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Projektleiterin: Khiaosa-Ard Ratchaneewan

Following the ban on the use of antibiotics in feed as growth promoters, there have been great interests in using natural bioactive compounds for livestock production and the market for phytogenic feed additives is expanding. So far, we have been relying heavily on pure extracts of herbs, trees, and shrubs, many of which are species of foreign origin that require intensive resources for production and logistics.

In fact, in Austria the local plant grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is a rich source of tannins and other phenols and large amounts of these functional compounds are lost as the waste of wine-making process. Significant amounts of waste are generated each year from wine production. In fact, wine solid byproducts can be fed to ruminants that are physiologically adapted to high-fiber feed and can handle phenols better than monogastric animals. Thus, turning the wine waste products into cattle feed is cost-effective and resource-efficient because every waste can be reused.

The proposed project will be carried out to evaluate the possibilities for upcycling wine byproducts as functional feed sources for cattle. Due to variations in availability, shelf life, and nutritive values, different winery byproducts have different potential as a functional feed for cattle. Using the rumen simulation technique, we will compare different wine byproducts used in combination with high-quality hay, thereby allowing us to profit from the effects of the bioactive compounds while maintaining sufficient ruminal degradation of nutrients. The outcome of this project could lead the way to up-cycling of wine waste as functional feed for dairy cattle, which has economic relevance and complies with the future trends in food production regarding sustainability and health.