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Title: A Multipurpose Leguminous Plant for the Mediterranean Countries: Leucaena leucocephala as an Alternative Protein Source: A Review
Authors: De Angelis, Anna
Gasco, Laura
Parisi, Giuliana
Danieli, Pierpaolo 
Journal: ANIMALS 
Issue Date: 2021
In tropical and subtropical regions, as well as in the internal and/or marginal Mediterranean areas, one of the most important problems related to animal production is represented by the inadequate nutritional supplies. The low productivity of the animals, often connected to reduced annual growth, is, in fact, not infrequently attributable to the low nitrogen content and the high fiber content of the local plant species and crop residues that constitute the base ingredients of the rations commonly adopted by farmers. The use of the supplementation with arboreal and shrub fodder, although often containing anti-nutritional factors and toxins that limit its use, could be a profitable way to alleviate the nutritional deficiencies of the basic diets. Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) De Wit is native to Central America and widely naturalized in the majority of Latin American countries. It is a legume suitable for tropical and subtropical environments including the countries of the Mediterranean area. Moreover, its spread is desirable if we consider the multiple uses to which it is suitable, the considerable amount of biomass produced, and its role in preserving the environment. The aim of this work was to highlight the characteristics of Leucaena that can justify its wide diffusion. A structured analysis of strengths and weaknesses was performed accordingly. Being a good protein source for feeding livestock, it could be a species to be introduced in the inland areas of the Mediterranean countries as an alternative protein source; the limit represented by the presence of anti-nutritional factors could be overcome by feed processing and by launching targeted research programs.
ISSN: 2076-2615
DOI: 10.3390/ani11082230
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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