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Nanoencapsulated bromelain from pineapple waste for improved livestock production

Nanoencapsulated bromelain from pineapple waste for improved livestock production

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The big idea

This project will develop bromelain from pineapple waste (peels and stems) into a novel drug for treatment and management of helminthosis in ruminants. The product will be combined with chitosan extracted from seafood waste or other sources. Helminthosis is one the most important gut diseases affecting livestock in Eastern Africa. This disease is known to cause immense losses to farmers as it causes decline in growth and productivity.

Why it matters   

Livestock farmers in Eastern Africa face a problem of heminthosis affecting their animals. Most farmers rely on regular use of conventional commercial anthelmintics to manage  helminths. Anthelmintic drugs are not only costly but emergence of drug resistance is a major impediment to their continued use. Further, consumers are concerned about the presence of anthelmintic residues in food, and risk of cancers and allergies. On the other hand, the problem of pineapple waste as a source of pollution affects areas where they are produced and sold. For instance; peels, crowns, core and leaves represent over 65% of the pineapple fruit plant and these are regarded as waste although they can be a good source of bromelain. By converting these waste to a commercial bio-product, there will be an increased income from sales of the pineapple and its by-products for farmers.

A new solution

The chitosan nanoencapsulated bromelain (NEB) will be a novel drug for treatment and management of helminthosis in ruminants. Nanoencapsulation of bromelain using chitosan increases the activity of the product under different environments in livestock including low pH in animal stomachs. The activity of NEB matches those of commercial drugs used to treat helminthiasis. NEB is unique because it is herbal, organic and safe for use in animals and human beings. The remaining pineapple waste after extraction of bromelain will be used to prepare silage which can be fed to livestock.


Through this project, it is expect to achieve the following;

  • An efficacious NEB product, and establish its supply chain.
  • A supply chain for waste materials (raw materials) is established.

The following will benefit from the project:

  • Small and large-scale pineapple farmers and fruit processors as there will be increased use and/or sales of pineapple waste.
  • Small and large-scale livestock farmers through improved income from animal products.
  • Post graduate students through capacity building
  • Livestock keepers from the use of novel animal feeds made using pineapple waste


Environmental sustainability

The product is utilizing pineapple wastes that would have otherwise been thrown away ending up in landfills and/or water bodies, producing large volumes of methane upon decomposition. By bio-converting the wastes to useful products, we will be able to reduce carbon emissions and thus improve the services of the ecosystem including food and clean water. This project will also reduce the use of chemical drugs and therefore reduce drug residues in the environment. In addition, the project will produce environmentally friendly products that together with other associated benefits will enhance biodiversity.

Project Partners


Project Leader

Dr John KagiraJomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)