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Karthika Srikanthithasan

Phd thesis

Bakery by Products in Poultry Diet, A Multidisciplinary Approach

Scientific background/state of the art

The FAO estimates that by 2050 an increase of the 70% of animal products will be needed to feed the world population (FAO, 2022). As a result, the global demand for animal products will continue to grow, and it will play a crucial role in global food security and nutrition.
The livestock sector plays an integral role in the food system, which is currently facing numerous challenges including security, environmental emissions, climate change and “feed–food competition” (Muscat et al., 2020). “Feed-food competition” refers to “the tensions and trade-offs between two alternative uses for edible crops: direct consumption by humans versus feeding livestock” (Breewood and Garnett, 2020).

More sustainable feed production is required, along with the exploitation of novel resources, which have become a priority to meet the increasing global food demand according to circular economy principles (FAO, 2017). The increase in sustainability is necessarily linked to the increase of self-sufficiency in the supply of raw materials. The European countries are now facing critical times characterized by disruptions of supply chains due to pandemics, war, and fluctuation in an international market economy (Eurostat, 2021). Increasing the recovery of critical raw materials is one of the key challenges in the transition to a more circular and resilient economy. In this scenario, the inclusion of new ingredients in animal feed production could represent a solution to support local feed sectors and the regional economies, to promote local production, and the further development of a regional sustainable supply chain less dependent on external inputs. Likewise, Among the proposed solutions, the researchers have deeply investigated an approach based on the use of former foodstuffs (or ex-foods) in feed as minimizes feed-food competition (Breewood and Garnett, 2020).

Thus, insect meals (Pinotti et al., 2019), co-products (Mackenzie et al., 2016), food leftovers (Pinotti et al., 2021), by-products(Karlsson et al., 2018), food waste (Fung et al., 2019), bakery by-products (Humer et al., 2018), former food products (Tretola et al., 2019) are only a few of the possibilities addressed as innovative raw materials in livestock feeding. Their inclusion in feed formulations has been proved to be able to reduce feed-food competition, lower animal feeding costs, and increase sustainability, ensuring feed safety, reducing wastes, and maximizing the circular economy.

According to the EU catalog of feed materials (Regulation (EU) No. 2017/1017), former foodstuffs are “foodstuffs, other than catering reflux, which were manufactured for human consumption in full compliance with the EU food law but which are no longer intended for human consumption for practical or logistical reasons or due to problems of manufacturing or packaging defects or other defects and which do not present any health risks when used as feed.”.
Moreover, as suggested by (Pinotti et al., 2021) there are two main categories of former foodstuffs (FFs), namely former food products (FFPs) and bakery by-products (BBPs), as alternative feed ingredients in monogastric and ruminant nutrition.

The FFP is identified as leftovers from confectionery consisting mainly of a “fortified version of cereals”, with a valuable energy source, characterized by high sugar/starch content, and, sometimes, fat-enriched (such as cookies, wafers, and chocolate) even though in these materials’ fiber fractions are also detectable in BBPs. The BBP is mainly constituted by a mixture of dated or unsalable bread, breakfast cereal, biscuits, and other foods that cannot be used for their intended purpose (Giromini et al., 2017). It can thus be speculated that there are two main types of Ex-foods on the market, namely salty materials (BBPs) and sweet materials (FFPs), but they are sometimes mixed together (Pinotti et al., 2021). Also, for this research, in particular, the BBPs are a mix of surplus and unsaleable materials collected from the food industry. From a nutritional point of view, BBPs have primarily been considered an energy source for poultry diets, equations were developed to predict the energy content of various BBP samples from proximate analysis (Saleh et al., 1996).


The main objective of the research project will be the evaluation of the inclusion of BBP in the broiler's diet and the analyses of the effects on the whole productive chain.
Three sub aims can be identified:
a. Evaluation of the in vivo effects on livestock performance, blood parameters, intestinal health, and the oxidative state of broilers.
b. Evaluation of the effects on the carcass traits and meat quality and safety.
c. Sensorial evaluation and consumer engagement.

Materials and methods

A total of 200 one-day-old male ROSS-308 chicks were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments, with five replicates per treatment (10 broilers per pen). The isoenergetic and isoproteic diets are:
1. Control group; CTRL (standard commercial diet)
2. CTRL + diet integration with a high dosage (25% w/w) of bakery by-products (H-BBP) group; H-BBP
3. CTRL + diet integration with a medium dosage (12.5% w/w) of bakery by-products (M-BBP) group; M-BBP
4. CTRL + diet integration with a low (6.25% w/w) dosage of bakery by-products (L-BBP) group; L-BBP

1) Analysis of feed and BBPs

2) In vivo analysis

3) Post-mortem analysis

4) Chemical analyses of meat

5) Rheological properties of meat

6) Microbiological analysis of meat

7) Sensorial evaluation

8) Statistical analyses

Expected results

The findings of the project will create solid literature concerning the complete characterization of sustainable production in the poultry sector through the use of diet enriched with BBPs, allowing the sector to contribute more to the replacement of natural resources with Ex foods. As a result, the livestock industry has the potential to minimize food waste, natural resource competition, and the environmental impact of animal production systems. Thereby enhancing the valorization of Former foodstuffs as an alternative feed ingredient in animal nutrition and turning the numerical expansion problem into a strategic local resource.

The ultimate goal is to have a set of results available to be able to apply the new feed protocols at an industrial level by developing new label claims in collaboration with companies in the sector. In this way, consumers can also recognize their desire for an end product that is as environmentally friendly as possible.


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