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Environmental assessment of new European protein sources for pig feeds

Abstract : Purpose. European pig production aims at reducing its environmental impacts with various mitigation strategies. Among them, the replacement of Brazilian soybean meal (BSM) associated to deforestation with European protein sources (EPS) combined with the genetic improvement of feed efficiency was tested in the H2020 Feed-A-Gene project. The goal was to estimate the environmental impacts of pig production resulting from incorporating EPS in fattening feeds. Methods. Four EPS were examined: fine fraction of rapeseed meal, partly defatted soybean meals obtained from crushing of dehulled or non-dehulled soybeans, and protein paste extracted from biomass. Environmental impacts per ton of protein for feedstuffs and per kilogram of pig at the farm gate were estimated using life cycle assessment. Benefits were calculated by comparing each EPS scenario with a reference using BSM and traditional protein sources. Least cost formulation defined feed compositions. For current feedstuffs, prices come from four European countries for four contrasting years. Prices of BSM and EPS were considered zero respectively in reference and innovative scenarios in order to maximize their incorporation. Improved genetic was assessed thanks to the comparison of two lines respectively with low and high feed efficiency. Results and discussion. At feedstuff level, the EPS reduce climate change impact more than twice compared to BSM but other impacts could be increased as acidification, eutrophication and land occupation. At pig level, the average incorporation of BSM in the reference fattening diet was 13%. Compared to this baseline, EPS scenarios reduce climate change impacts (by 8-9% for the European soybean meal and by 3-4% for the protein paste and the fine fraction of rapeseed meal) but still with a transfer of impact to land use (increase of 13%). With an additional improved genetic, the reduction on climate change with EPS rises 12-16% and limits the increase of land occupation below 5%. These results show a potential interest of EPS. Conclusions. EPS can’t be considered competitive as a replacement for BSM in the current context in which less than 5% of BSM was currently used in fattening diets due to the relative prices of protein sources. EPS seem interesting for climate change in a context economically favorable to BSM. But because of the transfer of impacts, there is a need for more macroscopic analyses to capture indirect land use effects.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 3:29:41 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 2:40:20 PM

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Sandrine Espagnol, Cyrielle Delage, Eric Royer, Sylvie Dauguet, Søren Krogh Jensen, et al.. Environmental assessment of new European protein sources for pig feeds. 12. International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food 2020 (LCA Food 2020), Oct 2020, Virtual meeting, Germany. pp.213-217. ⟨hal-03204479⟩

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