Pashu Sandesh, 09 May 2022

Dr T.Susmita, Assistant Professor, Poultry Science,

Dr C.Anil Kumar, Assistant Professor, Animal Nutrition, 

Livetstock Farm Complex,

 NTR College of Veterinary Science Gannavaram, KRISHNA DISTRICT, A.P, INDIA 521101


Increased demand for chicken products has impacted feed supply and cost. Researchers have been interested in the possibilities of locally available, less competitive, and low-cost feed components. Several root/tuber and fruit peels have been investigated for use in poultry diets, with variable degrees of success. The inefficient use of peel meal by poultry is due to high fibre, low nutrient density, and the presence of anti-nutritional compounds. Peel meal inclusion levels in chicken diets are influenced by plant cultivar, age, agronomic practices, peel processing technique, breed, and age of birds.

The development of technologically and economically viable strategies to convert by-products, stabilisation and subsequent processing to recover some potential ingredients for use in feeds and food additives, would significantly improve the food industry's long-term sustainability and competitiveness. Pineapple peels, jackfruit rinds, and banana peels are the most common fruit peels. 

Feed availability and cost of feeds are directly affected by the increase in poultry farming. Maize, a traditional chicken energy source, is being aggressively pursued by the food and biofuel industries, resulting in restricted availability or exorbitant prices for chicken feed. Due to increased demand for broiler diets, maize prices are steadily rising. Researchers are exploring other energy sources to replace part of the maize in poultry diets. 

The peel/rind of pineapple, jackfruit, banana, watermelon, starchy roots and tubers, such as cassava and sweet potato, have been included in the poultry diets for economic reasons and nutritional demands. During the preparation of roots and tubers, as well as other fruits for culinary and industrial purposes, large volumes of peels are produced, which have a low economic value and may provide disposal issues in most producing nations. Hence, the potential for using various fruit wastes in the form of peel meal in poultry diets is summarised here.

Banana peel

Banana peels include a wide range of nutrients. Although banana peel protein content is low (1–100 g/kg), it is abundant in essential amino acids. The metabolisable energy content ranges from 2700-3300 Kcal/Kg. The crude fibre content of the peel varies between 149 and 500 g/kg. High quantities of macro-and microminerals, crude fat, and polyunsaturated fatty acids are also found in banana peels (especially linoleic and -linolenic acid).

Polyphenols including gallocatechin and dopamine have been found in the banana peels. Few studies have shown a gallocatechin concentration of 160 mg/100 g dry weight of banana peel and these Catechins have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and cholesterol-lowering effects. Feeding banana peels reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol. The principal anti-nutritional component in banana peel has been identified as tannins.

Cassava peel

Cassava peel has a lot of fibre, ranging from 140 to 340 g/kg, with non-starch polysaccharides accounting for the majority of it. Cassava peel has been reported to contain 680–700 g/kg of soluble sugar and 3–20 g/kg of crude fat, respectively. Cassava peel meal has a low-calorie value due to its low fat and high fibre content. Another difficulty that prevents the efficient use of cassava peel meal as chicken feed is dustiness, which may be mitigated by adding fat to the diet. Cassava root products are deficient in carotene and carotenoids, hence supplements containing these pigments must be added to cassava root product diets to keep egg yolk and broiler skin colours consistent.

Citrus peel 

Citrus peel is a waste product of the citrus industry. The fruit's peel is an edible component that is high in nutrients such as vitamin C, essential oils including terpenes and aliphatic sesquiterpene, and dietary fibre. They also have carotenoids, organic acids (citric acid and ascorbic acid), minerals, and a variety of active phytochemicals (coumarins and flavonoids such as naringin, naringenin, hesperidin, neohesperidin, rutin, hesperetin, nairutin, and tangeretin; that aid in antibacterial, insecticidal, disinfecting activities, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Though citrus peel is having low crude protein per cent of 5.46-6.4, it is used in the poultry diets for its other phytochemical properties. 

Onion peel

Onion peel is a by-product of the vegetable processing industry that is high in dietary fibre and polyphenolic antioxidants, particularly quercetin and flavonoids. These flavonoids help to prevent oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular and neurological illnesses. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticarcinogenic properties of onion flavonoids are well-known. 

Papaya peel

Papaya (Carica papaya) peel has a protein composition similar to maize, however, it is higher in fibre and lowers in fat. Papaya peel is similar to most fruit peels in terms of soluble carbohydrate content. Papaya is strong in proteolytic enzymes (papain and chymopapain), as well as vitamins, minerals, and beta-carotene. Antihelmintic, antibacterial, and anticoccidial effects of papaya peel are assumed to be due to the presence of polyphenols, particularly catechins. The antinutritive compounds in papaya peel are phenolic substances such as tannins, alkaloids, saponins, and flavonoids. 

Sweet potato peels

The sweet potato peel (Ipomoea batatas L) has a lot of calories, moderate crude protein 36–46 g/kg, crude fibre 38–70 g/kg and Metabolizable energy was found to be around 2700 kcal/kg. Sweet potato peels are abundant in carotenoids, they reduce the need for pigment supplements to keep egg and skin colour consistent. 

Depending on the cultivar, sweet potatoes have been shown to possess phenolic compounds and protease inhibitors in varying levels. The composition of sweet potato products is influenced by soil water level, physiological properties, storage conditions.

Yam yam

Peeled yam Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is an average source of energy, with a metabolisable energy level of approximately 2,700 kcal/kg. The crude protein content of yam peel is equivalent to that of most cereal grains estimated to be between 91.4 and 127 g/kg, with a decent balance of important amino acids. Yam peel has been shown to have a high starch content and digestibility. Yam peel, like cassava, is a poor source of carotenoids.

The nutritional and anti-nutrient contents of selected root and fruit peels are mentioned in Tables 1 and 2, respectively. The dietary inclusion of the fruit peels is mentioned in Table 3


Table 1 Nutrient contents of root and fruit peels


Cassava peel

Yam peel

Sweet potato peel

Citrus pulp

Banana peel

Papaya peel

Sugar beet pulp

Crude protein














Crude fibre














Crude fat



















52.8 (45.6–60)



















ME (Kcal/kg)









Table 2 Anti-nutritional factors in selected root and fruit peels/pulps


Cassava peel

Yam peel

Sweet potato peel

Citrus pulp

Banana peel

Papaya peel

Cyanogenic glucoside


Phenolic compounds










Protease inhibitors




Amylase inhibitors






(**major factor; *reported; –not analysed)


Table 3. Recommendations of selected peels/pulps in broiler diets


Peel meal

Inclusion level




270 g/kg diet


Tewe and Egbunike (1992)


200 g/kg diet


Obioha et al. (1984)


200–300 g/kg diet


Salami (2000), Salami and




Odunsi (2003)


200 g/kg diet—laying quails


Edache et al. (2012)

Sweet potato

200 g/kg diet


Apata and Babalola (2012)


190 g/kg diet—laying quails


Edache et al. (2016)

Sugar beet pulp

23g/kg—Japanese laying quails


Pettersson and Razdan (1993)


100 g/kg diet


Yang and Chung (1985)


50–120 g/kg diet


Mourao et al. (2008), Nazoket al. (2010)

Onion peel meal

20g/kg diet


An BK et al. (2015), Adeymi KD et al. (2021)


90 g/kg diet—growing pullets


Fouzder et al. (1999)


Peels in the Future

Peels are nutritionally moderate, making them a good supplement to poultry diets. This, together with advancements in processing technology to reduce anti-nutritive components, would increase the value of peels in chicken feed.  Peels will be easily accessible if correctly processed and conserved.

Due to the growing market and availability of feed additives (exogenous enzyme products, amino acids, antioxidants, anti-nutrient binding agents) and feed industry research interest in probiotics, the future use of peels appears to be brighter. 

Alternative, less expensive components for chicken feeding should be researched in order to reduce food-feed competition. Increased production of root/tuber and fruit crops to meet increased global demand for food and industrial applications, as well as ongoing research into higher yields and planting and harvesting time flexibility, will make their peel more available year-round. Seasonality in availability, high fibre content, and the presence of antinutrients are all factors that make it difficult for poultry to effectively consume peels. The high moisture content of peels makes processing much more difficult in humid tropical environments where these by-products are widely available.

Peel meals' future application in on-farm chicken feed production is brighter because of the rising market and availability of feed additives (exogenous enzyme products, amino acids, antioxidants, antinutrients binding agents) and feed industry research interest in probiotics. 

Dietary adjustments, such as complementing meals with suitable exogenous enzyme preparations, have been shown to reduce the negative effects of NSPs, according to studies. Enzymes can be employed to target antinutrients in certain feed components, allowing chickens to absorb more nutrients from the meal and hence improve feed efficiency. Because of increased feed efficiency and bird uniformity, adding enzymes to fibrous diets improved litter quality while reducing feed expenditures. There are presently several complex enzymes, each of which targets specific elements in the meal, resulting in improved nutritional availability, as opposed to single enzyme activity. These enzyme products might be used to boost the usage of peel meals while also lowering feed costs.


Peels use in chicken diets is restricted due to high fibre and anti-nutritional component concentrations. Increased affordability of commercial feed additives such as enzyme cocktails will assist poultry in making better use of these by-products. More study on feed systems that optimise hen peel utilisation, save feed costs and may reduce environmental concerns is required.



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