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Can novel ingredients replace soybeans and reduce the environmental burdens of European livestock systems in the future?

Lookup NU author(s): Craig Tallentire, Dr Stephen MacKenzie, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Much of the protein in the diets of European livestock is sourced from imported soybeans produced in the Americas. This protein deficit in livestock production presents a risk to social, economic and environmental progress in Europe. In this study the impact of incorporating novel ingredients into future chicken diet formulations to serve as European sourced alternatives to imported soybeans was investigated. The novel ingredients considered were: microalgae, macroalgae, duckweed, yeast protein concentrate, bacterial protein meal, leaf protein concentrate and insects. Using horizon scanning and a modelling approach, the nutritional requirements of two potential meat-producing chicken lines were simulated. The two chicken lines were a fast-growing line based on the apparent maximum feed efficiency that could be achieved through further artificial selection, and a reduced growth rate for high welfare line. Diets were formulated to include the novel ingredients, whilst meeting the nutritional requirements of the birds. The effects of diet composition on indicators of environmental burdens, associated with feed production for the poultry industry, were then assessed. We found that soybean products can be completely replaced by novel feed ingredients, whilst reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and arable land requirements for feed provision relative to conventional diets formulated for both chicken lines. Switching from conventional diets to diets which incorporate novel ingredients was also shown to mitigate the increased environmental burdens associated with moving towards higher welfare livestock systems. Incorporation of novel ingredients in diet formulations offers a viable option for providing sustainable and nutritionally balanced livestock feed in the future and thus provides huge potential for facilitating bespoke feeding strategies and specific management choices for mitigating environmental impacts of chicken systems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tallentire CW, Mackenzie SG, Kyriazakis I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cleaner Production

Year: 2018

Volume: 187

Pages: 338-347

Print publication date: 20/06/2018

Online publication date: 22/03/2018

Acceptance date: 21/03/2018

Date deposited: 01/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0959-6526

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.212


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