Potential use of stevia rebaudiana in animal feeds

J. Atteh, O. Onagbesan, K. Tona, J. Buyse, E. Decuypere, J. Geuns
2011 Archivos de Zootecnia  
The nutritional profile of the leaves and stem of Stevia rebaudiana, and their potential utilization in an animal model were studied. Stevia leaves and stem had 16% and 6.7% crude protein and were low in fat content (2.6 and 1.1%) respectively. The fatty acid profile of fat showed a preponderance of unsaturated fatty acids (65.8% and 71.4% for leaves and stem respectively). Linolenic acid was the most abundant fatty acid in stevia leaf oil (36%) whereas linoleic acid was the highest in stems
more » ... %). The crude fiber contents on dry fat free basis were 6.8% and 45.4% for leaves and stem respectively. The K content of stevia leaves and stem were comparable; Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn were higher in leaves and the opposite was true for Na. The tests with broiler chickens showed that apparent, nitrogen corrected, and true metabolisable energy values for leaves were 2113, 2098 and 2223 kcal/kg and for stems 1573, 1554 and 1675 kcal/kg respectively. Retention of the protein from the leaves and stems by chickens was 63% and 65.7% respectively. Stevia leaves contain other nutritional attributes besides of the sweetening components.
doi:10.4321/s0004-05922011000100015 fatcat:goq4zqb4jzafdae7wzc7hy6dwq