Cattle enjoy waste peel from pomegranates
Pomegranate peel left over from production of the juice renowned for its
potential health benefits can make a nutritious feed supplement for cattle,
researchers in Israel report.
The peel packs some of the weight-boosting and
health-enhancing effects of antibiotics and hormones without the detrimental
effects, and researchers say it may yield meat with higher levels of beneficial
In the new study, Ariel Shabtay and colleagues note that
consumption of pomegranate products is increasing amid reports that the fruit
may help fight cancer, infections, and other diseases in humans due to its high
levels of antioxidants.
Recent studies also have shown that boosting
antioxidant levels in the diet of cattle may help improve their health. Those
findings seemed to make pomegranate peel, a waste product of the pomegranate
industry with higher antioxidant levels than the juice itself, an attractive
candidate as a nutritional supplement for cattle feed.
To find out, the
scientists fed calves either normal cattle feed or feed supplemented with
pomegranate peels. After eight weeks, the calves supplemented with pomegranate
had higher blood levels of alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that may help
retain nutrients and extend the shelf life of meat by preventing spoilage. The
pomegranate-fed animals gained more weight than the animals on standard
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