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Design and evaluation of an innovative foie gras production system: substitution of corn by sorghum in geese as an example

INRA Prod Anim 26(5) 435-448


1 Université de Toulouse INPT ENSAT, UMR1289 TANDEM, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
2 INRA, UMR1289 TANDEM, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
3 Université de Toulouse INPT ENVT, UMR1289 TANDEM, F-31076 Toulouse, France
4 INRA UMR1069, SAS, 65 rue de Saint Brieuc, F-35042 Rennes, France
5 Agrocampus Ouest, UMR1069, SAS, 65 rue de Saint Brieuc, F-35042 Rennes, France
6 ASSELDOR-Station d'expérimentation appliquée et de démonstration sur l'oie, La Tour de Glane, F-24420 Coulaures, France
7 INRA, UMR1248, AGIR, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
8 Université de Toulouse ENSAT-INPT, UMR1248, AGIR, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France


We present the results of an eco-design approach to offer innovations that reduce the environmental impacts of the production of foie gras. A Life Cycle Assessment was carried out on the standard French foie gras production system. It shows that the feed explains most of the environmental impact of the product (more than 50% on average) and thus represents the most powerful action point. Several experiments were conducted to evaluate the technical feasibility, the response of the biological system and the consequences on system sustainability of a substitution of corn by sorghum in the diet of geese The studies show that the use of sorghum is technically possible and that complete substitution of corn by sorghum reduced the environmental impact of the production of 1 kg of foie gras (global warming potential: - 18%, acidification potential : - 12%, primary energy use: - 23%, water use: - 62%). However, some indicators were reduced, such as the intension reuptake product (- 17 pts) due to a paler color of the fatty liver, and viability during the overfeeding period (+ 4.6 pts in mortality rate). The overall results suggest that the use of sorghum in the diet of geese may improve the sustainability of the production of foie gras. Some adjustments in production practices are needed to optimize the use of this feedstuff.

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