Final Report Canola Meal Value Chain Quality Improvement Canola Meal Value Chain Quality Improvement Canola Meal Value Chain Quality Improvement Canola Meal Value Chain Quality Improvement

John Mr, Spragg, Rod Mailer
Executive Summary Canola meal is well recognised as a highly nutritious feedstock for animals. It contains a high concentration of protein, a well balanced amino acid profile and source of energy. Several reports, particularly from Canada where canola originated, have detailed the benefits of canola meal for poultry, pigs, dairy and beef cattle as well as aquaculture, horses, sheep and other livestock. Despite this abundance of information, Australian canola meal is not utilised to the optimum
more » ... evel. The reasons for undervaluing canola meal are many, with one key one being the level of variability in quality of sequential batches of canola seed and meal. Analysis of individual loads is often not feasible and as a result end-users formulate diets on the minimum likely level of proteins, and particularly individual amino acids. Variability is a factor of environment with dry seasonal conditions creating reduced oil and increased protein content. Australia's growing conditions will always produce variable quality. However, a major reason for variability, as well as quality losses is attributed to processing. Processing involves heating seed and meal at several stages through the extraction process as well as during meal production. The level of heating, the duration and the presence or absence of moisture all contribute to degradation of canola meal components, in particular, protein digestibility and lysine values. With the likelihood of increased amounts of canola oil being extracted in Australia, particularly in relation to the biodiesel industry, it is likely that large amounts of canola meal will become available in Australia. This gives an opportunity to replace imported soybean meal which is currently used in significant levels in animal feeds. This project was undertaken to determine the processes which have the most influence on meal quality. Eight crushing plants within Australia, representing solvent extraction, expeller and cold pressing operations were invited to take part in the study. Samples were taken at all stages of the process from each processor and sent to laboratories to evaluate the influence of each stage of the process. All of the major chemical parameters which may be of interest to feed manufacturers were studied. All of the stages were replicated to make the study statistically sound. Data has been provided from the analysis of 249 samples. There were many differences between meal from different types of processors, solvent or expeller but also differences in meal from processors using the same type of facilities. These differences highlight the need to fine tune the process to produce a consistent high quality feed. Some processing was advantageous, reducing antinutritional components and improving by-pass protein whereas others reduced reactive lysine and protein digestibility. Many conclusions can be drawn from the current work regarding heat treatment, moisture content, addition of gums back to solvent extracted meal and other processes. Much of the details have strong similarities to previous studies carried out in Canada. However, Australian conditions are different to those in Canada particularly in regard to seed maturity, moisture content and ambient temperatures at the time of processing. Therefore, this study needs to be expanded to help the industry overcome known faults in the process. Information about how long and at what temperature and moisture level it is necessary to remove solvents and to dry finished meal could save processing costs and maintain or improve meal quality. The temperature and pressure utilised in expeller operations to get maximum oil extraction is also critical in improving processor profits and maintaining protein digestibility. Education of end-users is also important to help them understand the benefits of canola meal. Feed formula are often limited to low proportions of canola based on anti-nutritional components based upon traditional views relating to rapeseed which have been virtually eliminated from current cultivars. The development of an Australian canola meal nutritional guide is to be developed and released utilising the data from this project. Finally, the ability to determine the quality of the meal at the point of use is crucial to allow maximum utilisation of the product. Measurement of protein digestibility and reactive lysine is too expensive and time consuming with current methodology and therefore feed manufacturers will continue to be limited in their capacity to rapidly assess canola meal protein quality. NIR spectroscopy is the most likely methodology to overcome these problems. The next stage of this project needs to establish calibrations on NIR instruments to give low cost and rapid quality data on oil content, reactive lysine levels, crude protein and fibre levels. These outcomes are possible and with the co-operative support of the oilseed crushing industry has a high likelihood of success.