Fenugreek - a Dietary Alternative Component in Animal Feed

Dorel Dronca, Nicolae Pacala, Lavinia Stef, Ioan Pet, Ioan Bencsik, Gabi Dumitrescu, Marioara Nicula, Adela Marcu, Liliana Petculescu, Valeriu Caraba, Adrian Oprea, Mirela Ahmadi


Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seeds are used in animal and human nutrition because of its therapeutic properties. More often the seeds are used as powder, oils or extracts, as food or medicine ingredients. Fenugreek leaves contains carbohydrates, proteins and minerals – especial calcium, being low in lipids; while the seeds are rich in proteins, dietary fibres and gums, vitamins and minerals – especially iron. Traditional medicine demonstrated fenugreek efficiency in medical prevention and some diseases treatments, the oils or extracts having antidiabetic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, immunomodulatory and antitumor activity. Also, fenugreek has very good action on lymphatic system, favouring the circulation of nutrients into the cells and removing the toxic or residual components from the cells. Due to some hormone precursors, fenugreek seeds are used successfully for increasing milk secretion and excretion, both in humans and animals. The seeds are used in fish, domestic rabbits and ruminants’ diet, and could be an alternative component of feed for different farm animals due to digestion benefice and texture of feed. Leaves and seeds are used in production of extruded products, or as feed stabilizer, emulsifying and adhesive agent, flavouring (artificial maple syrup, condiment), colouring (yellow), texture (due to fibres, galactomannans and gums) and other organoleptic properties of feed.


fenugreek, therapeutic properties, animal feed

Full Text:



* * * US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service, Plants Database, Trigonella foenum-graecum L.

Wani S.A., Kumar P., Fenugreek: A review on its nutraceutical properties and utilization in various food products, Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences, 2018, 17(2), 97-106

Ouzir, M., El Bairi, K., Amzazi, S., Toxicological properties of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum), Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2016, 96, 145-154

* * * US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 14. Washington DC: US Department of Agriculture, 2012

Jin, Z.L., Gao, N., Zhou, D., Chi, M.G., Yang, X.M., Xu, J.P., The extracts of Fructus Akebiae, a preparation containing 90% of the active ingredients hederagenin: serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., 2012, 100(3), 431-439

Khare, C.P. (Editor), Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2004 (pp. 307, 457)

Muralidhara, N.K., Viswanatha, S., Ramesh, B.S., Acute and subchronic toxicity assessment of debitterized fenugreek powder in the mouse and rat, Food Chem. Toxicol., 1999, 37, 831-838

Rao, A.V., Herbal Cure for Common Diseases, New Delhi: Fusion Books, 2003

Thomas, J.E., Bandara, M., Lee, E.L., Driedger, D., Acharya, S., Biochemical monitoring in fenugreek to develop functional food and medical plant variants. New Biotech., 2011, 2, 110-117

Ahmad, A., Alghamdi, S.S., Mahmood, K., Afzal, M., Fenugreek a multipurpose crop: potentialities and improvements, Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 2016, 23(2), 300-310

Suleiman, A.M.E., Ahmad, H.A., Abdelrahim, A.M., The chemical composition of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum L.) and the antimicrobial properties of its seed oil, Gezira J. of Eng & Applied Sci., 2008, 3(2), 52-71

Steels, E., Steele, M.L., Harold, M., Coulson, S., Efficacy of a Proprietary Trigonella foenum – graecum L. de-husked seed extract in reducing menopausal symptoms in otherwise healthy women: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, Phytother. Res., 2017, online publication.

Naidu, M.M., Shyamala, B.N., Naik, J.P., Sulochanamma, G., Srinivas, P., Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the husk and endosperm of fenugreek seeds, LWT – Food Science and Technology, 2011, 44, 451-456.

Baba, W.N., Tabasum, Q., Muzzaffar, S., Masoodi, F.A., Wani, I., Gaine, S.A., Bhat, M.M., Some nutraceutical properties of fenugreek seeds and shoots (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) from the high Himalayan region, Food Bioscience, 2018 (accepted for publication in 21 February 2018)

Gu, L.B., Liu, X.N., Liu, H.M., Pang, H.L., Qin, G.Y., Extraction of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) seed oil using subcritical butane: characterization and process optimization, Molecules, 2017, 22, 228-241.

Koprivnjak, O., Skevin, D., Valic, S., Majetic, V., Petricevic, S., Ljubenkov, I., The antioxidant capacity and oxidative stability of virgin olive oil enriched with phospholipids, Food Chem., 2008, 111, 121-126.

Platel, K., Srinivasan, K., Influence of dietary spices and their activity principles on pancreatic digestive enzymes in albino rats, Nahrung, 2000, 44(1), S42-46

Guardiola, F.A., Bahi, A., Esteban, M.A., Effects of dietary administration of fenugreek seeds on metabolic parameters and immune status of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.), Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 2018, 74(3), 372-379.

Mukthamba, P., Srinvasan, K., Dietary fenugreek (Trigonella foenum – graecum) seeds and garlic (Allium sativum) alleviates oxidative stress in experimental myocardial infarction, Food science and Human Wellness, 2017, 6(2), 77-87.

Brenes, A., Roura, E., Essential oils in poultry nutrition: Main effects and models of action, Animal Feed Science and Technology, 2010, 158, 1-14.

Shah, M.A., Mir, P.S., Effect of dietary fenugreek seed on dairy cow performance and milk characteristics, Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 2004, 84(4), 725-729.

Alemu, A.W., Doepel, L., Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) as an alternative forage for dairy cows, Animal, 2011, 5(9), 1370-81.

Al-Shaikh, M.A., Al-Mufarrej, S.I., Mogawer, H.H., Effect of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenumgraecum L) on lactational performance of dairy goat, J. Appl. Anim. Res., 1999, 16(2), 177-183.

Smit, H.P.J., The effect of a natural feed additive, fenugreek, on feed digestibility and milk response in dairy goats, Master Thesis – Master of Science in Animal Science, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, Supervisor: Dr. van de Vyver W.F.J. and Cruywagen C.W., 2014.

El-Tarabany, A.A., Teama, F.E.I., Atta, M.A.A., Effect of fenugreek supplementation on physiological functions and milk traits of heat stressed lactating Baladi goats, Arab Journal of Nuclear Science and Applications, 2017, 50(2), 218-228.

Bharathy, N., Purushothaman, M.R., Murali, N., Akila, N., Supplementation of fenugreek seeds to lactating ewes and effect on growth performance on preweaned twin lambs, Journal of Animal Research, 2016, 6(3), 543-545.

Rekik, I., Bergaoui, R., Effect of 2% fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum L.) supplementation on performance and the lactation curve of rabbit does, ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science, 2013, 8(9), 652-654.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies

Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies publish open access articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (read full legal code).


ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual

Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Bioengineering Faculty of Animal Resources
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at] animalsci-tm.ro
Phone: +40-256-277160, Fax.: +40-256-277110