Palm oil residues could provide an alternative, low cost and locally available source of protein for animal feed, according to a recent study published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (JTAS). Animal feeds with high nutritional content help determine the productivity of livestock. Agro-industrial by-products such as residues are a suitable candidate for animal feed because of their high fibre and carbon content, although they lack proteins and vitamins.
Researchers from Universiti Malaysia Perlis investigated the potential of palm pressed fibre (PPF) and palm oil decanter cake for protein production by fermentation using a Aspergillus terreus UniMAP AA-1 fungus. Fungi or other microorganisms are normally used to convert agro-industrial residues into animal feed proteins that are rich in nutrition, easily digestible and economical. They found that after the fermentation process, protein levels increased more than three fold in palm oil decanter cake compared to a 2.5 fold-increase in PPF. The study provides preliminary data to further optimise protein production from palm oil residues as potential ingredients for animal feed.