Replacement Protein with Alternative Sources of Protein for Feed in the EU

Popp, József – Oláh, Judit – Harangi-Rákos, Mónika – Fári, Miklós

Keywords: protein feed, soya protein, alternative protein sources, Q13

The EU is dependent for 60% on imports of protein-rich feedstuffs and the self-sufficiency of soy products is just around 4-5%. The EU imports about 10% of soybean and 30% of the soybean meal available in world market. In the EU there are no substitutes for imported protein-rich feedstuffs in the near future. Oilseed meals are also recognized as important protein feedstuff, however, for climatic and agronomic reasons, and the slow growth of the biofuels industry the EU is unable to increase considerably the production of oilseeds. Furthermore, the competitiveness of grain legumes in arable crop rotations is limited and yield increases are needed to replace imported soybean products and this would also be needed for European soybean production. Taking into consideration that 210 million tonnes of soymeal is produced a year globally, the co-products of biodiesel production have a relatively high impact on the feed market. The protein feed output by the biofuels industry is equal to about 65-70 million tonnes of soybean meal, or 30% of the global soybean meal production. In the EU, the contribution of the biodiesel industry accounted for 30% in the share of oilseed meals as feed material in the compound feed industry and the ethanol industry displaces nearly 10% of soybean and soybean meal imports by volume. In addition to the global production of 5 million tonnes of fishmeal per annum the global output of animal protein is around 13 million tonnes per year replacing about 18 million tonnes of soybean meals, or 10% of the global production of soybean meal. Protein levels in grass leaves are low, but bio-refineries of green leaves could potentially produce high protein content products and alfalfa protein extracts are commercially available on the market but in restricted areas. Recently, products of aquatic biomass have surfaced as potential protein sources for animal feed, however, at present production cost are too high to make bulk markets accessible to aquatic biomass. Insects are a well-known source of protein, but still much knowledge is yet to be collected to judge the real potential of insects as protein sources for animal feed. Improvement of cost effectiveness for the production of yiest and amino acid is needed to make them alternative protein sources. Soybean meal is still the most price competitive feed protein and will not be replaced by alternative protein sources in the next decade.