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Investigations on the chemical composition, digestibility and nutritive value of green, dried and ensiled olive leaves



Investigations on the chemical composition, digestibility and nutritive value of green, dried and ensiled olive leaves



Ann Sperim Agrar rome 1(1): 72-88



The chem. composition of fresh olive leaves (moisture 42.4%, crude proteins 7.6%, crude fats 4.1%, crude fiber 10.3%, ash 3.5%, N-free extract 32.1%) is satisfactory and remains so in dried and in ensiled leaves. The crude fat content is particularly high. Ca and K are remarkably high while the P content is rather low. The ratio of fixed bases to fixed acids is high. Vitamin C content is considered fairly high, and also vitamin E content, while the content of carotene B is low. The apparent digestibility of fresh olive leaves is relatively high for organic matter (61%) relatively low for crude proteins (44%), low for fats (24%) and crude fiber (29.9%) and very high for N-free extract. In ensiled and, even more, in dried leaves, a considerable decrease in the digestibility of organic matter, proteins and N-free extract was noted. The nutritive value of fresh olive leaves, calculated on the basis of average digestibility coeffs. obtained in the expts. after having subtracted the crude fiber content from the starch equivalent, corresponds to 29.4 starch equivalent per 100 kg. of fresh leaves with a water content of 42%, corresponding to 41.8 Scandinavian nutrition units for fattening adult cattle. Calculated as gross energy, the utilization coeff. is 0.86. Figures reproduced in this article indicate that, compared with fresh leaves, dried leaves show a loss of 40% in nutritive value, and ensiled leaves a loss of 32%, chiefly due to a reduction in the digestibility value.

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