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Tomato leaves and crop residues

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Datasheet

Description
Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Tomato leaves and crop residues, tomato stubble, tomato shrub, tomato stalk, tomato vine [English); tomatenbladeren en plantenresten [Dutch]; Tomatenblätter und Ernterückstände [German]; feuilles de tomate et résidus de récolte, pieds de tomate [French]; hojas de tomates y residuos de cultivo [Spanish]; folhas de tomates e resíduos de culturas [Portuguese]; 番茄叶和作物残渣 [Chinese]; トマトの葉や作物の残渣 [Japanese]; листья томатов и растительные остатки [Russian]

Synonyms 

Lycopersicon esculentum f. pyriforme (Dunal) C. H. Müll., Lycopersicon esculentum var. commune L. H. Bailey, Lycopersicon esculentum var. grandifolium L. H. Bailey, Lycopersicon esculentum var. pyriforme (Dunal) L. H. Bailey, Lycopersicon esculentum var. validum L. H. Bailey, Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L.) H. Karst., Lycopersicon lycopersicum var. cerasiforme auct., Lycopersicon lycopersicum var. pyriforme auct., Lycopersicon pyriforme Dunal, Solanum lycopersicum L.

Description 

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) leaves and crop residues (stubble, stalk) are the residues of tomato crop : vegetative parts of the plant left on the ground after harvest. They can be used as fodder in ruminant feeding. They can also be used to make compost or as a soil amendment to reduce problems of accumulation of residues but pathogens present in the residues may form a risk for subsequent crops (Zanon et al., 2011). Tomato crop residues can also be used to make biobased packaging material, particleboards and clothing from tomato plant fibre (Duijvestijn Tomaten, 2021; Taha et al., 2018).

Distribution 

World tomato production was 180 million tons in 2019. The main tomato producers were China,  India, Turkey, USA, Egypt, Italy, Iran, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil. They represented 75 % of the world production (FAO, 2021). 

The production of tomato yields high amount of green biomass. In Florida, the above-ground dry matter from green parts (stems eand leaves) was ranging from 2 to 5 tons/ha, depending on ferilizers and irrigation method (Zotarelli et al., 2009). From these results,  it could be inferred that, over the world (tomatoes cultivated on 5 million ha in 2019 (FAO, 2021), the amount of tomatos leaves and crop residues could be between 10 and 25 million tons/year. Tomato crop residues are usually found in the vicinity of tomato fields or greenhouses.

Environmental impact 

Waste reduction

The amount of tomato crop residue may be high and the use of these residues as animal fodder is a way to reduce them. They can also be used for soil amendment or compost. There have been experiments aiming at using tomato crop residues as soil amendment to fight bacterial wilt from Ralstonia solanacearum in tomato crops (Zanon et al., 2011).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Rodriguez-Campos et al., 2014, unpublished

Whole tomato plant, has variable crude protein (CP) content (74 to 149 g/kg DM) according to the literature (Ibrahim et al., 2020; Tekin et al., 2020El-Sayed et al., 2012; Ventura et al., 2009). This variability can be due to the leaves/stem proportion because according to Ventura et al., 2009), leaves contain twice more CP than stems. In addition, the CP content in the leaves can be variable: (Osama et al., 2013) found 150 g/kg DM, although (Ventura et al., 2009) found only 105 g/kg DM.

Potential constraints 

Pesticides residues

Tomatoes are prone to many pests (bacteria, fungi and insects). When tomatoes are cultivated in conventional agriculture, they are treated with pesticides and herbicides, the amount of which may vary considerably from one country to another, depending on existing (or not existing) local regulation. Pesticides may remain at various levels in the plant. It is therefore important to know which treatment has been done and when, prior to feeding animals on tomato shrubs. This may be particularly important if they are fed to dairy animals because pesticides residues may go to the milk (Ibrahim et al., 2020; El-Sayed et al., 2012).

The level of several pesticides could be reduced in tomato haulms by ensiling them with 3% molasses or with molasses + bacteria (Ibrahim et al., 2020). Ensiling with molasses decreased pesticide residues by 50% and 3% molasses + bacterial/fungal or yeast inoculum reduced them by 90% (Ibrahim et al., 2020). Drying may also be a valuable way to reduce pesticides in tomato haulms (El-Sayed et al., 2012).

Toxicity

While there is no toxic substance detectable in the ripe tomato fruit (green tomatoes contain high amount (1498 µg/g) of glycoalkaloids, 72% of which are still present in traditional fried green tomatoes from the southern US), tomato plants may contain variable amount of α-tomatine, dehydrotomatine, toxic glycoalkaloids which are involved in the plant defense agains virus, bacteria and insects (Barceloux, 2009). Senescent leaves contain relatively up to 4.9 g/kg fresh weight (Milner et al., 2011). Children who had made teas from leaves of tomato experienced severe reactions (Hardin, 1974). However, α-tomatine, and dehydrotomatine were reported to be relatively non toxic in comparison to other glycoalkaloids (Milner et al., 2011).

Nitrate accumulation

Toxic levels of nitrates were found in dried tomato vines (Shlosberg et al., 1996). 

Ruminants 

Tomato plants (stem+leaves) are traditionaly used to feed sheep and dairy cows in Costa Rica (Rodriguez-Campos et al., 2014, unpublished). 

Up to now, no adverse effects have been reported on ruminants consuming such plants. Glycoalkaloids have however several effects on cells development (Milner et al., 2011). It is thus advised not to feed pregnant females with tomato plants.

Because of possible pesticide residues contamination in fresh tomato plants, it is recommended not to feed dairy animals with fresh tomato haulms. Drying and ensiling were reported to effectively reduce pesticide residues in the plant. Pesticide residues almost disappeared in milk from dairy animals fed on dried or ensiled materials (Ibrahim et al., 2020; El-Sayed et al., 2012).

Fermenting was also reported to improve crude protein content. Raw tomato leaves which were reported to contain 14.5% crude protein, could be processed with the aim to improve the protein content and nutritional value for ruminants (Seoudi et al., 2013). The leaves were treated with sulfuric acid 0.5 N, boiled for 60 minutes and then fermented with 3 strains of fungus Trichoderma (Trichoderma viridi, T. harzianum, and T. reesei). The chemical treatment increased protein content from 14.5% to 15.12% and fungal fermentation yielded final products containing more than 18% within 10 days of fermentation (Seoudi et al., 2013).

Though some toxic level of nitrates have been reported in dry tomato leaves, there were no negative effect on beef cow health (Shlosberg et al., 1996) .

The in sacco CP degradability of whole tomato plant is low (20%) to medium 42-44 % (Ventura et al., 2009; El-Sayed et al., 2012)

In an in sacco experiment in lambs, it was shown that tomato shrub had 17% crude soluble protein, 21% fermentescible protein and 79% (the highest) metabolizable protein in comparison with potato, melon, and strawberry shrubs. It was concluded that it could be used in the supplementation of lambs (Moghaddam et al., 2017).

Whole tomato plant has also a low in sacco organic matter digestibility (OMD) ranging from 33 % to 41.4 % (Ventura et al., 2009; El-Sayed et al., 2012).

Dairy cow

When dairy cows (550 kg) are fed with fresh or dried tomato haulm with the same amount of concentrate, the milk yield is not different (11.1 – 11.5 kg/d), but when tomato haulms were ensiled with fungus or yeast, milk yield increased up to 15 kg/d without milk composition changes (El-Sayed et al., 2012).

Dairy goat

When dairy goat are fed with fresh, or ensiled tomato haulm prepared with molasses or bacteria, milk yield, fat and protein content are higher with silages and much higher with bacteria as additive (Ibrahim et al., 2020).

Growing fattening cattle

When dried tomato vines replace wheat straw in a diet of beef cows, no health problems occurred and body weight were not different (Shlosberg et al., 1996).

Final recommendation

The main recommendation deal with the possible negative effects of pesticide residues in tomato plants. There are not enough animal results to conclude on the utilization of such a material. At least, it must be used dried, or as silage but not as fresh due to pesticide residues that can be recorded into milk.

 

Pigs 

No information could be found (as of 2021).

Poultry 

No information could be found (as of 2021).

Rabbits 

No information could be found in the international literature on the use of tomato leaves or tomato crop-residues in rabbit feeding (as of March 2021). Tomato plants (stem+leaves) are traditionaly used to feed sheep and dairy cows in Costa Rica (Rodriguez-Campos et al., 2014, unpublished). 

From this information, it could be deduced that tomato leaves or crop by-products might be usable in rabbit feeding.
However, leaves and stems of the tomato plant contain a high concentration of solanine-like glycoalkaloids (α-tomatine: 1847µg/g leaves fresh weight,  and 1547 µg/g stems fresh weight;  dehydrotomatine: 304 µg/g leaves fresh weight and 331 µg/g stems fresh weight) and 20 mg/kg BW of solanine given i.p. to rabbits, killed all animals within 24 hours (Barceloux, 2009; Patil et al., 1972). 

It is thus recommended to NOT distribute tomato leaves or stems to rabbits, or any other product likely to contain them, as recommended by some authors (Moore, 2017), until there is evidence to the contrary,

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 17.7 1
Crude protein % DM 7.4 1
NDF % DM 37.4 1
ADF % DM 29.2 1
Lignin % DM 12.8 1
Ether extract % DM 1.2 1
Ash % DM 18.1 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
a (N) % 15.9 1
b (N) % 24.3 1
c (N) h-1 0.046 1
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 29 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 26 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Ventura et al., 2009

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:37

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 12.6 1
Crude protein % DM 8.8 7.1 10.5 2
NDF % DM 29.9 1
ADF % DM 20.2 1
Lignin % DM 17.0 1
Ash % DM 17.6 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 10.3 1
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 42.5 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.1 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Krishna, 1985; Ventura et al., 2009

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:38

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 24.2 1
Crude protein % DM 5.4 1
NDF % DM 42.1 1
ADF % DM 34.7 1
Lignin % DM 10.1 1
Ash % DM 18.4 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Ventura et al., 2009

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:38

References
References 
Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/694 Last updated on October 8, 2021, 13:54