Feeding food losses and waste to pigs and poultry : Implications for feed quality and production

Boumans, Iris J.M.M.; Schop, Marijke; Bracke, Marc B.M.; Boer, Imke J.M. de; Gerrits, Walter J.J.; Bokkers, Eddie A.M.


Feeding food losses and food waste (FLW) to livestock can reduce the environmental impact of livestock production, but practical implications for feed quality and feed production systems are currently unclear. The aim of this paper is to address the potential implications for pigs and poultry feeding systems when FLW would (fully or partly) replace conventional ingredients of animal feed within the European Union. FLW streams, such as (prohibited) animal-based foods or household waste, constitute a substantial and valuable part of available FLW. Feeding FLW, however, also includes challenges regarding the (anti-) nutritional value, physical and sensory characteristics, and contamination risks of animal feed. Mixing various FLW streams can be a solution for the large variability in nutritional value and physical characteristics, but more knowledge is needed about the various properties of FLW streams, best handling and processing methods, validated analysis techniques and inclusion levels in animal feeds. We discuss the scale and location of processing FLW, as well as the required infrastructure for dealing with supply and demand. Different approaches may be taken to increase the use of FLW into livestock diets and transition into a sustainable and circular food system. How this could be best implemented will likely be a trade-off between costs and benefits. It should be discussed both among direct users and within the wider society which costs and risks are acceptable.