Former foodstuffs may have lost their commercial value on the human consumption market, due to for example production errors, however their nutritional value for animal feed purposes is not at all affected. By no means should the use of former foodstuffs in animal feed be considered a form of ‘waste processing’, former foodstuffs are not detrimental to animal health. The bread, biscuits, breakfast cereals, chocolate bars and crisps are high in energy content in the form of sugar, starch, oil or fat. Compound feed manufacturers can incorporate processed former foodstuffs to fulfil the energy requirements in certain diets (particularly piglets).

As can be seen in the table below, a typical pig feed formulation on an 88% dry matter basis is at least nutritionally equivalent to barley and wheat.

Former foodstuffs –
Typical Pig Feed formulation
Barley Wheat
Dry matter 88.0% 88.0% 88.0%
Crude protein 10.0% 11.0% 12.4%
Lysine 0.38% 0.38% 0.34%
Crude fat 14.5% 2.8% 2.1%
Crude fibre 2.2% 5.5% 2.7%
Starch 41.0% 51.6% 59.2%
Sugar 14.0% 2.2% 2.4%
Metabolisable energy pig (DE) 16.75 MJ/kg 12.95 MJ/kg 14.43 MJ/kg

Source: NRG, VDLUFA, INRA
Target Species: Monogastric – 52wks/yr requirement

The study “Nutritional evaluation of former food products intended for pig nutrition” by the University of Milan (published April 2017) underlined the nutritional qualities of processed former foodstuffs as an alternative feed ingredient. The authors state that processed former foodstuffs can be considered a “fat-fortified version of common cereal grains” thanks to the generally higher fat content while being comparable in starch content. From a biochemical point of view, lipids contain carbon and hydrogen in a more reduced state compared with other nutrients (carbohydrates and proteins). The better potential for oxidisation therefore provides a greater energy yield. Given the proven difficulties in handling fats and mixing them with other ingredients for the formulation of complete feeds, former foodstuffs can represent a valuable processing advantage in compound feed production given that the lipids are already part of the matrix. The previously heat-treated (or cooked) starch can be speculated to be of relatively high digestibility quality, which is of particular interest due to the limited capacity of piglets to digest raw starch.