December 10, 2008
Pomegranate peel leftover can be used to make a nutritious and beneficial feed supplement for cattle, researchers in Israel reported.
The peel contains some of the weight-boosting and health-enhancing effects of antibiotics and hormones without the detrimental effects, and researchers say it may yield meat with higher levels of beneficial antioxidants.
Ariel Shabtay, a researcher from Technion University's Department of Biology and his colleagues discovered that consumption of pomegranate products may help fight infections and other diseases due to its high levels of antioxidants.
Recent studies also have shown that boosting antioxidant levels in the diet of cattle may help improve their health. The research shows pomegranate peels have higher antioxidants than the juice itself.
To further support the research findings, the scientists fed two groups of calves with normal cattle feed and feed supplemented with pomegranate peels respectively. After eight weeks, the calves supplemented with pomegranate had higher blood levels of alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that may help retain nutrients and extend the shelf life of meat by preventing spoilage. The pomegranate-fed animals gained more weight than the animals on standard feed.