Project number: 1999-334
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $41,800.00
Principal Investigator: Robert van Barneveld
Organisation: SARDI Food Safety and Innovation
Project start/end date: 30 May 1999 - 8 Jun 2005


Numerous highly specific, outdated databases on the nutritional quality of feed ingredients for livestock are available, but very few exist for aquaculture species. None of these databases provide all of the information that is necessary to adequately define the nutritional quality of a feed ingredient, and all provide conflicting and varying information about the nutritive value of the same ingredient. The major limitation of existing databases is the degree of variation and the lack of consistency between them, making it difficult to interpret the results.

The ALFI database will:

1. Reduce the variability surrounding existing databases;
2. Prevent repetitive collection of information by centralising data collection for all livestock species;
3. Provide a means for recording data generated as part of FRDC funded research programs;
4. Provide a standard against which end-users (producers, stockfeed manufacturers, researchers, plant breeders) can compare values;
5. Utilise the vast amount of information already available on the chemical composition of feed ingredients for all livestock species, removing the need to enter this data for each species;
6. Allow an accurate assessment of ingredient variation over time;
7. Provide a tool for the accurate prediction of the nutritional quality of feed ingredients used in aquaculture diets.

If diet costs in aquauculture systems are to be minimised, there is an urgent need to dessiminate information on the nutritional quality of feed ingredients suitable for use in these diets. The ALFI Database offers the means to achieve this.


1. To expand the recently developed Australasian Livestock Feed Ingredient (ALFI) Database to include data on the nutritional quality of feed ingredients for aquaculture species commercially farmed in Australia (in parallel with the expansion of the database for poultry, cattle and emerging industries complementing the existing data available for pigs).
2. To collect data on the nutritional quality of feed ingredients for aquaculture species from published literature, and relevant final reports submitted to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
3. To enhance the existing capability of the ALFI database to predict the nutritional quality of feed ingredients for aquaculture species and to interact with "in house" databases for diet formulations.
4. To distribute the ALFI database to stockfeed manufacturers, researchers and livestock producers.
5. Develop an infrastructure for the continued delivery of updated and enhanced information on the nutritional quality of feed ingredients to all livestock sectors beyond the term of the project.
6. To reduce the feed costs for all livestock sectors through the provision of current and accurate information on the nutritional quality of feed ingredients.

Final report

Author: Dr Robert van Barneveld
Final Report • 2002-05-29 • 4.30 MB


As a result of completing this project, the Australasian Livestock Feed Ingredient (ALFI) database now includes a large amount of information on the chemical composition and nutritional quality of feed grains for pigs, poultry (broilers, layers) and aquaculture species, and can be used by researchers, members of the grains industries, feed manufacturers and plant breeders as a reference for diet formulation, variety comparison and quality control in trading.

Data for pigs, poultry and aquaculture species has been entered into ALFID which now contains more than 22807 sample entries. The ALFI database also incorporates all information contained with the GRDC GRAILE database. The initial beta version has also been reprogrammed so that it is now more user friendly, and run-time versions have been prepared for distribution via CD-ROM. A web-site ( has also been established and a domain name registered to facilitate e-mail submissions for ALFI information, and to promote the benefits of the database. Promotional brochures and presentation formats for the software has been suggested.

A preliminary business plan was prepared outlining some potential paths for the commercialisation of the ALFI database, however, subsequent meetings with stakeholders indicates that the commercialisation process falls outside the scope of this project and will be developed further via GRDC in consultation with the other stakeholders.

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