Innovative processing technology of rapeseed products for poultry nutrition
In Europe, there is an urgent need of domestic proteins for the nutrition of food producing animals. As is, the majority of European protein needs are covered by the import of soy products. Soybean and soybean meal imports to Germany are valued at well over $500 million a year. On the other hand, there is a growing environmental and ethical concern on the loss of ecologically important rainforests or contamination with genetically modified plants and other sensitive issues. Therefore, domestic alternatives are urgently needed, refined rapeseed products being an excellent option. Traditionally, research on rapeseed in the diet of animals focused mostly on the upper limits of inclusion rates in diets due to the limitations by glucosinolates, erucic acid and other anti-nutritional factors. Plant breeders were able to reduce anti-nutritional factors, however, there are still obvious limitations in the practical use due the anti-nutrients, which limit the market value. Therefore, it is considered as opportunity to improve rapeseed products by cutting-edge technological treatments.
ProRapeSeed uses three major strategies clustered in three operational work packages in order to improve the value of rapeseed products and develop the bio-economy industry within EU market particularly with SMEs by:
- Innovative selection and breeding strategy targeting oil, less anti-nutrients and better feed value of rape products,
- advanced (bio)technological processes and optimization of nutritional concepts for broilers, layers and turkeys as relevant food producing animals and as models for other species, and
- economic evaluation of competitiveness of novel prototype products including legal aspects.
The project has the following goals to:
- Establishment, development and adaptation of innovative molecular breeding tools for shortening the breeding cycle duration of rapeseed (through identification of genome regions responsible for nutritional and seed quality values) in combination with identification and categorization of local varieties/lines of rapeseed most suitable for poultry feeding,
- development of technological and specific enzymatic processes for the valorisation of rapeseed products, and
- assessment of economic, ecological and social aspects of the novel prototype products.
Breeding (i) will target the domestic rapeseed varieties/lines which have a low content of anti-nutritional factors; as such, amongst the glucosinolates in particular, the content of tannins, non-starch polysaccharides and phytic acid.
The second pillar (ii) of the project is (bio)technological processes optimizing hydrothermal processing to improve quality of rapeseed products (higher nutritional quality, less anti-nutrients and higher hygienic safety by lowering Salmonella risk). Newly designed (bio)technological processes will inactivate anti-nutritional factors and increase the availability of nutrients that are physically or/and chemically sequestered by the different types of anti-nutritive substances. Main target is quality and bioavailability of rapeseed protein.
The third pillar (iii) is work related to public acceptance, legislation (including IPR) and business case calculation. Economic and social aspects of innovative products are the major determinants for introduction of innovation on the consumer market.
Some prototype processes have been successfully developed in the conducted ProLegu project (CORNET, 2014-2016) for legumes. This has resulted in innovative pea products with significant higher nutrient availability following by better feed efficiency, performance, welfare and health for poultry.
Targeted improvement and specification of local rapeseed products will create prototypes for SMEs close to be introduced as new products to the market. As outcome, we see a substantial improvement in the supply of raw materials from European origins, supporting important economic sectors e.g. plant and feed production which is absolutely dominated by SMEs.
The provision of innovative feed components in the present project will have a positive effect on animal performance and health while fully accounting the environmental aspect.
The poultry feed production in Europe is about 55 mil. tons/year. Sustainable increase in the inclusion level of local rapeseed meal in European poultry feed, just up to 15% in poultry diet, could be equivalent to about 8.25 mil. tons/year, substituting of at least 40% of imported soybean meal in market year 2015/2016 (20.7 mil. tons imported soybean meal) which is equivalent to at least 3.46 billion EUR (420 EUR/ton non-GMO soybean meal - www.ufop.de)