Bakery meal or byproduct is a tremendous asset but can become a nightmare if it is not appreciated for what it is, namely a highly variable ingredient. When considering using bakery meal, one should have in mind that it can comprise ingredients and waste/byproducts of any or all of the following industries: pasta, bread, cakes, snacks, baby dried powders, potato chips, tortillas, breakfast cereals, ready-mixed products, doughnuts and basically everything that is manufactured using a starchy ingredient (cereal, tapioca or potato flours) as the main component. Sometimes it is a single-sourced ingredient that is collected, ground and repackaged to be sold as bakery meal, whereas most of the time, it is a variable or fixed mix of several industries. But this is the concern of the merchant who prepares such product. For those who intend on using bakery meal in animal feeds, there are four major concerns that need to be addressed beforehand:

  1. Oil content — potato chips contain much more oil than pasta. The higher the oil, the more energy in the final product, but also the higher the incidence of oxidation. So, when oil is above 5 percent, ensure the product is protected by an antioxidant. Otherwise, buy fresh and use it rapidly.
  2. Salt — again, potato chips will provide too much salt if they comprise the main ingredient in the bakery meal mix. Nothing wrong if this is known and taken into account during formulation, but there are formulas that contain other high-salt ingredients (plasma, fishmeal, whey), and this makes them mutually exclusive.
  3. Sugar — that is sucrose, the table sugar that abounds in cakes, snacks and such other tasty foods. First, sucrose is a tasty ingredient and can replace lactose, so it is not all bad. But it is also a good laxative, and this might cause some osmotic diarrheas, so it needs to be used with care!
  4. Starch — this is taken for granted, but there are some high-fiber byproducts that can be mixed in the blend to give it substance. Usually low-cost, high-fiber byproducts are disposed in such high-value commodities as bakery meal, basically to decrease its price. Ensuring a high-starch content ensures you get full value for your money.

I hope it is apparent that bakery meal can become your best friend in formulation. It is inexpensive (relatively speaking) and contains valuable components, but it can also become a source of headaches. Needless to say, packaging material (often shredded to release expired products before mixing) should be minimal or, even better, completely absent.