Cull tomatoes are a better ingredient than other tomato by-products but should not be given in large quantities.
Digestibility and degradability
Cull tomatoes are slightly more digestible that tomato pomace, as they contain all the highly digestible pulp and less fibre. The in sacco DM degradability and in vitro OM digestibility of fresh tomatoes were 58% and 63% respectively, providing a DE value of 10.8 MJ DE/kg DM. The in sacco degradability of protein is very low (20%), probably due to the high lignification of protein (almost half of tomato protein is linked to the ADF) (Ventura et al., 2009).
When dumped in pastures for cattle feeding, cull tomatoes should be spread instead of dumped in a large pile to encourage consumption by cattle (Schuster et al., 2006). An early palatability trial found that dried cull tomatoes produced by the process described on the "Description" tab were as palatable as citrus pulp in dairy cattle (Hoover et al., 1957)
Dried cull tomatoes replacing citrus pulp as 10 to 30% of the concentrate in steer diets resulted in a similar performance than citrus pulp. In another study, steers fed diets with 70% or 100% dried cull tomatoes, digestibility decreased slightly when they were fed alone. No problems were encountered, although the steers seemed to be getting insufficient fibre at the 100% level (Ammerman et al., 1963).
In lambs, the protein of dried cull tomatoes fed at 33% of the diet was less digestible and of lower biological value than that of soybean meal (Ammerman et al., 1963).
Fresh tomato fruits can be offered to male goats fed ryegrass hay ad libitum up to 1.5 kg fresh weight (about 100 g DM) without digestive disorders. Beyond this amount, faeces become soft and diarrhea occurs (Ventura et al., 2009).