Animal feed resources information system

Rapeseed meal and canola meal

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).


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Common names 
  • Rapeseed meal, rapeseed oil meal, canola meal, canola seed meal [English]; tourteau de colza déshuilé [French]; Rapsschrot, Rapskuchen [German]; pasta de canola, pasta de colza [Spanish]; farelo de canola [Portuguese]
  • Rapeseed cake, rapeseed oil cake,  canola oil cake, canola cake , expeller-pressed rapeseed meal, expeller-pressed canola meal [English], tourteau de colza gras, tourteau de colza expeller [French];
  • Cold-pressed rapeseed cake, cold-pressed canola meal [English] 
Related feed(s) 

Rapeseed meal and canola meal are protein rich material  that can be used as feed for livestock and poultry. Canola and rapeseed meals are commonly used in animal feeds around the world. Together, they are the second most widely traded protein ingredients after soybean meal.

They result from the oil extraction of rapeseeds or canola seeds which contain 40-45% oil and thus yield about 55-60% oil meal (Newkirk, 2009).

Rapeseeds are the 3rd source of both vegetable oil (after soybean and oil palm) and oil meal (after soybean and cotton).  There is a very wide range of rapeseed varieties for all types of purposes (Snowdon, 2006). Modern rapeseed varieties with low concentrations in erucic acid and glucosinolates (see below) are mainly used for edible oil, biofuel, industrial oil and lubricants. 

Low-erucic and  low-glucosinolates oil meals from low-erucic and low-glucosinolates varieties of rapeseeds

Former varieties of rapeseeds had poor reputation due to the presence of erucic acid, which had a bitter taste and was later found to cause health problems when ingested in large quantities. The use of rapeseeds and rapeseed oil meal for livestock was also limited due to the presence of glucosinolates, which are antinutritional factors detrimental to animal performance.

In the 1960-1970s, low-erucic varieties ("0") and low-erucic, low-glucosinolates varieties ("00" and canola) were developed, allowing rapeseed oil to become a major food oil whereas rapeseed meal and rapeseeds could now be fed to livestock. The name "Canola" refers to 00 varieties developed in Canada in the 1970s and is a trademark licensed by the Canadian Canada Concil (Casséus, 2009). In Canada, canola oil "must contain less than 2% erucic acid, and less than 30 µmoles of glucosinolates per gram of air-dried oil-free meal" (CCC, 2014). Canola results from natural cross-breeding of rapeseeds but not from genetic engineering (Casséus, 2009). Low-erucic, low-glucosinolate varieties are now the main types grown worldwide, though there are also high-erucic varieties grown for specific industrial purposes (Snowdon, 2006). In Europe, rapeseed oil is the main source of biofuel (FAO, 2014; Snowdon, 2006; Duke, 1983).

Rapeseed/canola meal result from the oil extraction of rapeseeds or canola seeds. There are 3 main classes of rapeseed/canola meal depending on the process of oil extraction:

  • Expeller rapeseed meal / expeller canola meal results from the mechanical extraction of seeds previously conditionned by a heat treatment.  These meals can also be called rapeseed press-cake, canola press-cake, double-pressed canola (Newkirk, 2009). They contain about 10-12% oil. 
  • Cold-extracted press-cake: with the growing interest of consumers for cold-pressed rapeseed oil,  another process consisting in pressing the seed at low temperature (60°C) yields cold-pressed rape/canola seed press-cake (Leming et al., 2005).
  • Solvent-extracted rapeseed meal or canola meal. The process of oil extraction is followed by solvent (hexane) extraction of the remaining oil in the press-cake (Blair, 2008). The solvent extracted oil meal is called sovent-extracted rapeseed/canola meal; it contains no more than 2-3% oil. 

The overall rapeseed/canola meal production in the world was 32.7 million tons in 2011 out of which 31.3 million tons were used as feeds (FAO, 2016). Rapeseed/canola meals were produced extensively in Europe (11.7 million tons), China (7.7 million tons), North America (4.3 million tons), India (4.3million tons) and Japan (1.2 million tons). The major users of canola and rapeseed meals, in 2011, were China, USA, European Union, India and Canada (FAO, 2016; ERS-USDA, 2012).


Canola seed is generally crushed and then solvent extracted in order to separate the oil from the meal. This process is described in the figure above and is called pre-press solvent extraction (Newkirk, 2009).

Main steps of this process are seed cleaning, seed pre-conditioning, rolling and flaking, seed cooking and pressing to mechanically remove a portion of the oil, solvent extraction of the press-cake to remove the remainder of the oil, desolventizing and toasting of the meal (Newkirk, 2009).

Temperature is one of the main factors affecting the quality of rapeseed/canola meal (see nutritive value).

The two other processes that exist are cold extraction and expeller extraction. Expeller extraction is mostly done in small plants of when organic rapeseed meal is desired.

Environmental impact 

Meals from genetically-modified canola seeds

Many genetically-modified canola cultivars have been developed and are widely used in Canada (95% of the crop) and in the USA (82%) (GMO Compass, 2010). In the European Union, GM rapeseed crops are banned but rapeseeds, rapeseed oil and rapeseed oilmeal resulting from the cultivation of certain cultivars (GT73 and T45) can be imported and used as feed and food (EFSA, 2009; European Commission, 2003 (1829/2003)).

The harmonisation of GM rapeseeed labelling has been recommended so that livestock farmers can make an informed choice, but no compulsory labelling is required for animal products yielded from livestock fed on GM oilseed rape products (European Commission, 2003).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Typical rape or canola seed meals have high protein content (34-39% DM basis) and are valuable protein sources (Feedipedia, 2016). However they also contain higher amounts of crude fibre than other oilseed meals which limits their use in monogastric diets and fish diets (Royer et al., 2011; Newkirk, 2009). 

The protein fraction of rapeseed meal and canola seed meal was found to have high biological value (Campbell et al., 1981). The crude protein content of all classes of rapeseed or canola meals ranges from 34 to 39 % (DM basis) and is considered to have a good amino acid profile when compared to other plant sources (Feedipedia, 2016; Newkirk, 2009). Canola contains however less lysine than soybean, but has more methionine and its lysine content has been shown to limit performance in swine (Newkirk, 2009; Bell, 1988). 

Poultry and swine normally have depressed performance when fed canola as their only source of supplemental protein . This could be due to their high fibre content (12.1-14.1%,  DM basis) ((Fan et al., 1996). This problem may be alleviated by dehulling (Mustafa et al., 1997; Baidoo et al., 1985). Dehulling reduced fiber content and increased amino acid and nutrient digestibility (de Lange et al., 1998).

The amounts of minerals Ca and P are rather high. However, the high level of sulfur in rapeseed meal may have deleterious effects on the cationic anionic balance and thus decrease animal performance (Summers et al., 1994). This problem may be alleviated by Ca supplementation (Summers, 1995). Levels of the vitamin niacin and of choline are rather high, however is was shown that choline was less available than in soybean meal (Emmert et al., 1997). Glucosinolate derivatives occurring in rapeseed meal are goitrogenic, causing considerable changes in thyroid from initial feeding.

Variable quality depending on processes

Solvent extracted meals vs. expeller, double pressed or cold-pressed meals

The main differences betweeen solvent-extracted meals and mechanically extracted meal is the residual oil content and thus the overall energy value of the meal. Mechanically extracted rapeseed meal contain about 12 % EE (DM basis) while solvent extracted rapeseed meal only contain 2.8 % EE (Feedipedia, 2016).

Effects of temperature

Processing conditions determine the final quality of the rapeseed/canola meal. For example, it is important to heat rapeseeds and canola seeds so that myrosinase (the enzyme that breaks glucosinolates into toxic aglucones) is deactivated. Heat-treatment may also degrade 30-70% glucosinolates in the meal (Daun et al., 1997). However, under too high temperatures the protein quality of the meal can be reduced: amino acids digestibility may be altered, particularly lysine (Newkirk, 2009; Newkir et al., 2003). This phenomenon can be deleterious in monogastrics but it may be beneficial to reduce ruminal degradability of proteins in ruminants and thus provide by-pass proteins (Cetiom, 2001)

Overheating may sometimes occur during desolventization, this stage thus requires great care and temperatures should not be higher than 100°C, steam treatments also reduced protein digestibility in poultry (Cetiom, 2001).

Effects of additives

Depending on traditions, rapeseed meals and canola meals may be added differents substances like gums (mostly consisting in phospholipids (fats)) that have two main consequences: they enhance energy value of the meal and they reduce dustiness (Newkirk, 2009).

Potential constraints 

The following anti-nutritional factors have been found to be associated with rapeseed and canola meals.

Glucosinolates and erucic acid

Rapeseeds used to contain glucosinolates that have goitrogenic effects on animal and reduce animal performance and erucic acid, a very unpalatable toxic fatty acid.

Glicosinolates reduce feed intake in ruminants and result in many physiological disorders in monogastrics.

However, most rapeseeds and canola now, have very low level of glucosinolates. Glucosinolate content of rapeseeds and canola has been declining steadily and is now only about one-twelfth of that of the older high-glucosinolate rapeseed (that is below 10 vs. 120 μmol/g)(Peyronnet et al., 2014; Khajali et al., 2012). The use of rapeseed meal and canola meal in monogastric (pig and poultry) diets can subsequently be relatively high without altering feed intake or physiological functions of liver, kidneys or thyroïd gland (Cetiom, 2001). In poultry the limitation is not due to glucosinolates but to high fibre content (Cetiom, 2001). However, some rapeseeds are still grown for erucic acid production and the meal resulting from their extraction should not be fed to animals.


Tannins are phenolic compounds that bind with various compounds, including the CP making it less available to the animal (Bell, 1993). Most tannins are contained in the seed coat (Lipsa et al., 2012). With pigs it was found that dark hulled seeds were nearly indigestible whereas yellow hulled-seed were reasonably well digested; this was attributed to a lower tannin and lignin content in the brighter seeds (Bell et al., 1982). Clearer varieties of rapeseeds were later reported to contain less tannins (Auger et al., 2010). Some breeding programmes aimed at reducing thickness of the seed coat and thus level of tannins (Lipsa et al., 2012).  Dehulled rapeseed meals and rapeseed meal from brighter varieties may thus have have lower tannin content. 


Sinapine is converted into trimethylamine that is then absorbed  and further excreted through urine by animals. However, few of them do not have the required enzyme to make this conversion, some hens with brown-shelled eggs are amoung these animals, so it builds up in the blood and accumulates in the egg causing them to have a fishy taste ( Newkirk, 2009; Bell, 1993). Palatability is also reduced by sinapine, so it has a depressing effect on feed consumption.


As a supplement protein source for lactating dairy cattle canola meal has been found to be comparable to cottonseed meal and soybean meal with no differences in performance observed when they replaced each other (2)(CAB 830482522)(Sanchez, 1983)); (46)(CAB D370414)(Harrison, 1989).

Performance of dairy cattle was similar when canola meal replaced cottonseed meal (14)(CAB D089367)(DePeters, 1986); (17)(CAB D017021)(DePeters, 1985). Canola meal performed similarly to other supplemental protein sources (corn gluten meal)(25)(CAB D297792)(Robinson, 1988), but other research indicated that levels need to be limited to less than 20 % in the diet (40)(CAB 991402650)(Santo, 1998). Rumen amino acid disappearance was found to be similar for Canola meal with varying fiber levels (52)(CAB 981406662)(Mustafa, 1997).

In calves, when soybean meal was replaced with canola meal protein digestibility decreased (42)(CAB N281180)(Khorasani, 1990).


Canola meal was shown to give similar results when compared to soybean when fed to growing swine (Baidoo, 1983). Other research has shown that canola meal needs to be restricted in the diet (Gomes, 1998). Lysine content was found to be limiting (Bell, 1988). Palatability of canola meal has been shown to be another limiting factor for applications in swine (Bell, 1988). Feed consumption was found to increase and efficiency of feed conversion decrease when canola was fed to growing swine (Juhl, 1987). As the oligosaccharides (raffinose and stachyose) content of canola increased the digestibility of the non-starch polysaccrides decreased (Slominski, 1994). Mucilage level was not found to effect growth or feed intake (Bell, 1989). Feed conversion and rate of gain was decreased when canola replaced more than 75 % of soybean meal in swine rations (Baidoo, 1987a; Baidoo, 1987b; Baidoo, 1987c; Baidoo, 1986).


By comparison with soybean meal, the energy value and available nutrients contents of rapeseed meals are much more limited. They also contains some anti-nutritionals factors which limit their use in poultry diets. Protein and amino acids contents are by far lower in rapeseed meal than in soybean meal. But rapeseed meal compares favorably with soybean meal for sulfur-amino acids; those two meals tend to complement each other. However, rapeseed meal is known for its lower amino acids digestibility. The reason is frequently related to processing conditions. Overheating the meal during processing may reduce lysine digestibility, values lower than 80% are mentioned (Newkirk et al., 2003; Anderson-Hafermann et al., 1993). Products resulting from Maillard reaction during processing are responsible for those low values. Tannins might also reduce amino acid digestibility (Khajali et al., 2012).

Crude fiber content in rapeseed meal is by far higher than in soybean meal, ADF, NDF, and lignin which is associated with polyphenols (tannins) are also higher. Those values are a consequence of the very small size of the seed and its very high lipid content. During oil extraction, fibrous hulls are concentrated in the meal, thus decreasing the nutrient content. Fiber content is inversely related to metabolizable energy value. As a consequence, metabolizable energy value of rapeseed meal is 10 to 15% lower than that of soybean meal.

In order to improve the nutrient content of rapeseed meal and metabolizable energy value, various approaches have been undertaken to reduce the fiber and polyphenol contents: selection or dehulling. Selection includes the production of yellow-seeds in which lignin and polyphenols contents are reduced (triple-zero varieties). Dehulling is done before oil extraction, but this process is associated to a loss of oil since some kernels particles are removed with hulls. Selection or dehulling process improve equally the nutritive value of the meals. Some other attempts have been tested for improving nutrient availability or reducing encapsulating effect of cell wall in rapeseed meal (Kozlowski et al., 2014), for example the addition of enzymes: proteases, xylanases, phytases.

Main anti-nutritional factors


In poultry, adverse effects of glucosinolates are pungency, bitterness, anti-thyroid activity and as a consequence a reduction of birds’ production: growth and laying performances.  Mortality can be increased, especially in laying hens due to hemorrhagic liver syndrome (Fenwick, 1982). In modern rapeseed varieties, glucosinolate content has been much reduced (10-12 fold) and toxic effects are reduced. According to recent publications and glucosinolate levels observed in current rapeseed meals, dietary inclusion of rapeseed meal in poultry diets should not exceed 20% in broilers, and 15% in layers, resulting in a glucosinolate dietary content lower than 1.5 µmole/g.    


Rapeseed meal encompass 1% sinapine,  a choline ester of sinapic acid. Sinapine is associated with fishy taint of yolk from brown-shelled eggs. The fishy odor comes from trimethylamine which accumulates in the yolk since brown layers are genetically unable (a trimethylamine oxidase deficiency) to convert trimethylamine in odorless components. All sources of choline can be transformed in trimethylamine by the micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract of the birds. This genetical deficiency has been recently proved and acceptable level of trimethylamine in the yolk has been quantified (Wang et al., 2013). But tainting effect of rapeseed meal seemed to be more efficient than choline one (Ward et al., 2009). As a consequence, incorporation rates of rapeseed meals should be limited in diets fed to sensitive layers.  No off-flavor have been detected in the carcass.


No off-flavors in the meats where observed when canola meal was fed to broilers (Salmon, 1984).

Canola seemed to have no effect on performance in broiler when replacing soybean meal (Salmon, 1981); (Leeson, 1987); (Franzoi, 1998), but other research found that lysine supplementation improved performance (Campbell, 1988). Increasing the dietary level of canola meal was decrease gain, feed intake and increase size of thyroid gland (Baidoo, 1986).

Laying hens

Canola meal was found to be a suitable replacement for soybean meal in diets for layer pullets (Nassar, 1985);(Salmon, 1988). Feed consumption and number of eggs production was reduced when Canola meal replace soybean meal (Summers, 1985), egg shell quality (Summers, 1988) and mortality (Roth-Maier, 1988).


When canola meal was used to replace soybean and fish meals in turkey diets, the canola meal was found to perform similarly to soybean meal (gains and feed conversion), but fish meal showed higher performance (Salmon, 1982);(Borcea, 1996).

No off-flavors in the meats where observed when canola meal was fed to turkeys (Larmond, 1983).


Rapeseed meal is used in rabbit feeding since a long time (Voris et al., 1940; Benoit et al., 1948)   and is still used in experimental diets (Caro et al., 1993; Lebas et al., 2013) or commercial rabbit   diets (de Blas et al., 2010). Until the years 1975-1980, the rapeseed used contained high levels   of erucic acid and of glucosinolates. The only recommendation was to include this source of   protein at a moderate level in the rabbit's ration (Benoit et al., 1948). After selection of new varieties of rapeseed with low level of erucic acid but with still a high level of glucosinolates,   different studies were made to determine the maximum level of incorporation of this type of rapeseed meal, in partial or complete substitution to soybean meal or of sunflower meal. The conclusion of the authors was it was possible to include safely this type of low erucic rapeseed   meal up to 12-15% of the diet of growing rabbits without alteration of growth rate, slaughter yield,   thyroid and liver development and even without alteration of rabbit meat flavour (Colin et al., 1976; Lebas et al., 1977; Lebas, 1978; Niedzwiadek et al., 1977; Jensen et al., 1983).  

For reproducing does the main conclusion was the same : possibility of used up to 12-15% of the diet. Nevertheless it must be underlined that sometimes, but not always, reproduction   problems were described with higher levels such as 20% or more (Colin et al., 1976; Lebas et al., 1982)  During the years 1980-1990, newer varieties of rapeseed were selected for an ever low level of   erucic acid and simultaneously a low level of glucosinolates. In Canada theses varieties were   designed as Canola , while in France they were referred as "double zero" (00) rapeseeds . A comparison of simple zero and double zero rapeseed meal failed to detect any advantage for a "00" variety in comparison with "simple 0" variety (Jensen et al., 3 times higher than ruminants and 10 times higher than pig (Tripathi et al., 2007). Thus when experiences on the possibility of substitution of soybean meal were conducted with the new  "00" varieties, the conclusion was the same than  previously: "00" rapseed meal could completely replace soybean meal (Throckmorton et al., 1980). When in some experiment the proposed  possibility of replacement was limited to 60% of the dietary soybean meal, a cautious analysis of the experimental conditions indicates that the lower growth rate observed with 100% substitution i.e. 19.78% rapeseed meal in the diet   (Scapinello et al., 1996) are explained by a lack of dietary digestible proteins with the highest level of rapeseed meal because rapeseed meal proteins are on average digested 7.2 points less than those of soybean meal, as demonstrated in the following table.

Besides to the comparison rapeseed / soybean in the table, it also appears that proteins digestibility was similar in 2 varieties of rapeseed meal, one "simple 0" and one "00". (Maertens   et al., 1984).  An other difference between rapeseed proteins and soybean proteins is their respective essential amino acids profile: soybean proteins are well-known for their high content of lysine and a low content of sulphur amino acids; on the contrary rapeseed meal proteins contains just enough lysine to cover requirements (taking in account a lower protein digestibility) but are rich in sulphur amino acid, about +20%/requirements (Lebas, 2003). This difference could easily explain the reduction of growth in experiments with high levels of rapeseed meal were unexpectedly, extra methionine was added in the diet simultaneously with the rapeseed meal   increase (Throckmorton et al., 1980), reaching with the highest rapeseed incorporation the   toxicity level of sulphur amino acids, associated with a relative lack of lysine due to the absence of soybean meal (Lebas, 1983). Some commercial "00" rapeseed are dehulled in order to increase their energetic content for use in poultry or pigs feeding. Growing or breeding rabbits are able to use this type of dehulled product with same efficiency that the non-dehulled product (Lebas et al., 1977; Lebas et al., 1982), but because of the need of fibre in rabbits ration, the absence of rapeseed hulls in the meal must be compensate by the introduction of an other source of fibre in the diet.  In practical conditions, a dietary inclusion level of 10-12% of rapeseed meal, whatever the type, could   be recommended for growing rabbits as for breeding does (Meseni, 1997).


Rapeseed/canola meals have relatively lower digestible energy than soybean meal in salmonid fish (2300-2750 kcal/kg vs.3100 kcal/kg) (Sauvant et al., 2004; NRC, 1999). Fibre which is not digested by fish can reduce overall diet digestibility (Hertrampf et al., 2000). It was reported that diets containing more than 8% fibre could result in diarrhoea in carnivorous fish (NRC, 2011). The aminoacid profile of rapeseed/canola meals was referred to have high availabitity (83-99%) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) (Anderson et al., 1992; Friedman, 1996). 
Among practical solutions for fish feeding, the combination of rapeseed meal and soybean meal appeared to be a good solution to replace fishmeal. The use of vegetable protein to replace fishmeal in fish diets reduces the price of the diet and do not bring PCDD/F and PCBs in fish diet. From consumer point of view this may bring higher safety insurance (Newkirk, 2009).
Most limitations of the use of rapeseed/canola meal for fish feeding, are its high fibre content and glucosinolates. Fibre content ranges from 12% to 14% and reduces rapeseed meal nutritional value (Shafaieipour et al., 2008Burel et al., 2000a; McCurdy et al., 1992). However at current rates of inclusion (<50%), the dietary fibre content was unlikely to exceed 8% and did not impair fish growth performance (Hilton et al., 1986). Glucosinolates even at low levels found in 00-rapeseed or canola rapeseed meal may impair fish performance (Hertrampf et al., 2000). 
For these reasons, it has been suggested that "00-rapeseed meal" or canola meal dietary inclusion remain between 10 and 20% in fish diet and rapeseed meal (with erucic acid) should not be over 5% in fish diet (Hertrampf et al., 2000).


Rapeseed and canola meal have been routinely fed for over 20 years to salmonids (Higgs et al., 1996 cited by Newkirk, 2009). However, a meta-analysis including 45 feeding experiments where rapeseed meal was fed to salmonids reported that rapeseed meal inclusion decreased linearly specific growth rate (Collins et al., 2013).
It was thus suggested that rapeseed meal should be included at low levels, not exceeding 10% in salmonid diets (Collins et al., 2013). There are however feeding conditions in which salmonids could be fed relatively high levels of rapeseed meal. For example, it was possible to include it at 17,5% (diet DM basis) in combination with soybean meal (14.5% diet DM basis) to replace 40% of protein provided by fishmeal (Güroy et al., 2012).
Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Rapeseed/canola meal included in juvenile rainbow trout diet at 10, 20 and 30% during 9 weeks had deleterious effects at all levels, on hepatosomatic index and on growth performance, feed conversion ratio and immunological status of fish (Hernandez et al., 2012).
Rapeseed/canola meal has been extensively assessed and was mostly found deleterious to rainbow trout performance (Alami-Durante et al., 2010; Burel et al., 2000a, Burel et al., 2001; De Francesco et al., 2004; Drew et al., 2005; Hilton et al., 1986; Leatherland et al., 1988; Satoh et al., 1998).
A few studies are exceptions to this trend (Burel et al., 2001; Shafaieipour et al., 2008).Inclusion of rapeseed meal containing 26µmol/g glycosinolates in juvenile rainbow trout diet at up to 30% had no effect on growth performance, voluntary feed intake, or feed efficiency after 58 days of experimental feeding (Burel et al., 2001).
In juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) diet where commercial rapeseed/canola meal  was used to replace 15 or 30% herring meal, growth and feed intake were reduced (Satoh et al., 1998). The use of low-temperature extruded rapeseed meal and of high temperature rapeseed meal could alleviate these deleterious effects. These products also alleviated thyroid alterations in salmons (Satoh et al., 1998).


Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
In channel catfish, apparent digestibilities of DM, energy and protein of rapeseed/canola meal were 47-69.4%, 72% and 78.8% respectively and those digestibilities were lower than those of soybean meal (Li et al., 2013; Kitagima et al., 2011). Rapeseed meal could be included in juvenile channel catfish diets at up to 31% with no negative effects on performance (Lim et al., 1997). 
Australian catfish (Tandanus tandanus)
Autralian catfish (Tandanus tandanus) fed on 30 or 45% rapeseed meal to replace fishmeal had reduced growth. Supplementation with inorganic  P improved animal performance but resulted in water pollution because of higher P losses during digestion (Huynh et al., 2011).


Canola meal and rapeseed meal are commonly included in carp diets, which are normally vegetable protein based (Newkirk, 2009). However, recent studies held on juvenile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and on juvenile crucian carp (Carassius auratus x Cyprinus carpio) reported that high levels of rapeseed meal (45% or 50% dietary inclusion) had deleterious effects on fish liver and subsequently impaired fish performance (growth, feed intake, feed conversion ratios) and health (blood parameters) (Yuan et al., 2014; Tan QingSong et al., 2013; Cai ChunFang et al., 2013). It was either suggested to limit rapeseed meal inclusion in grass carp diet at 16% or to supplement it with glutathione (400 mg/kg) as glutathione has protective effect on fish liver (Yuan et al., 2014). In fry, it was suggested that rapeseed meal dietary inclusion could be about 15% in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and 22% in common carp (Cyprinus carpio) (Yigit et al., 2013; Soares et al., 1998).
In 2-year-old common carp (Cyprinus carpio) cold-pressed rapeseed meal dietary inclusion rate could be up 33% without affecting growth performance or feed utilization (Mazurkiewicz et al., 2011).


Apparent digestibilities of DM, energy and protein in Nile tilapia are higher than in catfish with 67.3%, 73.7% and 91.4% respectively (Li et al., 2013; Kitagima et al., 2011). 

In recent experiment in China, it was possible to use up to 19% rapeseed meal in order to replace 30% soybean meal in diets for juvenile hybrid tilapia without compromising growth, feed conversion and protein utilization (Zhou QiCun et al., 2010).  In Brazil, up to 24% rapeseed meal could be fed to juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), Chitralada strain with no health or performance issues (Gaiotto et al., 2004). Former inclusion levels were in the range of 10% to 25% (Abdul-Aziz et al., 1999; Higgs et al., 1989).

In China, Genetically Modified Nile tilapia  were fed on diets where 75% fishmeal was replaced by rapeseed meal (thus representing 55% of the tilapia diet) without impairing growth performance (Luo et al., 2012).
Red seabream
Canola meal could be included at  up to 60% of the diet for Red seabream without detrimental effects on performance (Glencross, 2003). 




It was shown in a series of experiments on kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus), that rapeseed meal could be fed to shrimps in order to replace fishmeal. While it was not possible for rapeseed meal to replace more than 20% fishmeal protein as a sole protein rich feed, it could be used in a blend with soybean meal (ratio 4: 6) adequately supplemented with aminoacids, phytase and fish soluble and could replace 85% of the fishmeal protein (Mahbuba Bulbul et al., 2016; Mahbuba Bulbul et al., 2015; Mahbuba Bulbul et al., 2012).

These results are in accordance with former results obtained on Penaeus vannamei where high fibre rapeseed meal was recommended at no more than 15% in the diet to replace menhaden fishmeal (Lim et al., 1997).A non-nutritional concern about using canola meal in shrimp feeds is the negative effect that the fibre has on feed pellet waterstability.


Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 90.1 1.2 88.9 93.7 63
Crude protein % DM 39.0 2.0 36.1 43.8 97
Crude fibre % DM 12.8 0.7 11.5 14.1 57
NDF % DM 26.9 2.9 22.6 32.7 32
ADF % DM 18.8 1.8 13.7 22.0 37
Lignin % DM 7.9 1.8 5.9 13.7 16
Ether extract % DM 4.0 0.6 2.7 5.3 72
Ether extract, HCl hydrolysis % DM 4.2 1.0 3.1 5.7 6
Ash % DM 7.8 0.4 7.1 8.4 57
Total sugars % DM 10.5 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.6 0.6 18.7 20.5 21 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 7.4 0.9 6.4 10.9 24
Phosphorus g/kg DM 11.6 0.4 11.0 12.5 24
Potassium g/kg DM 13.7 0.8 12.0 14.7 19
Sodium g/kg DM 0.5 0.1 0.3 0.6 12
Magnesium g/kg DM 5.7 0.1 5.5 6.0 18
Manganese mg/kg DM 57 4 49 67 18
Zinc mg/kg DM 68 8 57 80 18
Copper mg/kg DM 5 1 4 8 17
Iron mg/kg DM 198 39 133 258 18
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 4.3 0.2 4.0 4.7 19
Arginine % protein 5.9 0.2 5.6 6.2 18
Aspartic acid % protein 7.2 0.7 5.5 8.1 19
Cystine % protein 2.5 0.3 1.9 2.9 19
Glutamic acid % protein 17.8 1.2 15.4 21.4 19
Glycine % protein 4.9 0.3 4.1 5.5 19
Histidine % protein 2.6 0.3 2.2 3.0 10
Isoleucine % protein 4.0 0.2 3.6 4.3 23
Leucine % protein 6.8 0.3 6.0 7.3 23
Lysine % protein 5.6 0.4 4.8 6.3 25
Methionine % protein 2.0 0.1 1.8 2.1 21
Phenylalanine % protein 3.9 0.1 3.6 4.1 18
Proline % protein 5.9 0.4 4.9 6.6 17
Serine % protein 4.5 0.2 4.1 4.9 17
Threonine % protein 4.2 0.3 3.8 4.7 25
Tryptophan % protein 1.2 0.1 1.1 1.3 11
Tyrosine % protein 2.9 0.1 2.5 3.1 18
Valine % protein 4.9 0.2 4.4 5.3 23
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 78.3 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 77.7 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.3 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.7 *
a (N) % 13.0 7.7 18.3 2
b (N) % 85.0 80.7 89.3 2
c (N) h-1 0.032 0.020 0.044 2
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 51 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 43 12 30 73 8 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 70.0 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.7 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.7 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.9 *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 9.2 1
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 9.6 1
Fish nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
DE salmonids MJ/kg DM 12.2 2.4 10.9 15.4 3 *
Energy digestibility, salmonids % 62.2 10.1 51.2 71.0 3
Nitrogen digestibility, salmonids % 83.7 4.7 78.6 87.9 3

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; Baidoo et al., 1987; Bell et al., 1991; Bell et al., 1993; Bell et al., 1993; Blair et al., 1986; Christen et al., 2010; DePeters et al., 2000; Fan et al., 1995; Getachew et al., 2004; Hajen et al., 1993; Imbeah et al., 1988; Kendall et al., 1991; Leeson et al., 1974; McKinnon et al., 1995; Mulrooney et al., 2009; Mustafa et al., 1997; Mustafa et al., 1999; Muztar et al., 1978; Petit, 1992; Salmon, 1984; Sharma et al., 1980; Slominski et al., 1999; Yin et al., 1993

Last updated on 28/11/2012 22:36:19

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 94.4 1
Crude protein % DM 38.4 1
Ether extract % DM 9.7 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 4.6 1
Arginine % protein 5.6 5.6 5.6 2
Aspartic acid % protein 7.9 1
Cystine % protein 2.7 1
Glutamic acid % protein 17.1 1
Glycine % protein 5.6 5.3 5.9 2
Histidine % protein 2.6 2.5 2.6 2
Isoleucine % protein 4.3 3.9 4.6 2
Leucine % protein 7.1 6.7 7.5 2
Lysine % protein 5.0 4.3 5.7 2
Methionine % protein 2.0 1.7 2.2 2
Phenylalanine % protein 3.9 3.9 3.9 2
Proline % protein 5.8 1
Serine % protein 4.2 1
Threonine % protein 4.4 4.4 4.4 2
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 1
Tyrosine % protein 2.8 2.6 3.0 2
Valine % protein 5.0 4.9 5.1 2

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Bell et al., 1967; Salmon, 1984

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:52

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 91.5 89.8 93.2 2
Crude protein % DM 39.7 39.4 40.1 2
Crude fibre % DM 12.1 1
NDF % DM 21.0 1
Ether extract % DM 4.9 4.7 5.1 2
Ash % DM 7.5 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.9 *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 5.0 1
Arginine % protein 6.0 6.0 6.0 2
Aspartic acid % protein 8.6 1
Cystine % protein 2.8 1
Glutamic acid % protein 18.4 1
Glycine % protein 5.6 1
Histidine % protein 3.2 2.6 3.7 2
Isoleucine % protein 4.1 4.1 4.1 2
Leucine % protein 7.1 6.1 8.1 2
Lysine % protein 7.0 6.1 7.9 2
Methionine % protein 1.9 1.5 2.2 2
Phenylalanine % protein 4.0 3.7 4.3 2
Proline % protein 6.0 1
Serine % protein 4.6 1
Threonine % protein 4.4 4.1 4.7 2
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 1
Tyrosine % protein 3.3 1
Valine % protein 6.6 5.3 7.9 2
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 79.5 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 79.0 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 15.7 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.1 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 71.2 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.2 *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 9.7 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Bell et al., 1967; Muztar et al., 1978; Salmon, 1984

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:52

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 91.0 2.1 87.5 95.3 234
Crude protein % DM 34.1 2.3 28.5 37.9 240
Crude fibre % DM 12.7 1.3 10.1 15.5 210
NDF % DM 27.3 2.9 24.2 36.0 21
ADF % DM 19.4 2.1 17.4 25.2 19
Lignin % DM 8.9 1.3 6.8 11.8 22
Ether extract % DM 12.3 4.2 7.4 24.0 196
Ether extract, HCl hydrolysis % DM 17.1 5.1 9.8 26.3 48
Ash % DM 6.9 0.6 5.7 8.4 134
Total sugars % DM 9.0 2.2 3.7 12.2 11
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 21.3 1.0 18.5 22.6 11 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 8.2 1.4 5.6 10.9 44
Phosphorus g/kg DM 11.5 1.0 8.9 13.1 45
Potassium g/kg DM 12.5 11.5 13.6 2
Sodium g/kg DM 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1 5
Iron mg/kg DM 73 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 4.5 0.1 4.3 4.7 6
Arginine % protein 6.2 0.3 5.9 6.7 7
Aspartic acid % protein 7.7 0.2 7.4 7.9 6
Cystine % protein 2.3 0.3 1.9 2.7 6
Glutamic acid % protein 16.4 1.0 15.1 18.2 6
Glycine % protein 5.3 0.3 5.1 5.9 7
Histidine % protein 2.7 0.2 2.6 3.1 7
Isoleucine % protein 4.3 0.2 4.1 4.6 7
Leucine % protein 7.0 0.2 6.7 7.2 7
Lysine % protein 5.5 0.8 3.8 6.6 14
Methionine % protein 2.0 0.2 1.7 2.3 7
Phenylalanine % protein 4.0 0.3 3.4 4.3 7
Proline % protein 6.2 0.4 5.7 6.7 4
Serine % protein 4.6 0.2 4.4 5.0 6
Threonine % protein 4.6 0.3 4.1 5.0 7
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 0.0 1.3 1.4 5
Tyrosine % protein 3.1 0.4 2.5 3.4 4
Valine % protein 5.4 0.3 5.0 5.9 7
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 10.8 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 78.4 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 78.8 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 16.8 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.1 *
ME ruminants (gas production) MJ/kg DM 9.3 1
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 84.0 1
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 72 1
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 70.1 8.1 69.6 90.8 6 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 15.0 1.6 14.6 19.0 6 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.0 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 9.6 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 83.2 3.1 79.1 87.6 6
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 9.6 0.6 8.5 10.4 6

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; Aufrère et al., 1991; Bach Knudsen, 1997; Bell et al., 1967; Bourdon et al., 1979; Bourdon, 1986; Carré et al., 1986; Chopra, 1970; CIRAD, 1991; Cirad, 2008; De Boever et al., 1994; Grala et al., 1999; Guillaume, 1978; Khanum et al., 2007; Liu et al., 1995; Masoero et al., 1994; Nadeem et al., 2005; Schöne et al., 1996; Sen, 1938; Thomas et al., 1984; Weisbjerg et al., 1996

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:52

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 88.8 1.2 84.8 93.4 11332
Crude protein % DM 38.3 1.2 34.4 43.2 11162
Crude fibre % DM 14.1 1.3 9.6 17.5 10332
NDF % DM 31.6 2.6 26.5 37.7 205
ADF % DM 20.5 1.1 18.5 23.0 201
Lignin % DM 9.8 1.0 7.9 12.3 254
Ether extract % DM 2.8 1.0 0.8 6.9 8687
Ether extract, HCl hydrolysis % DM 4.1 0.6 3.1 5.2 89
Ash % DM 7.8 0.4 6.6 9.8 2462
Total sugars % DM 10.3 0.5 9.3 11.6 60
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.4 0.2 18.7 19.7 21 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 8.6 0.7 7.1 10.2 391
Phosphorus g/kg DM 12.7 0.8 11.2 14.5 466
Sodium g/kg DM 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.5 54
Magnesium g/kg DM 5.2 0.2 5.0 5.4 3
Manganese mg/kg DM 65 12 49 77 6
Zinc mg/kg DM 80 26 61 142 15
Copper mg/kg DM 10 9 2 25 12
Iron mg/kg DM 131 110 152 2
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 4.4 0.1 4.2 4.5 21
Arginine % protein 6.1 0.2 5.7 6.5 21
Aspartic acid % protein 7.1 0.3 6.7 7.6 21
Cystine % protein 2.3 0.1 2.1 2.5 28
Glutamic acid % protein 16.4 0.5 15.4 17.6 21
Glycine % protein 5.0 0.1 4.7 5.2 21
Histidine % protein 2.6 0.1 2.4 2.7 21
Isoleucine % protein 4.0 0.1 3.7 4.3 22
Leucine % protein 6.7 0.2 6.3 7.1 22
Lysine % protein 5.5 0.3 5.0 6.0 35
Methionine % protein 2.1 0.1 1.9 2.2 30
Phenylalanine % protein 3.9 0.1 3.7 4.1 21
Proline % protein 6.1 0.5 5.6 7.0 15
Serine % protein 4.4 0.2 4.2 4.7 21
Threonine % protein 4.4 0.2 4.0 4.6 25
Tryptophan % protein 1.3 0.1 1.1 1.4 16
Tyrosine % protein 3.1 0.2 2.8 3.6 9
Valine % protein 5.1 0.2 4.7 5.5 22
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 5.0 4.2 2.2 9.9 3
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 76.5 73.8 76.5 2 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 75.7 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.7 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.3 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 74.7 1
a (N) % 22.2 7.2 14.0 27.2 3
b (N) % 59.8 5.3 53.6 63.0 3
c (N) h-1 0.100 0.046 0.050 0.140 3
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 65 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 60 6 52 66 4 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 68.0 4.2 65.6 78.7 14 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.2 1.0 12.6 16.0 14 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.1 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.5 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 80.3 3.8 72.6 88.8 14
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 5.5 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Aas et al., 1984; AFZ, 2011; Bach Knudsen, 1997; Bourdon et al., 1982; Bourdon, 1986; CIRAD, 1991; CIRAD, 1994; Cirad, 2008; Cowan et al., 1998; Kamalak et al., 2005; Liu et al., 1994; Lund et al., 2008; Mariscal Landin, 1992; Masoero et al., 1994; Maupetit et al., 1992; Nadeem et al., 2005; Noblet et al., 1989; Noblet, 2001; Onidol, 1985; Skiba et al., 2000; Weisbjerg et al., 1996; Woods et al., 2003; Zuprizal; Larbier et al., 1991

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:52

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DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/52 Last updated on June 7, 2016, 17:50

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