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Prickly pear by-product in the feeding of livestock ruminants: Preliminary investigation

  • Autori: Todaro M.; Alabiso M.; Di Grigoli A.; Scatassa M.L.; Cardamone C.; Mancuso I.; Mazza F.; Bonanno A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


In Sicily, the current increasing cultivation of Opuntia ficus-indica corresponds to an availability of prickly pear by-product (PPB) that results from fruit processing for juice extraction. This investigation aims to evaluate the nutritional traits of PPB for ruminant feeding and its stability during a 21-day outdoor storage, using potassium metabisulfite (PMB) as a preservative agent, added to the PPB mass at different doses (0, 50, 100, and 150 g/kg). The fractioning of PPB showed that it included 28% of peel and pulp and 72% of seeds on a dry matter (DM) basis. On the whole, this by-product was low in crude protein (5.32% DM), high in fiber content (51.38%, 41.15% and 14.64% DM for NDFom, ADFom and ADL respectively), non-fiber carbohydrates (NFC, 29.68% DM), and soluble sugars (13.3% DM), with a moderate level of net energy for lactation (4.59 MJ/kg DM). Storage was the main factor of alteration of PPB chemical composition with the exception of ether extract. A decline of NFC and soluble sugars, due to microbial fermentation, was observed with all PMB treatments, especially during the first week of storage, probably due to evolution of both coccus (M17) and rod LAB (MRS), which increased their loads at the seventh day of storage.