Fresh grocery produce as a supplement for livestock feed: Nutrient composition and aerobic stability1


      Nutrient content and aerobic stability of fresh grocery produce was assessed in March (Exp. 1) and September (Exp. 2) of 2015 from retail stores located in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area. Five stores were sampled at each time. Nutrient content data were analyzed using Univariate procedures of SAS, and aerobic stability data were analyzed using the Mixed procedure of SAS. Fresh grocery produce had a high moisture concentration (DM = 9.1 ± 1.35%) and a TDN of 76.1 ± 5.94%. The CP, sugar, and starch concentrations averaged 17.2 ± 3.76%, 35.8 ± 6.44%, and 2.3 ± 0.91%, respectively. Total fat averaged 4.7 ± 2.9% and was composed mainly of linoleic and oleic fatty acids. Neutral detergent fiber and ADF averaged 16.8 ± 1.75% and 13.6 ± 1.96%, respectively. Glutamic and aspartic acids comprised the largest amino acid fraction (2.0 ± 0.09% and 1.7 ± 0.08%, respectively). In Exp. 2, the CP (13%) and sugar (12.9%) concentrations were less and the DM (11.4%) and starch (21.7%) concentrations greater when compared with Exp. 1. Aerobic storage, ensiling, of fresh grocery produce reduced pH and increased lactic acid but not significantly (P > 0.10). Acetate increased (P < 0.01) by d 5 but decreased (P < 0.01) by d 12 of aerobic storage. Fresh grocery produce can be a good source of nutrients for livestock; however, the inherent variability in nutrients and the high moisture concentration are factors that require further consideration for it to be a viable option for farmers to include as a feed supplement.

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