Nutritive value of co-products derived from olivecake in rabbit feeding


  • J.C. de Blas Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • C.A. Rodriguez Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • F. Bacha NACOOP, S.A.
  • R. Fernandez SACYR INDUSTRIAL, S.L.
  • R. Abad-Guamán Universidad Politécnica de Madrid



olive cake, processing, nutritive value, rabbits


Olive cake is one of the main agro-industrial co-products in the Mediterranean area of Spain, with high availability almost all year round. In addition, most of the product is dehydrated, which increases its interest in monogastric species such as rabbits. Nineteen samples from various Spanish oil mills using different processing methods were analysed for their chemical composition and in vitro digestibility. The average composition was [in dry matter (DM) basis]: ash (9.64%), neutral detergent fibre (52.0%), acid detergent fibre (36.8%), acid detergent lignin (19.1%), crude protein (CP) (11.3%), insoluble neutral (8.0%) and acid detergent crude protein (5.15%), ether extract (10.9%) and gross energy (21.9 MJ/kg). DM and CP in vitro digestibility were, on av., 53.4 and 41.4% respectively. High variability was observed among the samples for most of the traits studied. Fibrous fractions were highly correlated among them and negatively with ether extract content, whereas CP was little related to other feed components. A stepwise regression analysis allowed us to determine regression equations to predict DM and CP in vitro digestibilities from chemical composition (R2=0.80 and 0.91, respectively). As regards the current results, olive cake has potential use for rabbits as a source of insoluble fibre and lignin. Crude samples (not oil extracted) combined with sieving to retain the smaller particles have an additional interest, because of their higher energy value and significant supply of high quality fat.


Download data is not yet available.


Abad R., Ibañez M.A., Carabaño R., García J. 2013. Quantification of soluble fibre in feedstuffs for rabbits and evaluation of the interference between the determinations of soluble fibre and intestinal mucin. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 182: 61-70. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2013.04.001

AOAC. 2000. Official Methods of Analysis, 17th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, DC.

Boisen S. 1991. A model for feed evaluation based on in vitro digestibility dry matter and protein. In: Fuller, M.F. (Ed.), in vitro Digestion for Pigs and Poultry. CAB International, Wallingford, UK., pp. 135-145.

CIHEAM. 1990. Tables of the nutritive value for ruminants of Mediterranean forages and by-products. Centre International des Hautes Etudes Agronomiques, 152 pp. Serie B: Etudes et recherches nº 4, Options Méditerranéennes.

Dal Bosco A., Mourvaki E., Cardinali R., Servili M., Sebastiani B., Ruggeri S., Mattioli S., Taticchi A., Esposto S., Castellini C. 2012. Effect of dietary supplementation with olive pomaces on the performance and meat quality of growing rabbits. Meat Sci., 92: 738-788. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.07.001

De Blas J.C., Wiseman J., Fraga M.J., Villamide M.J. 1992. Prediction of the digestible energy and digestiblity of gross energy of feeds for rabbits. 2. Mixed diets. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 39: 39-59. doi:10.1016/0377-8401(92)90030-A

De Blas J.C., Mateos G.G. 2010. Feed formulation. In The nutrition of the rabbit (2nd ed.) (ed. J.C. de Blas and J. Wiseman). CABI Publishing CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 222-232. doi:10.1079/9781845936693.0222

De Blas J.C., Chamorro S., García-Alonso J., García-Rebollar P., García-Ruiz A.I., Gómez-Conde M.S., Menoyo D., Nicodemus N., Romero C., Carabaño R. 2012. Nutritional digestive disturbances in weaner rabbits. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 173: 102-110. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.12.016

De Blas J.C. 2013. Nutritional impact on health and performance in intensively reared rabbits. Animal, 7: 102-111. doi:10.1017/S1751731112000213

Eraso E., Olivares A., Gómez-Cabrera A., García de Siles J.L., Sánchez J. 1978. Utilización de la pulpa de aceituna en alimentación animal. In Nuevas Fuentes de Alimentos para la Producción Animal, ETSIA de Córdoba, pp. 20-45.

FEDNA. 2010. Tablas Fedna de composición y valor nutritivo de alimentos para la fabricación de piensos compuestos. 3ª ed. C. de Blas, G.G. Mateos, P. García-Rebollar (eds.), pp. 502.

Fernández-Carmona J., Pascual J.J., Cervera C. 2000. The use of fat in rabbit diets. World Rabbit Sci., 8(suppl. 1): 29-59.

Fraga M.J., Lorente M., Carabaño R., de Blas J.C. 1989. Effect of diet and of remating interval on milk production and milk composition of the doe rabbit. Anim. Prod., 48: 459-466. doi:10.1017/S0003356100040460

FEEDIPEDIA. 2015. Available at: García J., Carabaño R., Perez Alba L., De Blas J.C. 2000. Effect of fiber source on cecal fermentation and nitrogen recycled through cecotrophy in rabbits. J. Anim. Sci., 78: 638-646.

García J., Nicodemus N., Carabaño R., De Blas J.C. 2002. Effect of inclusion of defatted grape seed meal in the diet on digestion and performance of growing rabbits. J. Anim. Sci., 80: 162-170.

Gidenne T., Arveux P., Madec O. 2001. The effect of the quality of dietary lignocellulose on digestion, zootechnical performance and health of the growing rabbit. Anim. Sci., 73: 97-104.

Gidenne T., García J., Lebas F., Licois D. 2010. Nutrition and feeding strategy: Interactions with pathology. In The nutrition of the rabbit (2nd ed) (ed. J.C. de Blas and J. Wiseman). CABI Publishing CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 179-199. doi:10.1079/9781845936693.0179

Joven M., Pintos E., Latorre M.A., Suárez-Belloch J., Guada J.A. 2014. Effect of replacing barley by increasing levels of olive cake in the diet of finishing pigs: Growth performances, digestibility, carcass, meat and fat quality. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 197: 185-193. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2014.08.007

Kadi S.A. Belaidi-Gater N., Chebat F. 2004. Inclusion of crude olive cake in growing rabbits diet: Effect on growth and slaughter yield. In Proc.: 8th World Rabbit Congress, 7-10 September, 2004. Puebla, Mexico. 1: 1202 -1207.

Licitra G., Hernández T.M., Van Soest P.J. 1996. Standardization of procedures for nitrogen fractionation of ruminant feed. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 57: 347-358. doi:10.1016/0377-8401(95)00837-3

Maertens L., Huyghebaert G., De Groote G. 1986. Digestibility and digestible energy content of various fats for growing rabbits. Cuni-Science, 3: 7-14.

Mehrez A.Z., Mousa M.R.M. 2011. Growth performance of rabbits fed olive pulp on North Sinai. Asian J. Anim. Sci., 5: 317 – 329.

Méndez J., De Blas J.C., Fraga M.J. 1986. The effects of diet and remating interval after parturition on the reproductive performance of the commercial doe rabbit. J. Anim. Sci., 86: 1624-1634. doi:10.2134/jas1986.6261624x

Mertens D.R., Allen M., Carmany J., Clegg J., Davidowicz A., Drouches M., Frank K., Gambin D., Garkie M., Gildemeister B., Jeffress D., Jeon C.S., Jones D., Kaplan D., Kim G.N., Kobata S., Main D., Moua X., Paul B., Robertson J., Taysom D., Thiex N., Williams J., Wolf M. 2002. Gravimetric determination of amylase-treated neutral detergent fiber in feeds with refluxing in beakers or crucibles: Collaborative study. J. AOAC Int., 85: 1217-1240.

Nefzaoui A. 1979. La pulpe d´olive: Principaux acquis et voies de recherches. Note INRAT Tunis, Tunisia. October 1979.

Nefzaoui A. 1991. Valorisation des sous-produits de l’olivier. Options Mediterranéennes 16: 101-108.

Nicodemus N., Carabaño R., García J., Méndez J., De Blas J.C. 1999. Performance response of lactating and growing rabbits to dietary lignin content. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 80: 43-54. doi:10.1016/S0377-8401(99)00042-5

Perez J.M., Gidenne T., Lebas F., Caudron Y., Arveux P., Boudillon A., Duperray J., Messager B. 1994. Apports de lignines et alimentation du lapin en croissance. 2. Conséquences sur les performances et la mortalité. Ann. Zootech., 43: 323-332. doi:10.1051/animres:19940402

Ramos M.A., Carabaño R., Boisen S. 1992. An in vitro method for estimating digestibility in rabbits. J. Appl. Rabbit Res., 15: 938-946.

Santomá G., De Blas J.C., Carabaño R., Fraga M.J. 1987. The effects of different fats and their inclusion level in diets for growing rabbits. Anim. Prod. 45, 291-300. doi:10.1017/S0003356100018869

SAS Institute. 2008. SAS/STAT® User’s guide.version 9.3. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.

SIA 2015. Servicio de Información sobre alimentos. Available at: Acceded August, 2015.

Van Soest P.J., Robertson J.B., Lewis B.A. 1991. Methods for dietary fibre, neutral detergent fiber, and non starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J. Dairy Sci., 74: 3583-3597. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(91)78551-2

Villamide M.J., Carabaño R., Maertens L., Pascual J., Gidenne T., Falcão-E-Cunha L., Xiccato G. 2009. Prediction of the nutritional value of European compound feeds for rabbits by chemical components and in vitro analysis. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 150: 283-294. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2008.09.007

Wiseman J., Villamide M.J., de Blas J.C., Carabaño, R. 1992. Prediction of the digestible energy and digestibility of gross energy of feeds for rabbits. 1. Individual classes of feeds. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 39: 27-38. doi:10.1016/0377-8401(92)90029-6

Xiccato G. 1996. Nutrition of lactating does. In: Proceedings of the 6th World Rabbit Congress. Association Française de Cuniculture (ed. F. Lebas), Lempdes, pp. 175-180.

Xiccato G., Trocino A., Nicodemus N. 2006. Nutrition of the young and growing rabbit: a comparative approach with the doe. In: Recent Advances in Rabbit Sciences (ed. L. Maertens and P. Coudert). Ilvo, Merelbeke, Belgium, pp 239-246.