pineapple waste silage along with concentrate mixture in 62:38 ratio resulted in comparative nutrient utilization and ADG. A 90-d trial revealed increased (3.1 L/cow/d) milk yield in crossbred cows fed ensiled pineapple waste.
Baby corn wastes
Baby corn husk: The baby corn husk and silk (BCH) are waste after removing cob for human consumption. It can be fed fresh or after ensiling or as a component of TMR. Feeding of BCH and maize fodder ad libitum to male Murrah buffalo calves revealed higher nutrient utilization in animals fed BCH and was highly palatable.
Baby corn fodder: After taking 3−4 baby corn picks, the left over plant is harvested for use as fodder for livestock. It contained 11.5-12.5% CP and 59.2% NDF. Baby corn fodder and conventional maize fodder fed ad libitum alone or with other feedstuffs as TMR or after ensiling to adult buffaloes, the nutritive value was comparable. Growing calves and lactating cows fed baby corn fodder performed better than those fed grass.
Cabbage waste
During harvesting most of the outer leaves of cabbage are left in the field. The outer leaves and cores are removed in the processing plant which can be used as animal feed. Cabbage waste can be fed to ruminants either fresh, dried or after ensiling. It is highly palatable and is relished by the animals. Cabbage waste is a potential feed for rabbits.
Pea waste
It consists of unripe, broken, undersized and overheated peas, produced during the process of canning or dehydration. It contains 28.5% CP, 2.9% EE, and 14.9% CF; 21.5% DCP and 78% TDN. These are highly palatable. The slow degradation rate of starch in peas to that of barley decreases the risk of acidosis. Pea waste can be included up to 25% in concentrates for medium to high yielders and up to 20% in the broiler rations without affecting growth and feed conversion efficiency.
Empty pea pods: After shelling peas, the left over material is empty pea pods, which contain 19.8% CP and 1.0% EE; 35.8% total soluble sugars. Rich source of macro- and micro-minerals. Pea pods are relished by ruminants, are highly palatable with high nutritive value and can be fed as a complete feed.
Potato wastes
Potatoes that are either under or over size, or are damaged or fungal infested are called cull potatoes. Fresh cull potatoes from cold storage can be ensiled with hay or straw on weight-by-weight basis in 75–82:18–25 ratio. The fresh cull potatoes contain 65−75% starch and 0.4% EE, 9.5–10% CP, 80% TDN, 3.16 Mcal ME/kg DM for lactating dairy cows. 4.5–5.0 kg potatoes are equivalent to 1.0 kg barley or corn grains. The cull potatoes are readily acceptable and palatable; feeding increased ADG in male buffaloes and milk yield in crossbred cows. These should be introduced gradually into diets. Should not feed potatoes higher than 30% of the DM intake or 2.5-4.0% of BW and should not exceed 10% of their BW in any case.
Sarson saag waste
After steam cooking leaves of Brassica campestris (mustard), Spinacea oleracea (spinach) and Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) in a 95:4:1 ratio, the pulp is sieved and the left over fibrous fraction is called ‘Sarson saag waste’. It contains 14.5% CP and 6% water-soluble sugars. It is readily acceptable and palatable, better nutrient utilization and ADG than that of oats fodder. Sarson saag waste supplemented with mineral mixture can serve as an excellent source of nutrients for ruminants and can be fed as a complete feed.
Tomato pomace
The mixture of skin, core and seeds left after the extraction of pulp is called tomato pomace. It can be fed fresh or preserved either by sun drying or by ensiling with either wheat/rice straw or maize stovers in 70:30 ratio. It contains 19−22% CP and 11−13% EE, 2.37 Mcal ME/kg DM for lactating dairy cattle. The sun dried, ground tomato pomace could replace the concentrate mixture completely in the diet of male buffaloes without affecting nutrient utilization. It can be used successfully in UMMBs, without affecting the nutrient utilization and health of adult male buffaloes.

by Dr M. Wadhwa & Dr M.P.S. Bakshi
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, Ludhiana