Department of Animal Science
Type of project
Type of project
CRP - Our food, countryside and natural resources
01.10.2022 - 30.03.2025
Project manager at BFSalobir Janez
Research Organisation Partners
- University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty
- University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty
- Emona, Development Center for Nutrition
- Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and food
The total amount of food waste and food waste generated during the distribution and trade of food products is increasing year by year in the Republic of Slovenia. Reducing food loss and waste is the goal of the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan and especially the "Farm to Fork" strategies. It is also a key priority for the Republic of Slovenia, which in 2021 adopted a strategy to reduce food loss and waste in the food supply chain, "Respect Food, Respect the Planet". Strategic goals include diverting food waste into animal feed before it is removed from the food chain (conversion to energy in biogas plants, composting, disposal to waste). The use of food no longer intended for human consumption as alternative feedstuffs for livestock and companion animals helps to achieve important goals on the way to a sustainable circular bioeconomy of the Republic of Slovenia: ensuring food security, reducing the dependence of Slovenian livestock on imported raw materials and pressure on human food resources, and reducing the environmental impact of the agri-food chain.
For the use of foods no longer intended for human consumption in animal feed, a national framework, suitable for the specific flows of these foods in the Republic of Slovenia is needed, which will be optimal for maintaining their nutritional value, and in accordance with the highest feed safety standards to preserve the health and welfare of animals, and the safety and quality of their products for human consumption.
The basis for planning the strategy is accurate and high-quality data on material flows (types and quantities) of surplus food that could potentially be used as animal feed. In order to feed animals with food that is no longer intended for human consumption, it is necessary to know many restrictions and specifics of their use. Their use as animal feed is regulated by the European and national legislations. In the whole chain from the place of production, collection, storage, treatment for further use, distribution, preparation of feed, feeding technology, to the consumer there are many unresolved technological issues that require adaptation and implementation of new technologies. Since foods no longer intended for human consumption are novel feedstuffs, it is necessary to understand their nutritional value, their impact on performance, animal health and welfare, and the impact on technological quality and nutritional value of animal products. It is necessary to know their limitations in feeding different animal species and categories, and suitability for use in different production systems. In addition to former food products, insects may be a special category of interest as a source of protein when farmed on former food- or by-products. The non-selective use of food no longer intended for human consumption in animal feed potentially increases the risk of contaminants entering the feed chain and therefore the safety and technological risks should be known.
The objective of the proposed project is to review and analyse the generation and extent of flows of food no longer intended for human consumption in light of the circular bioeconomy, to investigate and analyse gaps in food and feed legislation in order to identify the possibility of linking food and feed chains, to evaluate the possibilities of using food no longer intended for human consumption for the livestock and companion animals feed, to identify potential health and technological issues, review and provide examples of best practises used in Slovenia and internationally, comprehensively assess the potential, needs, and impacts from a circular economy and sustainability perspective, and to make proposals to address regulatory and technological gaps in the development of food and feed chains, provide recommendations and actions to enable the use of these alternative feedstuffs for livestock and companion animals, and prepare the basis for national guidelines.
The phases of the project and their realization
The project work is divided into seven work packages:
WP0 Coordination and project management
WP1 Review and evaluation of the potential of food no longer intended for human consumption
WP2 Review of legislation related to the use of food no longer intended for human consumption as animal feed in the EU and in the Republic of Slovenia
WP3 Evaluation of the possibility of using food no longer intended for human consumption as animal feed for different species and categories of livestock and companion animals
WP4 Identification of possible health and technological problems related to the use of food no longer intended for human consumption as feed for animals in the whole food chain from food production to food processing (food industry, food distribution, caterers) to consumers
WP5 Review of best practises in the processing and use of food no longer intended for human consumption as animal feed in the Republic of Slovenia, the EU and worldwide, as well as its acceptance by users
WP6 Evaluation of the potential of food no longer intended for human consumption from the point of view of circular economy and sustainability
WP7 Synthesis of the regulatory and technological gaps to be closed for the coupling of food and feed chains and preparation of the basis for national guidelines for the use of food no longer intended for human consumption as animal feed
The project is multidisciplinary in nature and aims to systematically review, assess, synthesize and integrate available data in the Republic of Slovenia and more broadly in the field of managing material flows that contribute to food waste. The project will review and inventory the material flows of food no longer intended for human consumption, review the legal basis and requirements, and conduct a comparative analysis of legislation to identify the gaps that limit the use of these foods as feed in practice. We will create an inventory of feeds, review their chemical composition, and evaluate their feed value for different species and categories of livestock and pets, as well as assess their applicability for different types of livestock. We will review the processing technologies of these feeds and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of their processing and use. We will identify best practices and evaluate the possibilities of transferring these practices in the Republic of Slovenia from the point of view of food safety, logistical and technological possibilities. The data collected will form the basis for the development of Slovenian guidelines for the use of food no longer intended for human consumption as animal feed.