According to a recent study, yeast grown on almond hulls could be a new, sustainable route to produce high-protein animal feed from an agricultural waste product. Indeed, animal feed ingredients, particularly those abundant in high quality protein, are the most expensive component of livestock production.
Almond hulls are currently a low-value by-product primarily used for animal feed for dairy cattle. Compositional analysis showed that almond hulls are rich in polygalacturonic acid (pectin) and soluble sucrose.
In particular, the team is researching using yeasts grown on almond hulls or grape pomace – a residue from winemaking – to make oils that solidify at room temperature. These could be a sustainable alternative to animal fats and tropical oils, such as palm oil.