CANOLA meal, the byproduct of canola oil production, is one of the most popular livestock ration protein sources in North America.
Even with its popularity, there is a lot of inaccurate information on the market about the nutritional benefits of canola meal for cattle, poultry and aquaculture diets. To encourage the spread of accurate information about canola meal, the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) has invested heavily in research U.S. to better define the ingredient’s value which has led to a better understanding of the nutrient profile of canola meal and specific benefits it offers.
Value in ruminant diets
Canola meal is considered to be a premium ingredient for cattle diets due to its high quality of protein for milk production and growth. It is experiencing growing adoption among the U.S. dairy industry in particular.
Besides being a highly palatable ingredient, canola meal brings a great source of energy to a ration. In addition, the amino acid and rumen undegraded protein (RUP) levels in canola meal make it an extremely valuable protein source for dairy cows with its solid amino acid profile.
Value in poultry diets
Canola meal is fed to all types of poultry throughout the world. It provides an excellent amino acid profile and protein content, and is an alternative or complement to other protein ingredients like soybean meal. Canola meal provides greater value in egg layer and turkey diets over broiler feeds due to greater emphasis being placed on protein rather than on energy in these diets.
Previously published research showed a reduction in egg weight when canola meal was substituted for soybean meal, but diet formulation on a crude protein basis resulted in insufficient lysine content in the canola meal diet (Kaminska, 2003).
Work by Novak et al. (2004) supported the hypothesis that insufficient lysine can affect egg weight. They increased lysine intake from 860 mg per day to 959 mg per day, and observed an increase in egg weight from 59 g to 60.2 g.
Based on these recent findings, canola meal can be fed effectively at elevated levels in laying diets without negatively affecting egg production, egg weight, egg quality or fatty acid content as long as the diets are formulated based on digestible amino acid content.
Value in aquaculture diets
Canola meal has become an important ingredient in aquaculture diets around the world. China, being the largest producer of fish products, is also the largest importer of Canadian canola seed. The canola meal resulting from the seed processing in China is often used in the aquaculture industry. Likewise, Vietnam and Thailand are important markets for the direct import of Canadian canola meal, with much of this imported volume going to feed fish. Because many farmed fish species are carnivorous, the world stocks of fish meal are diminishing, thus pressuring the industry to find alternative vegetable-based proteins that can provide amino acids for their high-protein requirements.
While some challenges remain, canola meal has been demonstrated to fit well in many fish diets.
As more research is conducted, canola meal continues to be noted as a valuable protein source for a variety of livestock rations.
Source: Canola Council