Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SAFEWASTES — Result In Brief

Project ID: 513949
Funded under: FP6-FOOD
Country: Austria

Putting organic waste to good use

Plants contain many valuable bioactive compounds. Recent research has investigated how industrial plant waste can be processed to supply livestock with phytochemicals that replace pharmaceutical feed additives.
Putting organic waste to good use
The food industry produces millions of tonnes of organic waste which is at best composted or incinerated with the accompanying ecological damage. As the waste mountain is still full of nutrients and bioactive products, the EU-funded Safewastes project aimed to put this material to better use.

One major exemplary objective was to develop organic feed additives to replace the now banned in-feed antibiotics. Animal welfare was paramount for Safewastes, being a high priority issue in the EU.

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were developed for processing techniques in extract production. A necessary element was choice of solvent such as water, heptane or ethanol as well as the fractionation procedure.

For safety and health, in vitro test systems were developed and validated for functional additives with ability to combat parasitic and pathogenic activity. With the main focus on the pig rearing industry, researchers investigated the effects of organic wastes on growth of caecal bacteria through a colon stimulation technique.

For general dietary health, anti-oxidants were also extracted and, contrary to project expectations, waste materials were high in these molecules that combat free radicals. The Safewastes team found that starting material was of prime importance. Even when oil and phenolic compounds (OPCs) had been extracted, many anti-oxidants remained.

Recommendations included the addition of feed additives mango, larch, pumpkin and thyme, from 2.5 to 10 % for positive effects. Animals that would benefit the most in the livestock industry would be sows, broilers (chickens for meat production) and parent stock generally.

Safewastes have successfully developed processes to extract compounds with significant health benefits for both livestock and the consumer. Moreover, avoiding traditional means of organic waste disposal means that cost is reduced as well as environmental problems.

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