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DPIRD Collections

Grains and field crops


Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). Industrial rapeseed is high in erucic acid or H.E.A.R, with greater than 45 per cent erucic acid, which is mildly toxic to animals especially poultry. Erucic acid at levels beyond 0.605 per cent in diet is known to cause growth depression, reduction in feed intake and efficiency in growing chicks. Natural rapeseed meal also contains glucosinolates (the 'hot' in mustard seeds, when this compound is broken down with water it reacts and provides the heat felt on the tongue, characteristic in all Brassicaceae plants). Industrial rapeseed can be high or low in glucosinolates. Large amounts of glucosinolates affect growth rate, cause swelling of the thyroid gland and make meal less palatable for livestock. Canola is the tradename of a particular rapeseed. The term canola has been registered and adopted in Canada to describe the oil (seeds, plants) obtained from the cultivars Brassica napus and Brassica campestris. In 1986, the definition of canola was amended to refer to B. napus and B. campestris (now Brassica rapa) lines containing less than 2 per cent erucic acid in the oil and less than 30 μmol/g glucosinolates in the air-dried, oil-free meal. Throughout this document, the term ‘canola’ refers to low erucic acid, low glucosinolate rapeseed.

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Canola meal, Rapeseed, Animal nutrition, Protein content, Oilseeds, Aquaculture, Fertiliser


Food Science | Nutrition