Neem (Azadirachta indica) Seed Cake in Animal Feeding-Scope and Limitations - Review -

  • Gowda, S.K. (National Institute of Animal Nutrition & Physiology) ;
  • Sastry, V.R.B. (Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Published : 2000.05.01


The different products of neem (Azadirachta indica) are utilized for variety of purposes in industry, health and animal agriculture in the Indian subcontinent. The cake from seeds after oil extraction is a good source of nutrients (CP: 35-38%; EE: 4.5-5.5%; CF: 12-15%; Ca: 0.75%; P: 0.45% on DM), and in particular, the one out of its kernel is proteinaceous and is relatively balanced in its amino acid and mineral profile. But the cake is toxic and bitter to taste owing to triterpenoids (nimbin, salannin, azadirachtin), which restricts its safe inclusion in livestock diet. Several feeding trials with raw cake have revealed poor palatability and adverse performance among different categories of livestock and poultry. Internal organ changes included histological alteration in intestine, liver, kidney and distruption of spermatogenesis and ovarian activity. Ruminants appears to tolerate reasonably higher levels of the cake and to a limited low levels of dietary inclusion also proved to be tolerable in monogastric farm animals. Debitterization through solvent (hexane, ether) extraction, water washing, alkali (NaOH, 1.5, 2.5 or 3%, wt/wt) soaking and urea (1.5 or 3%, wt/wt) - ammoniation have been tried with appreciable success in improving the palatability and nutritive value of the cake. For enhanced utilization, decortication of neem seeds is to be done effectively at industrial level with maximum oil recovery. The resultant proteinaceous kernel by-product could be a cheaper unconventional protein supplement after suitable processing.

Cited by

  1. Anti-aflatoxin activities of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) in broiler vol.73, pp.03, 2017,