Browse the Canola Meal Feed Guide by chapter:
Canola meal has become an important ingredient in aquaculture diets around the world. 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.
Canola meal is a palatable source of protein for aqua diets. In some older studies as well as feeding experiments involving rapeseed meal, palatability was sometimes reduced due to the bitterness imparted by glucosinolates. As Chapter 2 shows, levels of glucosinolates in canola meal are now quite low. In clear contrast to older studies, soluble canola protein concentrate has successfully been used as an attractant for diets in which fish meal concentrations have been reduced (Hill et al., 2013). Hill et al. (2013) reported that the inclusion of 1% soluble canola protein concentrate in diets fed to sunshine bass significantly increased feed intake and weight gain.
Rather than palatability, intake of canola meal is often limited by the nutrient requirements of the species for which the feeds are being formulated. For example, carnivorous fish have very high protein requirements, and a low tolerance for carbohydrates. Omnivorous species on the other hand have a greater tolerance for carbohydrate.
|Rainbow trout¹||Oncorhynchus mykiss||20||Carnivorous Marine||1|
|Atlantic Salmon²||Salmo salar||10||Carnivorous Marine||1|
|Barramundi³||Lates calcarifer||30*||Carnivorous Marine||1|
|European Sea bass⁴||Dicentrarchus labrax||<28**||Carnivorous Marine||1|
|Japanese seabass⁵||Lateolabrax japonicus||15||Carnivorous Marine||1|
|Freshwater Angelfish⁶||Pterophyllum scalare||8||Carnivorous Freshwater||2|
|Piavucu⁷||Leporinus macrocephalus||38||Carnivorous Freshwater||2|
|Sunshine bass⁸||Morone chrysops||<20**||Carnivorous Freshwater||2|
*Highest levels tested
1Thiessen et al., 2003; Thiessen et al., 2004; Yigit et al., 2012; Collins et al, 2012; Collins et al., 2013.
2Burr et al., 2013; Collins, et al., 2013.
3Ngo et al., 2016.
4Lanari and D’Agaro, 2005.
5Cheng et al., 2010
6Erdogan and Olmez, 2009.
7Galdioli et al., 2001; Soares et al., 2000.
8Webster et al., 2000
As Table 1 shows, inclusion levels may be limited to 30% or less for carnivorous species, but inclusions have been demonstrated to be considerably greater for a number of commercially important omnivorous species (Table 2).
|Australasian snapper¹||Pagrus auratus||60||Omnivorous-Marine||1|
|Silver perch²||Bidyanus bidyanus||60||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Streaked prochilod³||Prochilodus lineatus||8||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Rohu (carp)⁴||Labeo rohita||20||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Wuchang bream⁵||Megalobrama amblycephala||35||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Nile tilapia⁶||Oreochromis niloticus||33||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Black carp⁷||Mylopharvngodon piceus||11||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Grass carp⁸||Ctenopharyngodon idella||37||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Pacu⁹||Piaractus mesopotamicus||19||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Mori¹⁰||Cirrhinus mrigala||24*||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Pangasius catfish¹¹||Pangasius sutchi||30||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
*Highest levels tested
1Glencross et al., 2004.
2Booth and Allan, 2003.
3Galdioli et al., 2002.
4Iqbal et al., 2015; Umer and Ali, 2009; Parveen et al., 2012; Umer et al., 2011.
5Zhou et al., 2018.
6Yigit and Olmez, 2009; Zhou and Yue, 2010; Luo et al, 2012; Mohammadi et al., 2016; Fangfang et al., 2014; Soares et al., 2001.
7Huang et al., 2012.
8Veiverberg et al., 2010; Jiang et al., 2016.
9Viegas et al, 2008.
10Parveen et al., 2012.
11Van Minh et al., 2013
Protein-to-energy ratios in fish diets are high compared to birds and mammals, and thus, aqua diets are typically higher in crude protein than pig or poultry diets. For example, salmonid diets typically contain more than 40% crude protein. Since canola meal contains less than 40% crude protein as fed, this limits the feasible inclusion rate of canola meal to below 20% when formulating practical diets for carnivorous species like salmonids. However, in omnivorous or herbivorous fish, such as carp and tilapia, dietary crude protein requirements are considerably lower, and this limitation does not apply.
The digestibility of dry matter (Tables 3 and 4) and energy (Tables 5 and 6) in canola meal is highly variable, due to the varied digestive systems of fish species farmed around the world. As well, processing systems used in the manufacturing of vegetable protein sources influence the extent of digestibility, and these have varied widely from study to study.
As with swine and poultry, the method of formulation impacts the nutritive worth and feeding value of canola meal. The energy value will also vary somewhat due to the amount of lipid that is present in the meal. NRC (2011) lists apparent digestibility of energy in rapeseed meal at 76% for rainbow trout, 57% for Nile tilapia and 83% for cobia. Burel et al. (2000) determined that the digestibility of rapeseed meal by rainbow trout was 69% for solvent-extracted meal, and 89% for post-extraction heat-treated meal. Allan et al. (2000) found that the digestibility of energy in solvent-extracted and expeller canola meal was 58.1% and 58.6%, respectively, for silver perch.
Fibre is not digested in monogastric animals to any appreciable extent, and this applies to aquaculture species as well. Plant fibre can be divided into two categories: soluble fibre (oligosaccharides) that increases intestinal viscosity and insoluble fibre that increases bulk. Canola meal contains approximately half as much soluble fibre as soybean meal (Mejicanos et al., 2016). Modest amounts of insoluble fibre can improve transit time and feed intake, but large amounts result in too much bulk, depending upon the species of fish at hand. Removal of the fibre fraction of canola meal could enhance its value in nutrient-dense aqua feeds, thus increasing the nutrient density of the meal.
|Rainbow trout¹||Oncorhynchus mykiss||73.40||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Atlantic Salmon²||Salmo salar L||76.20||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Arctic Char³||Salvelinus alpinus||46.80||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|European sea bass⁶||Dicentrarchus labrax||71.20||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Yellowfin seabream⁷||Acanthopagrus (Sparus) latus||33.50||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Atlantic cod⁹||Gadus morhua||49.60||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Australasian snapper¹²||Pagrus auratus||19.60||Omnivorous-marine||2|
*Value may be in error, as digestibility of protein alone would exceed 30% of the dry matter
11Mwachireya et al., 2000; Burel et al., 2000; Dalsgaard et al., 2012.
2Burel et al., 2000; Dalsgaard et al., 2012.
3Burr et al., 2011.
4Burel et al., 2000.
5Ngo et al., 2015.
6Igbal et al., 2015.
7Wu et al., 2006.
8Zhou et al., 2004.
9Tibbets et al, 2006.
10Rodrigues Olim, 2012.
11Tibbetts et al., 2004.
12Glencross et al., 2004a.
|Freshwater Angelfish||Pterophyllum scalare||68.40||Erdogan and Olmez, 2010||Carnivorous Freshwater|
|Silver perch||Bidyanus bidyanus||51.90||Allan et al., 2000||Omnivorous-fresh water|
|Rohu (carp)||Labeo rohita||51.30||Hussain et al., 2015||Omnivorous-fresh water|
|Nile Tilapia||Oreochromis niloticus||54.00||Borgeson et al., 2006||Omnivorous-fresh water|
*Value may be in error, as digestibility of protein alone would exceed 30% of the dry matter
1Allan et al., 2000.
2Hussain et al., 2015.
3Borgeson et al., 2006.
|Rainbow trout||Oncorhynchus mykiss||78.20||Mwachireya et al., 2000||Carnivorous marine|
|Rainbow trout||Oncorhynchus mykiss||76.40||Burel et al., 2000||Carnivorous marine|
|Rainbow trout||Oncorhynchus mykiss||86.10||Thiessen et al., 2004||Carnivorous marine|
|Rainbow trout||Oncorhynchus mykiss||74.80||Cheng and Hardy, 2002||Carnivorous marine|
|Atlantic Salmon||Salmo salar L||49.00||Burr et al., 2011||Carnivorous marine|
|Arctic Char||Salvelinus alpinus||46.80||Burr et al., 2011||Carnivorous marine|
|Turbot||Scophthalmus maximus||69.30||Burel et al., 2000||Carnivorous marine|
|Barrimundi||Lates calcarifer||47.60||Ngo et al., 2015||Carnivorous marine|
|Australasian snapper||Pagrus auratus||19.60||Glencross et al., 2004a||Carnivorous marine|
|European Sea bass||Dicentrarchus labrax||91.70||Lanari and D’Agaro, 2005||Carnivorous marine|
|Yellowfin seabream||Acanthopagrus (Sparus) latus||56.30||Wu et al., 2006||Carnivorous marine|
|Cobia||Rachycentron canadum||83.10||Zhou et al., 2004||Carnivorous marine|
|Atlantic cod||Gadus morhua||60.60||Tibbets et al, 2006||Carnivorous marine|
|Meagre||Argyrosomus regius||73.60||Rodrigues Olim, 2012||Carnivorous marine|
1Mwachireya et al., 2000; Burel et al., 2000; Thiessen et al., 2004; Cheng and Hardy, 2002.
2Burr et al., 2011.
3Burr et al., 2011.
4Burel et al., 2000.
5Ngo et al., 2015.
6Glencross et al., 2004a.
7Lanari and D’Agaro, 2005.
8Wu et al., 2006.
9Zhou et al., 2004.
10Tibbets et al, 2006.
11Rodrigues Olim, 2012.
12Tibbetts et al., 2004.
13Glencross et al., 2004a.
|Haddock||Melanogrammus aeglefinus||60.10||Tibbetts et al., 2004||Omnivorous-marine|
|Australasian snapper||Pagrus auratus||19.60||Glencross et al., 2004a||Omnivorous-marine|
|Silver perch||Bidyanus bidyanus||58.10||Allan et al., 2000||Omnivorous-fresh water|
|Nile Tilapia||Oreochromis niloticus||68.00||Borgeson et al., 2006||Omnivorous-fresh water|
1Allan et al., 2000.
2Hussain et al., 2015.
3Borgeson et al., 2006.
The digestibility of protein from canola meal is high for most fish species. NRC (2011) lists the apparent digestibility of protein in rapeseed meal for the following species: 91% for rainbow trout, 85% for Nile/ blue tilapia and 89% for cobia. Hajen et al. (1993) determined that the digestibility of canola meal protein by chinook salmon was 85%, which was higher than the digestibility of soybean meal (77%), and approximately the same as the digestibility of soy protein isolate (84%). In some species, salmonids in particular, the protein in canola meal is beneficial, but the presence of fibre limits the amount that can be included in formulations. Results from studies published since 2000 are provided in Tables 7 and 8 for carnivorous and omnivorous species.
|Rainbow trout¹||Oncorhynchus mykiss||96.5||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Atlantic Salmon²||Salmo salar L||86.2||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Arctic Char³||Salvelinus alpinus||72.8||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|European Sea bass⁵||Dicentrarchus labrax||89.8||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Yellowfin seabream⁷||Acanthopagrus (Sparus) latus||84.7||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Atlantic cod¹⁰’¹¹||Argyrosomus regius||68.3||Carnivorous-marine||1|
|Freshwater Angelfish¹⁰||Pterophyllum scalare||86.5||Carnivorous Freshwater||2|
1Mwachireya et al., 2000; Burel et al., 2000; Dalsgaard et al., 2012; Gaylord et al., 2008; Gaylord et al., 2010; Thiessen et al., 2004; Cheng and Hardy, 2002.
2Burr et al., 2011.
3Burr et al., 2011.
4Burel et al., 2000.
5Lanari and D’Agaro, 2005.
6Ngo et al., 2015.
7Wu et al., 2006.
8Zhou et al., 2004.
9Rodrigues Olim, 2012.
10Erdogan and Olmez, 2010.
11Tibbets et al, 2006.
|Australasian snapper²||Pagrus auratus||82.3||Omnivorous-marine||1|
|Silver perch³||Bidyanus bidyanus||83||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Rohu (carp)⁴||Labio Rohita||49.9||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
|Nile Tilapia⁵||Oreochromis niloticus||82||Omnivorous-fresh water||2|
1Tibbetts et al., 2004.
2Glencross et al., 2004a.
3Allan et al., 2000.
4Hussain et al, 2015.
5Borgeson et al., 2006
The amino acid balance of canola protein is the best of the commercial vegetable protein sources currently available. As Table 9 shows, the essential amino acid index value for canola meal is superior to that of soybean meal, and on par with fish meal (Burel and Kaushik, 2008). Drew (2004) noted that the amino acid profile of canola protein could be compared to minced beef. With the use of protein efficiency ratio (PER; or weight gain per gram of protein fed) as a measure, canola protein has a PER of 3.29 compared to 1.60 for soybean meal and 3.13 for casein (Drew, 2009).
|wdt_ID||Protein source||EAAI||Limiting amino acid(s) for carp and rainbow trout|
|1||Fish whole body protein||97||Threonine|
|3||Whole herring meal||94||Threonine|
|4||Soybean meal||91||Methionine+cystine, threonine, Lysine|
|6||Canola/rapeseed protein concentrate||95||Lysine|
1Burel and Kaushik, 2008
Canola meal provides a rich source of phosphorus, although much of the phosphorus is in the form of phytic acid, which is not available to most farm reared fish. Because of this, many aqua diets are formulated to contain phytase (NRC, 2011), the enzyme necessary to cleave phosphorus from phytic acid and improve the availability of phosphorus. Research also showed that phytase increases the availability of other minerals, including calcium, magnesium and manganese (Cheng and Hardy, 2002; Vandenberg et al., 2011; Hussain et al., 2015), reducing the need for supplementation of these minerals. Recent research by Habib et al. (2018) showed that citric acid, like phytase, is beneficial in releasing minerals from phytic acid.
Canola meal contains small amounts of heat-labile (glucosinolates) and heat-stable (phytic acid, phenolic compounds, tannins, saponins and fibre) anti-nutritional factors (Chapter 2). Glucosinolates appear to be better tolerated by many fish species, carp for example, than by swine and poultry. Canadian canola meal currently contains very limited amounts of remaining glucosinolates (3.2 μmol/g). Several publications have identified upper limits of inclusion of glucosinolates in the diet for fish. The most conservative limit, set at 1.4 μmol/g of diet for trout, would still allow for a relatively high inclusion of canola meal (40%).
Carbohydrates may be considered anti-nutritional for some species and opens the possibility of including carbohydrates in feed formulations. The addition of carbohydrase enzymes in aqua diets has been just briefly studied. In 1997, Buchanan, et al. demonstrated that the addition of a carbohydrase enzyme included in a diet containing canola meal fed to black tiger prawns increased digestibility and growth.
While the presence of anti-nutritional factors in canola requires consideration for its use in some aquaculture diets, canola protein and oil also has significant advantages over the use of fish meal and fish oil, in that canola meal is lower in polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) as well as dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCB). When fish meal and fish oil were completely replaced with canola protein concentrate and canola oil, the levels of PCDD/F and PCBs were significantly reduced in prepared diets (4.06 vs. 0.73 pg/g, as-is basis) and in the fillets (1.10 vs. 0.12 pg/g, as-is basis) of fish fed these diets during a six-month growth trial (Drew, et al., 2007). According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, the recommended maximum human intake of organochlorine contaminant is 14 pg/kg body weight/ week. Based on these levels, a 50-kg person could safely consume 640 g per week of trout fed the fish meal–and-oil diet, compared to 5,880 g per week of the trout fed the canola protein and oil diet. This suggests that decreasing the level of fish meal and oil present in aqua feeds by the use of canola oil and meal could significantly impact the safety of farmed fish and increase consumer acceptance of these products.
Several experiments have been conducted to evaluate canola protein concentrate. Canola meal may be converted into canola protein concentrate (CPC) by aqueous extraction of protein (Burr et al., 2013; Thiessen et al., 2004). CPC contains approximately the same crude protein concentration as fish meal, with a better amino acid profile than corn gluten meal and soybean meal. Collins et al (2012) determined that CPC had no negative effects on growth of rainbow trout when compared to fish meal.
Extrusion of diets for fish is common. Results are mixed for the effects of extrusion on the digestibility of canola meal. Burel et al. (2000) determined that extruded rapeseed meal had no effect on dry matter or protein digestibility for rainbow trout but improved digestibility of dry matter and protein for turbot, relative to solvent extracted meal. Dry matter digestibility was reduced with extrusion when fed to silver perch. Satoh et al. (1998) determined that extrusion increased digestibility for Chinook salmon. Extrusion conditions may need to be determined by species.
Canola meal is a common feed ingredient in salmon and trout diets, although inclusion is limited due to several factors, mainly the high protein requirements of salmonids and the presence of heat-stable anti-nutritional factors. Collins et al. (2013) completed a metaanalysis of various vegetable protein ingredients fed to salmonids to determine impact of inclusion rate. Thirty data points from 12 studies were used to assess the effect of canola meal inclusion in rainbow trout diets. Overall, inclusion rates of up to 20% did not affect fish growth rate significantly.
Canola meal is increasingly used in aquaculture diets for species such as catfish, carp, tilapia, bass, perch, sea bream, and turbot. Lim, et al. (1997) found that canola meal can be included in channel catfish diets at up to 31% with no negative effects on performance. Van Minh et al. (2013) fed pangasius catfish 30% canola meal with great performance results. Canola meal and rapeseed meal are also commonly included in carp diets, which are frequently vegetable protein based (Cai et al., 2013). Veiverberg et al. (2010) replaced meat and bone meal with canola meal in diets for juvenile grass carp, and found no difference in growth rate or feed conversion. Fillet yield was higher with the canola meal diet than with the control.
Tilapia are commonly given diets containing canola meal. AbdulAziz, et al. (1999) fed up to 25% canola meal in tilapia diets with no effect on performance. Fangfang et al. (2014) demonstrated 30% inclusion in tilapia with no impact on growth performance. In another study, Luo et al. (2012) replaced 75% of the fish meal in diets for Nile tilapia (55% of the diet) with canola meal, and observed no adverse effects on growth performance. While some changes in liver enzyme levels were apparent, the authors concluded that up to 75% of the fish meal can be replaced with canola meal, devoid of any harmful effects. Palatability may need to be taken into account when using canola meal in diets for tilapia. Yigit and Olmez (2012) found that intakes and growth rates were reduced when canola meal was substituted for more than 10% of the fish meal in the diet. Mohammadi et al (2016) likewise found that there were no differences in protein efficiency ratio (PER) and feed efficiency for diets containing up to 40% canola meal, but intakes and weight gains were reduced at both 20 and 40% inclusion levels. This suggests that the diets were nutritionally adequate, but failed to entice the fish to consume them. Feed attractants may be beneficial.
Several species of carp are reared for food throughout the world, and more information on the feeding requirements of these species is being researched. Jiang et al. (2015) determined that grass carp grew well with diets containing 30% canola meal, 20% soybean meal and 10% cottonseed meal, provided the diets were supplemented with lysine and methionine. Fish meal could be totally replaced with a combination of rapeseed meal and chlorella algae (Shi et al., 2017), suggesting that similar results might be expected with canola meal. Habib et al (2018) included phytase or citrate in canola meal diets for rohu, and determined that both options improved the digestibility of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and magnesium, allowing lower supplementation of these minerals. Rohu given canola meal as their protein source had higher growth rates than those given cottonseed meal, rapeseed meal, soybean meal or fish meal (Iqbal et al., 2015).
There were similar findings with other fish species. Glencross (2003) found that canola meal could comprise up to 60% of the diet for red sea bream without detrimental effects on performance. Growth rates were not different from the fish meal control when sunshine bass were given diets with 20% canola meal, although feed conversion ratio was elevated (Webster et al., 2000), Hung and Van Minh (2013) demonstrated that canola meal could replace soybean meal at a level of 20% inclusion in the diets of snakehead fish without any negative impacts on performance.
Canola meal has been successfully used in diets for shrimp and prawns in many parts of the world. In an older study conducted in China, Lim, et al. (1998) found that 15% canola meal in shrimp diets resulted in no significant performance differences, but that 30% and 45% inclusion levels resulted in growth rate and feed intake depression. Since then, knowledge related to the nutrient requirements of these species has been gained.
Research conducted in Mexico (Cruz-Suarez et al., 2001) revealed that canola meal can be incorporated into the diet at 30%, replacing fish meal, soybean meal and wheat, with no alteration in performance of juvenile blue shrimp. In Malaysia, researchers found that canola meal alone could be used to replace 20% of the fish meal without altering performance. The same researchers (Bulbul et al, 2016) determined that a mixture of canola meal and soybean meal (40:60) could be used to fully replace fish meal in diets for kumura shrimp provided an attractant was applied to the meal. Researchers in Australia (Buchanan et al., 1997) fed prawns diets with 0, 20 or 64% canola meal. Results indicated that an enzyme cocktail was required for the higher level of canola meal to produce growth rates equivalent to the control diet without canola meal. Safari et al. (2014) found that ground canola seed was a promising ingredient for crayfish. A non-nutritional concern about using canola meal in shrimp feeds is the negative effect that the fibre has on feed pellet water stability. A pellet binder may be needed to compensate for this effect.
With the high demand for commercially reared fish and crustaceans, there is a shortage of fish oil, and this is expected to increase in the future. Replacement of fish oil with vegetable oils has been widely documented, generally with very little impact on growth performance of fish (Glencross and Turchini, 2011). According to Turchini et al. (2013), canola oil and rapeseed oil are the most widely used vegetable oils in diets for salmon and trout.
Canola oil is highly desired due to its low levels of the linoleic acid (omega 6) fatty acid, helping to maintain an omega 3:omega 6 ratio naturally found in fish. Turchini et al. (2013) replaced up to 90% of the fish oil with canola oil in diets for rainbow trout, with no loss in performance, and only minimal change to the total omega 3:omega 6 ratio in fillets. Similarly, Karayücel, and Dernekbaşi (2010) found no differences in performance when 100% of the supplemental lipid was provided by canola oil in rainbow trout. Another approach to using vegetable oil is to provide it in diets during the growth phase, and then provide diets high in fish oil during the final stages of growth. This allows fish to grow on the less expensive oils, and to deposit tissue lipid more reflective of fish in the final stages of growth. Izquierdo, et al. (2005) provided sea bream with vegetable oil–rich diets, then switched to fish oil for the finishing period. Canola oil fed during the growth phase, followed by fish oil in the finishing phase, allowed the sea bream to develop an ideal fatty acid profile in tissue, whereas fish fed soybean meal in the growth phase deposited significant amounts of linoleic acid that could not be adequately reduced during fish oil feeding in the finisher phase.
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