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Rapeseed meal


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
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, called canola meal in North America, Australia and some other countries, is the by-product of the extraction of oil from rapeseed (Brassica napus L., Brassica rapa L. and Brassica juncea L., and their crosses). It is a protein-rich ingredient that is widely used to feed all classes of livestock. Worldwide production of rapeseed meal is second only to soybean meal (USDA, 2016). Rapeseed oil used to have a poor reputation due to the presence of erucic acid, which has a bitter taste and was later found to cause health problems. The use of rapeseed meal as an animal feed was also limited by the presence of glucosinolates, which are antinutritional factors detrimental to animal performance. In the 1960-1970s, low-erucic varieties ("0") and low-erucic, low-glucosinolate varieties ("00", double-zero, double low, canola) were developed, allowing rapeseed oil to become a major food oil, and rapeseed meal and rapeseeds to grow in importance as fed to livestock. The first 00 varieties were introduced commercially in Canada in the mid-1970s. In some countries, such as France, 00 varieties became commercially available in the late 1980s (Doré et al., 2006). Low-erucic, low-glucosinolate varieties are now the main types grown worldwide for edible oil, biofuel, industrial oil and lubricants. There are also high-erucic varieties grown for specific industrial purposes (FAO, 2014Snowdon, 2006). While solvent-extracted rapeseed meal remains the main type of rapeseed meal commercially available, oil-rich rapeseed meals obtained by mechanical pressure have gained popularity since the turn of the century with the development of organic farming and on-farm oil production.

Note: the name "canola" was originally a trademark licensed by the Canadian Canola Council and referred to low erucic/low glucosinolate varieties developed in Canada (Casséus, 2009). It is now used as a generic term for 00 varieties in North America, Australia and other countries. In this datasheet the term "rapeseed"  is used to describe 00 varieties and canola varieties, except when otherwise specified, because 00 varieties have become the standard in animal feeding. For the same reason, the name "canola" is used in this datasheet only when the source of the information actually refers to rapeseed meal marketed or described under the name "canola meal".


Global rapeseed meal production was 38.8 million t in 2018 which is slightly lower than in 2015-2016 (39.1 million t) (USDA, 2016). In 2018, the main producer of rapeseed meal was the European Union (12.8 million t), followed by China (9.6 million t), Canada (5.3 million t) and India (4.0 million t). The main users of rapeseed meal were the EU, China, North America (USA and Canada), and India (IndexMundi, 2019; FAO, 2016Oil World, 2015).


Solvent-extracted rapeseed meal

Rapeseeds contain 40-45% oil and yield about 55-60% oil meal when fully extracted by crushing followed by solvent extraction (see figure above). The 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 (hexane) of the press-cake to remove the remainder of the oil, desolventizing and toasting (Newkirk, 2009). Temperature is one of the main factors affecting the quality of rapeseed meal (see Nutritional attributes on the "Nutritional aspects" tab). Solvent-extracted rapeseed meal should not contain more than 2-3% oil.

Expeller or cold-extracted rapeseed meal

  • Expeller rapeseed meal results from the mechanical extraction of seeds previously conditioned by a heat treatment. It is also called rapeseed press-cake, canola press-cake or double-pressed canola (Newkirk, 2009).
  • Cold-extracted press-cake: with the growing interest of consumers for cold-pressed rapeseed oil, another process consisting in pressing the seeds at low temperature (60°C) yields cold-pressed rapeseed press-cake (Leming et al., 2005).

These types of rapeseed meal may contain highly variable amounts of residual oil, usually more than 5% and up to 20% or more. They are particularly valuable in organic farming (where the use of hexane is prohibited) as a source of protein.

Heat treatments

Heating deactivates myrosinase, the enzyme that breaks glucosinolates into toxic aglycones, and results in their 30-70% degradation (Daun et al., 1997). High temperatures affect protein quality, which is deleterious to monogastrics as it reduces amino acid digestibility (Newkirk, 2009; Newkirk et al., 2003), but beneficial to ruminants as it reduces rumen protein degradability (Cetiom, 2001). However, excessive heat processing of rapeseed meal suppressed phytate degradation in the rumen and led to lower availability of dietary phosphorus (Konishi et al., 1999). Steam treatment also reduced protein digestibility in poultry (Cetiom, 2001). Overheating may occur during desolventizing and temperatures should not be higher than 100°C (Cetiom, 2001). Cold-pressed rapeseed meal may contain higher amounts of glucosinolates than solvent-extracted meal as glucosinolates need heat for their degradation and subsequent deactivation of myrosinase.


Rapeseed meal is relatively rich in fibre and removing the hull fraction results in a meal containing more protein and less fibre, thus improving its digestibility and nutritional value, particularly for monogastric animals (Skiba et al., 1999). The production of high-protein, low-fibre rapeseed meal has been extensively studied since the late 1970s and many technologies have been tested. Some consist in removing the hulls before oil extraction (cracking and air-classification, crushing seeds directly on a hard surface or in the gap between two rotating rolls) while other separate the hulls after extraction (air-classification, liquid cyclone fractionation)(Rekas et al., 2017). Dehulling of rapeseed prior to oil pressing allows to maintain the screw press temperature below 40°C, while oil extraction from dehulled rapeseeds enables recovery of most of the oil from kernel. Oil produced from dehulled seeds has better sensory characteristics (milder taste and flavour, bright yellowish colour, and lower content of waxes) (Rekas et al., 2017). However, dehulling has some important drawbacks, particularly a lower profitability (additional cost of the process, loss of oil in the hull fraction, limited market interest in the dehulled meal or in the hulls). For those reasons, rapeseed dehulling is still not widely used in large-scale oil mills. For instance, a dehulling process was implemented industrially in France in the 1980s, but abandoned after a few years for technical and economic reasons (Carré et al., 2016).

Since the 2000s, the search for plant-based protein sources other than soybean has sparked renewed interest in rapeseed dehulling and new technologies are being investigated (Carré et al., 2016; Martinez-Soberanes et al., 2017; Rekas et al., 2017). A process developed in EU Feed-a-Gene project consists in applying tail-end fractionation to the meal obtained after crushing. Using a plantsifter, the meal is separated into a high-protein fraction and a low-protein fraction (Bach Knudsen, 2018).

Enzyme treatments

There have been several attempts at improving nutrient availability by reducing the encapsulating effect of the cell wall through the use of enzymes. Tests with phytases have been positive in poultry, as the use of microbial phytase increased significantly P utilization in broilers and laying hens. Many experiences have been inconclusive for NSP-degrading enzymes, perhaps due to the fact that the tested enzymes had been developed for in cereal grains rather than for rapeseed products (Kozlowski et al., 2014), but some have been more positive (Fang et al., 2009).

Addition of processing by-products

By-products of rapeseed processing are sometimes added back into the meal, notably in Canada. Adding gums, which mostly consist of phospholipids, and soapstocks, which are oil-rich components, increases the energy content of the meal and reduces dustiness. Screenings and foreign materials decrease meal quality (Newkirk, 2009).

Environmental impact 

Rapeseed meal from genetically-modified (GM) seeds

GM rapeseed cultivars have been developed and are widely used in Canada (95% of the crops) and in the USA (82%) (GMO Compass, 2010). In the European Union, the cultivation of GM rapeseed crops is banned but the seeds, oil and oil meal resulting from the cultivation of certain cultivars can be imported and used as feed and food (EFSA, 2009European Commission, 2003). The harmonisation of GM rapeseed labelling has been recommended so that livestock farmers can make an informed choice, but no compulsory labelling is required for animal products from livestock fed GM oilseed rape products (European Commission, 2003).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Rapeseed meal is often included in the diets of several species of livestock because of its high protein content (35-44% of DM). It is often fed as a substitute for soybean meal. Rapeseed protein is poorer in lysine than soybean (5.5% vs. 6.3% of the crude protein) but is richer in sulphur-containing amino acids (sum of methionine + cysteine: 4.3% vs. 3% of the crude protein). Rapeseeds are small and contain about 18-21% hulls, and the oil meal contains about 30% hulls (Mejicanos et al., 2016Carré et al., 2016). Thus rapeseed meal has a relatively high fibre content, crude fibre being between 10-18% of DM, which is higher than the crude fibre content of all types of soybean meals, but lower than that of other oil meals such as sunflower meal. Its lignin content is also high (about 10% of DM), whereas the lignin content of soybean meal is usually lower than 1%. The low lysine and high fibre content tends to limit the use of rapeseed meal in monogastric and fish species (Bell, 1993Royer et al., 2011; Newkirk, 2009). Feeding pigs and poultry with rapeseed meal as their only source of supplementary protein often results in lower animal performance (Fan et al., 1996). Solvent-extracted rapeseed meal contains small amounts of residual oil (about 3% DM). Canadian solvent-extracted canola meal may have a higher oil content due to the reintroduction of gums and soapstocks into the meal during processing (Newkirk, 2009). 

Rapeseed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (60% C18:1 oleic acid, 21% C18:2 linoleic acid and 10% C18:3 linolenic acid), which makes it valuable for human and animal diets (Blair, 2011). In Australia, a comparison of the fatty acid profile of the residual oil expeller and solvent-extracted meals showed significant differences between them: solvent-extracted meal tended to have a lower proportion of oleic acid than expeller meal (54 vs. 59%) and a higher proportion of linoleic acid (25 vs. 22%) (Spragg et al., 2007). The following table shows the differences between Canadian canola meal and French 00 rapeseed meal for 2011-2013 and 2014, respectively.

Table 1: Nutritional values of Canadian canola meal and French rapeseed meal

Values on a 12% moisture basis Canada (CCC, 2015) France (Peyronnet et al., 2014)
Crude protein % 36.7 33.4
Crude fibre % 11.2 14.0
Ether extract % 3.3 2.8
Glucosinolates µmol/g 4.2 6.9

Expeller and cold-pressed rapeseed meals

Rapeseed meal obtained by mechanical pressure only has extremely variable quantities of oil, usually between 7-15% but sometimes as high as 20% of DM, resulting in a higher energy value than solvent-extracted meal. Cold-pressed rapeseed meal usually has a higher oil content than expeller rapeseed meal (Skiba et al., 1999; Grageola et al., 2013). Lysine availability was found to be higher in cold-pressed rapeseed meal than in expeller meal, indicating less heat damage (Grageola et al., 2013). Glucosinolates tended to be higher in expeller and cold-pressed rapeseed meal as myrosinase was not, or less, deactivated than in solvent-extracted meal (Skiba et al., 1999). However, another study found cold-pressed meal to have a much lower glucosinolate content, below the maximum level tolerated for optimal pig growth (Grageola et al., 2013).


Dehulling has been shown to improve the nutritional value of rapeseed meal (Baidoo et al., 1985). Dehulling reduced fibre content and increased amino acid and nutrient digestibility in pigs (de Lange et al., 1998), but did not affect the rumen disappearance of amino acids in ruminants (Mustafa et al., 1997). 

Potential constraints 

Oil rapeseeds used to have a high content of erucic acid and glucosinolates that are of concern for animal and human health, but those problems have been eliminated or largely reduced through traditional genetic selection since the 1970s (Przybylski et al., 2005; Pinochet et al., 2012; Snowdon, 2006).

Erucic acid

Erucic acid (cis 13-docosenoic acid, 22:1n-9) used to be a major component of rapeseed oil (up to 50% in earlier cultivars). Erucic acid causes a bitter taste and has adverse effects on heart health and animal performance that were demonstrated in early studies with rats, ducklings, poultry, and pigs. This concern led to the development of low-erucic cultivars ("0") in the 1970s, and by 2005 most rapeseed oil produced worldwide contained less than 2% of erucic acid (Snowdon, 2006; Przybylski et al., 2005). The content in erucic acid of foods is now regulated: in Canada, canola oil must contain less than 2% erucic acid (CCC, 2014); in the EU the fat content of foodstuffs must contain less than 5% erucic acid (less than 1% for infant formulae) (EFSA, 2016).

However, the scientific consensus on erucic acid has softened since the 1970s. An extensive literature review (EFSA, 2016) found that while a high intake of erucic acid does result in myocardial lipidosis in pigs and rats, this lipidosis regresses after animals return to a low-fat diet without erucic acid. For pigs, a NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level) of 700 mg/kg BW per day was identified. For dairy cows, a reduction in feed intake and milk yield by dairy cows was reported at an intake of 0.4 g erucic acid/kg BW per day from rapeseed meal. In fish, rabbits and horses, no conclusion could be drawn due to the limited studies available. The most severe effects were observed in poultry: high-erucic diets resulted in growth retardation, cardiac lipidosis, and other adverse effects on health and production. A LOAEL (lowest observed adverse effect level) of 0.02 g/kg BW per day was defined, and a health risk exists in poultry when maximum inclusion rates are applied. It is important to note that, in all livestock species, it is difficult to distinguish the adverse effects of erucic acid from those of other dietary factors such as glucosinolates. Still, erucic acid remains a concern, as dietary erucic acid is transferred to products of animal origin and a dose-related increase in erucic acid in food of animal origin has been shown. As of 2019, the question of the toxicity of erucic acid for livestock remains elusive.

Since the late 1990s, high-erucic acid rapeseed (HEAR) cultivars are grown for niche industrial purposes to produce erucamide (an additive in polyethylene and polypropylene manufacture and a surfactant) and behenic acid (Snowdon, 2006; Tonin, 2018).


Glucosinolates are a family of sulphur-rich glucosides that are characteristic of Brassicaceae plants. The hydrolyzed products of glucosinolates (isothiocyanates and other sulphur-containing compounds) give a pungent and bitter taste to the oil that is often enjoyed by humans (mustard) but tends to reduce the palatability of brassica products for livestock, affecting feed intake (Przybylski et al., 2005). Glucosinolates also interfere with iodine metabolism. In monogastrics, they cause physiological disorders in the liver, kidneys, and thyroid glands, and, as a consequence, reduce growth and performance. Mortality can increase, especially in laying hens, due to hemorrhagic liver syndrome (Fenwick, 1982).

Since the 1970s, glucosinolates have been mostly bred out of rapeseed cultivars, though not eliminated. Modern 00 rapeseed/canola cultivars have very low levels of glucosinolates. In Canada, canola oil must contain less than 30 µmoles of glucosinolates per gram of air-dried oil-free meal (CCC, 2014). The glucosinolate content of rapeseeds has been declining steadily, and is now often below 10 µmol/g vs. 120 µmol/g for former non-00 cultivars (Peyronnet et al., 2014; Khajali et al., 2012). Surveys conducted since 2010 reported averages of 3.9 µmol/g (Canadian canola meal), and 10 µmol/g (French rapeseed meal) (Mejicanos et al., 2016). The use of rapeseed meal in pigs and poultry diets can now be increased without affecting feed intake or the physiological functions of livestock (Cetiom, 2001). In poultry the limitation is not due to glucosinolates but to the high fibre content (Cetiom, 2001).


Tannins are phenolic compounds that bind with various compounds, including proteins, making them less available to the animal (Bell, 1993). In rapeseeds, 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 seeds were reasonably well digested. This was attributed to a lower tannin and lignin content in the brighter seeds (Bell et al., 1982). Lighter varieties of rapeseeds were reported to contain less tannins ("000" varieties) (Auger et al., 2010). Some breeding programmes aim at reducing the thickness of the seed coat, and thus the level of tannins (Lipsa et al., 2012). Dehulled rapeseed meal and rapeseed meal from light-coloured varieties may thus have a lower tannin content.

Phytic acid

The phosphorus of rapeseed meal is mostly in the form of phytic acid, with a phytic P:total P ratio comprised in the range of 67-95% (Selle et al., 2003; Spragg et al., 2007). Phytic acid binds to cations such as Zn, Ca, and Fe, thus reducing their bioavailability (Mejicanos et al., 2016).

Sinapine and choline

Rapeseed meal contains about 1% sinapine, an alkaloidal amine found in the seeds of Brassica species including rape. Sinapine is a choline ester converted into trimethylamine by the micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract of birds. Trimethylamine is then converted by an enzyme into an odourless form later excreted through urine. Hens with brown-shelled eggs lack that enzyme and, in these breeds, trimethylamine accumulates in the egg, causing them to have a fishy taste (Newkirk, 2009; Bell, 1993). The amount of rapeseeds should thus be limited for this category of layers (Pickard, 2005). All sources of choline (choline chloride and sinapine from canola meal) can be transformed in trimethylamine, but the tainting effect of rapeseed meal seemed to override the one with choline chloride (Wang et al., 2013; Ward et al., 2009). Sinapine also reduces palatability and has a depressing effect on feed consumption (Mejicanos et al., 2016).


Rapeseed meal is a common feed ingredient for all classes of ruminant livestock, as a source of protein and energy (see CCC, 2015 for an exhaustive literature review). Due to its lower protein content, higher fibre and higher protein degradability, rapeseed meal is often considered of significantly lower value than soybean meal. However, several meta-analysis of dairy cattle studies (Huhtanen et al., 2011; Martineau et al., 2013; Martineau et al., 2014) concluded that both the energy and the protein value of rapeseed meal were higher than previously thought (Evans et al., 2016).


Rapeseed meal is a highly palatable source of protein for ruminant animals. In dairy cows, replacing soybean meal with rapeseed meal maintained intake (with 20% rapeseed meal; Maxin et al., 2013), or increased intake (with 9% rapeseed meal; Broderick et al., 2014). Substituting 20% rapeseed meal for high-protein maize distillers grains maintained intake (Swanepoel et al., 2014). In beef cattle, diets with 10% rapeseed meal resulted in a higher intake than diets based on maize distillers grains or wheat distillers grains (Li et al., 2013). In finishing cattle, diets containing 30% expeller or solvent-extracted rapeseed meal did not cause intake issues (He et al., 2013). In calves, feed intake was similar for diets containing 00 rapeseed meal and those containing soybean meal. However, intake was reduced for calves fed a diet with a high-glucosinolate rapeseed meal (more than 100 µmol/g) (Ravichandiran et al., 2008). In dairy calves, using flavouring agents was found unnecessary when feeding a diet containing rapeseed meal (Terré et al., 2014). Preweaning calves offered low-protein starter pellets and either rapeseed meal or soybean meal consumed more soybean pellets than rapeseed pellets (Miller-Cushon et al., 2014).

Nutritional value

Digestibility and energy value

Rapeseed meal is a good source of energy for ruminants. For solvent-extracted rapeseed meal, the net energy values for lactation cited in feed tables range from 6.8 to 7.45 MJ/kg DM (NRC, 2001; Sauvant et al., 2004; NorFor, 2016). These correspond roughly to 80% of the net energy value for soybean meal. OM digestibility is about 74-77%. However, it has been suggested that the fibre digestibility of rapeseed meal may be undervalued (CCC, 2015). Some experiments have shown than rapeseed meal can result in dairy performance similar to that obtained with soybean meal (Brito et al., 2007b). Further research is needed to determine the correct energy value of rapeseed meal (CCC, 2015). Expeller and cold-pressed rapeseed meals have a higher energy value than solvent-extracted meal because of the higher amount of residual oil.

Protein value

Rapeseed meal is a common source of protein for ruminants. Its protein has long been considered as more degradable than that of soybean, but estimates of rumen-undegraded protein (RUP), made using newer methods taking into account the contribution of the soluble-protein fraction to the RUP available to the animal, suggest that the RUP (expressed as a % of protein) of rapeseed meal is in the 40-56% range, compared to 27-45% for soybean meal (CCC, 2015).

Amino acid value

Rapeseed meal has a good amino acid profile for ruminants, and contributes a significant amount of methionine, which is often the first limiting amino acid in production. In addition, the amino acid profile of the RUP fraction more closely matches requirements for maintenance and milk than other vegetable proteins (CCC, 2015).

Dairy cattle

Solvent-extracted rapeseed meal

Rapeseed meal is an excellent protein supplement for lactating dairy cows and can be included in relatively large amounts to their diet. Inclusion rates as high as 20% have been reported with no negative effect on intake and production (Brito et al., 2007b; Swanepoel et al., 2014). A meta-analysis of 122 studies comparing rapeseed meal to soybean meal found that for each additional kg of protein supplied in the diet, milk production increased by 3.4 kg with rapeseed meal, and 2.4 kg with soybean meal, showing a 1 kg advantage to the rapeseed meal (Huhtanen et al., 2011). Another meta-analysis of 49 studies comparing rapeseed meal with other protein sources found that at the average level of inclusion, rapeseed meal increased milk yield by 1.4 kg when all the other ingredients were considered, but only by 0.7 kg when rapeseed meal was substituted for soybean meal (Martineau et al., 2013). A follow-up of the latter study focused on plasma amino acids suggested that feeding rapeseed meal increased the absorption of essential amino acids, resulting in higher milk protein secretion and, thus, higher protein efficiency (Martineau et al., 2014). Rapeseed meal was effectively used in combination with maize distillers grains to restore amino acid balance and maximise animal performance (Mulrooney et al., 2009; Swanepoel et al., 2014). Blends of rapeseed meal and wheat distillers grains have also been shown to support high levels of milk production (Chibisa et al., 2012; Chibisa et al., 2013). A comparison between rapeseed meal and wheat distillers grain resulted in similar dairy performances (Mutsvangwa, 2014a; Mutsvangwa, 2014b).

Expeller and cold-pressed rapeseed meal

Expeller or cold-pressed rapeseed meal is a suitable ingredient for dairy cattle. When compared to solvent-extracted rapeseed meal, expeller rapeseed meal resulted in similar or higher milk yields (Beaulieu et al., 1990; Hristov et al., 2011; Jones et al., 2001). Cold-pressed rapeseed meal is a valuable energy and protein source in organic diets (where solvent-extracted meals are forbidden). Furthermore it could increase milk production when replacing a commercial protein supplement (Johansson et al., 2006). Due to its high oil content, the feeding of expeller rapeseed meal tends to modify the fatty acid profile of milk by reducing saturated fat, increasing the level of oleic acid (C18:1) and decreasing the level of palmitic acid (C16:0) (Jones et al., 2001; Hristov et al., 2011).

Growing cattle

Rapeseed meal is a suitable protein source for growing and finishing cattle. In post-weaning beef calves, a comparison of rapeseed meal and legume seeds (field peas, chickpeas and lentils) showed that the rapeseed meal diet resulted in a lower daily gain and in a higher feed:gain ratio (Anderson et al., 2004). In dairy calves, rapeseed meal and soybean meal resulted in similar DM intakes and daily gains (Terré et al., 2014). In heifers, a comparison of rapeseed meal and several types of wheat or maize distillers grains showed that all ingredients improved performance and increased DM intake, while total tract digestibility of OM and NDF was highest with rapeseed meal (Li et al., 2013). In dairy heifers fed diets containing either soybean meal or rapeseed meal, pregnancy rates were higher for the heifers given rapeseed meal during prepubertal development, than for those receiving soybean meal (Gordon et al., 2012). In steers, a similar study found that rapeseed meal improved intake and daily weight gain compared to those fed distillers grain (Yang et al., 2013). Supplementing grass silage with rapeseed meal increased weight gains in growing beef steers. With finishing steers, it increased daily gains and reduced the number of days of feeding required (Petit et al., 1994). In finishing cattle, 15 or 30% expeller or solvent-extracted rapeseed meal gave similar average daily gains but the 30% rapeseed diet reduced feed efficiency (He et al., 2013).

Beef cows

In grazing beef cows, protein supplementation with either rapeseed meal, sunflower meal or cull beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) resulted in similar calf birth weights, calf weaning weights and cow body condition change, whereas weight loss during gestation was lowest with rapeseed meal (Patterson et al., 1999). Grazing beef cows produced more milk when rapeseed meal was partially substituted for wheat (Auldist et al., 2014).


Rapeseed meal has been shown to support growth in sheep. In growing lambs, rapeseed meal was found superior to lupins for weight gain and feed efficiency (Wiese et al., 2003; Malau-Aduli et al., 2009). In lambs fed high-roughage diets, supplementation of hay or silage diets with rapeseed meal or fish meal improved daily gains and feed efficiency, with the rapeseed meal appearing to be as effective as fish meal (Agbossamey et al., 1998). In lambs fed diets containing up to 30% rapeseed meal, there were no effects on weight gain or feed intake, despite the fact that thyroid hormone production was lower at the higher inclusion levels (Mandiki et al., 1999).

Because of its methionine content, rapeseed meal is an ideal supplement for the production of wool and mohair (Reis et al., 1990).


Rapeseed meal is a high-quality, high-protein feed ingredient for pigs. However, compared to soybean meal, the lower lysine content, the lower amino acid availability and the higher fibre content and lower energy value (about 80% that of soybean meal) of rapeseed meal make it less valuable for pigs (Bell, 1993; Aherne et al., 1985; Thacker, 1990). Rapeseed meal is a better source of calcium, selenium and zinc than soybean meal, but a poorer source of potassium and copper. Its high phytic acid and fibre contents reduce the availability of many mineral elements (Blair, 2007). Rapeseed meal is a good source of vitamins (choline, niacin, riboflavin and biotin). In the past glucosinolates limited the use of rapeseed meal in pig diets (Blair, 2007). An estimate of the tolerable level of glucosinolates in the total diet of pigs is 2.4-2.5 µmol/g (Schöne et al., 1997a; Schöne et al., 1997b; Bell, 1990). Palatability of rapeseed meal is a limiting factor for pigs (Frederick et al., 2014; Bell, 1993).

Solvent-extracted rapeseed meal

The response of pigs of all ages to rapeseed meal inclusion in the diet is generally favourable. It must be noted that recommendations established in the 1980-1990s were often conservative (e.g. 5% in starter diets, 10% for sows and finishers, and 15% for growing pigs), as they were based on early studies with meals containing significant amounts of glucosinolates (Lewis et al., 2001). Recent studies show that rapeseed meal, from modern 00 cultivars, is much better tolerated by pigs.


Rapeseed meal was included in piglet diets at up to 15-20% (DM basis) without compromising growth performance, organ weights, bone ash or blood parameters (Peñuela Sierra et al., 2015; Parr et al., 2015; Royer et al., 2011).

Growing pigs

It used to be recommended to include rapeseed meal in grower diets to supply up to 50% of the protein requirements, but recent studies have shown that it is possible to use 100% rapeseed meal as the protein source in these diets. Using rapeseed meal as the sole protein source had no effect on feed intake and growth performance of growing pigs (Roth-Maier et al., 2004). When pig diets (growing or finishing pigs) were formulated in order to get the same amount of digestible lysine from rapeseed meal or soybean meal, growth performance and carcass quality were similar (Raj et al., 2000; Siljander-Rasi et al., 1996).

Fattening pigs

In fattening pigs, rapeseed meal completely replaced soybean meal without significant changes in growth performance, visceral mass, carcass characteristics, fresh meat quality, or carcass cutability, provided that the diets were formulated to contain similar quantities of standardized ileal digestible amino acids (Little et al., 2015; Rojo-Gomez et al., 2001). In France, fattening pigs were fed up to 18% rapeseed meal and 40% peas as protein sources in order to totally replace soybean meal (Royer et al., 2005).


In sows, it is important to limit the level of glucosinolates in order to prevent reproductive problems. Sow diets containing up to 10% rapeseed meal during lactation and gestation had no deleterious effect on sow health, reproductive performance (including hyperprolific sows) and piglet growth (Quiniou et al., 2014; King et al., 2001; Jost, 1996; Thacker, 1990; Aherne et al., 1985; Flipot et al., 1977). Rapeseed meal had a positive effect on feed intake during lactation (King et al., 2001). Heat treatment (103°C) of rapeseed meal improved palatability and increased feed intake compared to untreated rapeseed meal (Jost, 1996).

Expeller and cold-pressed meals

Expeller and cold-pressed rapeseed meals have a high oil content and are, therefore, rich in energy (Blair, 2007). However, such meals may still contain too many glucosinolates (due to myrosinase activity) to allow the meal to be incorporated into pig diets at maximum levels. It is recommended to set more conservative limits for expeller and cold-pressed rapeseed meal than for traditional solvent-extracted rapeseed meal (Blair, 2007). In France, a comparison of cold-pressed and heat-pressed rapeseed meals, both solvent extracted, found that the former had a higher energy digestibility (+10 percentage points) and digestible energy value (13.6 vs. 11.8 MJ/kg DM) (Skiba et al., 1999). In Canada, expeller canola meal fed up to 22.5% of the diet to growing pigs provided adequate energy and amino acids. However, it resulted in lower feed intake, and daily gain was reduced by 3 g/d per percent of canola meal inclusion. This was possibly due to increased dietary glucosinolates, and resulted in a three-day delay in reaching slaughter weight, even with a diet formulated to provide adequate net energy and digestible amino acids. It was suggested to limit expeller rapeseed meal to 22.5% of the diet during the first 50 days of the growing period and to 18% during the next 40 days (Seneviratne et al., 2010). In Australia, a cold-pressed canola meal (glucosinolates 10.5 mmol/kg oil-free DM basis) included in growing-finishing pig diets, as a replacement for sweet lupin, reduced performance and caused thyroid hypertrophy when included above 15% (Mullan et al., 2000). In Canada, with 6-7 kg weaned piglets, including increasing levels of expeller canola meal linearly decreased the digestibility of energy, DM and protein. It was suggested to limit expeller rapeseed meal inclusion to 20% in piglet diets (Landero et al., 2012; Seneviratne et al., 2011).


Rapeseed meal is used as a protein source in poultry diets as an alternative to soybean meal. However, its nutritional quality for poultry is usually lower than soybean meal, due to lower protein and amino acid contents, lower amino acid digestibilities (particularly when the meal is overheated and undergoes a Maillard reaction) and a higher fibre content, which is inversely related to the metabolizable energy value of rapeseed meal, which is 10 to 15% lower than that of soybean meal (Newkirk et al., 2003; Anderson-Hafermann et al., 1993). Products resulting from a Maillard reaction during processing are responsible for these low values. Tannins might also reduce amino acid digestibility (Khajali et al., 2012). Rapeseed meal compares favourably with soybean meal for sulphur-containing amino acids and these two meals tend to complement each other (Newkirk et al., 2003; Anderson-Hafermann et al., 1993). The use of dietary enzymes in poultry feeds containing rapeseed meal may improve digestion, but results are not completely conclusive (CCC, 2015).

Antinutritional factors


Dietary inclusion of rapeseed meal from modern 00 and canola varieties in poultry diets should not exceed 20% in broilers and 15% in layers, so that the total glucosinolate content is lower than 2-4 μmol/g. Higher levels of glucosinlates have been linked to performance decrease (Tripathi et al., 2007).


Rapeseed meal fed to sensitive layers was reported to cause a fishy taint when the inclusion rate was higher than 12% of the diet, which is above the levels recommended for layers (Hy-Line International, 2010). No off-flavours have been detected in the carcass.


Generally, recommended levels of rapeseed meal do not go beyond 20%. However, in Australia, rapeseed meal from very low glucosinolate varieties could be included in starting chicks diets at levels ranging from 20 to 30%, and up to 30% for finishing chicks. The recommended inclusion rate of rapeseed meal in the diet also reduced bird abdominal fat percentage and intestinal viscosity, without affecting liver and pancreas weight (Perez-Maldonado, 2003). In Pakistan, up to 25% rapeseed meal was incorporated in broiler diets without any adverse effect on production parameters (Naseem et al., 2006). In India, rapeseed meal was included at up to 30% in broiler diets without any adverse effects on health and performance (Ramesh et al., 2006).

The use of dehulled rapeseed meal, eiter by dehulling before crushing or by tail-end dehulling has led to inconclusive results. In a study in Pakistan where broilers were given diets containing rapeseed meal (25% of diet protein), dry heating or dehulling did not result in significant performance increase, though dehulling gave a better FCR (Zeb et al., 2002). In China, broilers fed dehulled rapeseed meal (20 and 21.5% in growth and finishing phases respectively) diets had a higher growth rate, feed efficiency and lower feed intake than those fed hulled rapeseed meal (22.5 and 23.5% in growth and finishing phases respectively) diets during the overall phase (Fang et al., 2009). In Canada, tail-end dehulled canola meal included at 10 to 30% in broiler diets had no effect on gain and feed consumption, but improved the feed:gain ratio (Clark et al., 2001). Dehulling was found to improve amino acid digestibility and energy values (Zuprizal et al., 1991a; Zuprizal et al., 1991b; Zuprizal et al., 1993; Clark et al., 2001).

Laying hens

Recommended levels of inclusion in laying hens used to be restricted in the range of 4-10% of the diet (Perez-Maldonado, 2003). However, recent results reported that higher inclusion levels are possible without hampering health and performance (CCC, 2015). In Canada, both solvent-extracted and expeller canola meal were well tolerated by laying hens at high (20%) dietary inclusions (Oryschak et al., 2013). In Romania, commercial layers were fed up to 15% canola meal without problems (Ciurescu, 2009). In Iran, with local breeds of laying hens, it was reported that including rapeseed meal at up to 15-20% had no adverse effects on egg weight, yolk weight and yolk weight ratio (Gheisari et al., 2014). Diets containing 24% rapeseed meal were fed to a commercial line of brown-shell laying hens (Hy-Line), hatched after 2009, without impairing egg quality (no fishy taint) (Hy-Line International, 2010). These findings suggest that brown-shell laying hens could be fed at conventional rates applied to white-shell laying hens, i.e. 8-10% of the diet (Hy-Line International, 2010; Perez-Maldonado, 2003).


Rapeseed meal from early canola varieties included at up to 45% as partial replacement of soybean meal and fish meal in turkey diets resulted in similar weights at 42 days as soybean meal, but reduced feed efficiency as the level of canola meal increased (Salmon, 1982). In a recent trial, 5 or 10% inclusion of rapeseed meal in fattening turkey diets did not cause any adverse impact on weight gain. An increase of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the meat was positively related to the increase of rapeseed meal in the diet, and there was a positive trend of a decrease of the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Diets including rapeseed meal were cheaper than diets based on soybean meal. It was thus recommended to use rapeseed meal for the fattening of hybrid turkeys at up to 10% of the diet (Bedekovic et al., 2014). No off-flavours in the meat were observed when canola meal was fed to turkeys (Larmond et al., 1983).


Ducklings (2 week-old) fed on diets containing rapeseed meal at increasing levels (0, 7%, 14%, and 21%) had decreasing body weights. Feeding rapeseed meal at any level depressed body weight gain and, at 28 day-old, ducklings fed on 21% rapeseed meal had significantly lower body weight than ducklings fed on control or on diet with only 7% rapeseed meal. Ducklings fed on rapeseed meal (14 and 21%) and slaughtered at 28 days had lighter tights and higher abdominal fat. At the same age, state of feathering was poorer in ducks fed on 14 and 21% rapeseed meal (Bernadet et al., 2010)

On the long term (12 weeks), all ducks had similar final weights whatever the rapeseed meal level in the ducks diet. Rapeseed meal had no negative effect on feed intake nor on carcass quality (Bernadet et al., 2010). These results were slightly different from those obtained earlier by the same team on a smaller number of ducks. It was then observed that, on fattening ducks, the higher inclusion of rapeseed meal  (21%)  in the diet resulted in higher abdominal fat and in heavier thyroid gland suggesting alterations in the metabolism of ducks fed on rapeseed meal (Palmipôle, 2008)


Rapeseed meal has been used in rabbit feeding for a long time (Voris et al., 1940Benoit et al., 1948), and is still used in experimental (Caro et al., 1993; Lebas et al., 2013) and commercial diets (de Blas et al., 2010b).

Early varieties and low-erucic varieties

Until the 1970s, it was recommended to use rapeseed meal in moderate levels in rabbit diets due to the presence of erucic acid and glucosinolates (Benoit et al., 1948). After the development of low-erucic varieties ("0"), several studies concluded that low-erucic rapeseed meal could be introduced in diets for growing rabbits as partial or complete replacement for sunflower meal or soybean meal, at inclusion rates up to 12-15% without affecting growth rate, slaughter yield, thyroid and liver development, or changing the flavour of the meat (Colin et al., 1976Lebas et al., 1977Lebas, 1978Niedzwiadek et al., 1977Jensen et al., 1983). The same maximum inclusion rate of 12-15% was recommended for breeding rabbits. In some studies, reproductive problems have been reported with levels of 20% and above (Colin et al., 1976Lebas et al., 1982). 

Low-erucic, low glucosinolate varieties

After 00 rapeseed varieties were introduced, comparisons between 0 and 00 rapeseed meals failed to demonstrate the superiority of the 00 varieties for rabbits (Jensen et al., 1979). This is due to the high tolerance of rabbits for glucosinolates. They can tolerate successfully levels of glucosinolates 50% higher than poultry, 2-3 times higher than ruminants and 10 times higher than pigs (Tripathi et al., 2007). Experiments conducted with 00 varieties confirmed that 00 rapeseed meal could completely replace soybean meal (Throckmorton et al., 1980). Inclusion levels of 10-12% rapeseed meal in the diet can be recommended for growing rabbits or breeding does (Mesini, 1997).

However, one experiment reported a lower growth rate when rapeseed meal replaced 100% soybean meal (20% rapeseed meal in the diet) and recommended a 60% substitution rate (Scapinello et al., 1996). This was due to the lower protein digestibility of rapeseed meal compared to soybean meal, as shown in the following table.

Table 2: Protein digestibility of rapeseed meal and soybean meal in rabbits and ratio of rapeseed/soybean protein digestibilities

Source Rapeseed meal Soybean meal Ratio
Voris et al., 1940 79 88 90
Fekete et al., 1986 69 81 85
Villamide et al., 2010 76 83 92
Sauvant et al., 2004 76 83 92
Schlolaut, 1995 79 89 89
de Blas et al., 2010a 78 85 92
Maertens et al., 1984 (0) 76 79 96
Maertens et al., 1984 (00) 77 79 97
Average 76 84 92

Protein digestibility was similar in 0 and 00 varieties (Maertens et al., 1984). Compared to soybean, rapeseed protein contains just enough lysine to meet rabbit requirements (taking into account a lower protein digestibility) but is richer in sulphur-containing amino acids (above 20% of rabbit requirements) (Lebas, 2003). A high inclusion rate of rapeseed meal and added methionine may be detrimental to growth (Throckmorton et al., 1980), due to a combination of sulphur toxicity (caused by sulphur-containing amino acids) and relative lack of lysine (due to the absence of soybean meal) (Lebas, 1983). Dehulled rapeseed meal can be fed to growing or breeding rabbits with the same efficiency as non-dehulled meal (Lebas et al., 1977; Lebas et al., 1982), but another source of fibre may need to be introduced to meet fibre requirements.


Rapeseed meal is used as a source of protein for many fish species. The main issue of rapeseed meal for fish feeding is its high fibre content, which limits its nutritional value for carnivorous fish species (Shafaieipour et al., 2008; Burel et al., 2000a; McCurdy et al., 1992). However, as rapeseed meal is included at rates much lower than 50%, the fibre content is unlikely to exceed 8% of the diet and to impair growth performance (Hilton et al., 1986). Glucosinolates appear to be better tolerated by fish species, such as carp, than by swine and poultry. In trout, the most conservative limit is set at 1.4 µmol/g of the diet. Rapeseed meals containing very low amounts of glucosinolates could, therefore, be included at 20-30% of the diet (CCC, 2015). The combination of rapeseed meal and soybean meal is often a good solution to replace fish meal. The use of plant protein to replace fish meal in fish diets reduces the price of the diet and does not introduce dioxins and PCBs, which is reassuring for consumers (Newkirk, 2009).

For these reasons, it has been suggested that rapeseed meal can be included at levels between 10 and 20% in fish diets, but rapeseed meal high in erucic acid should not be over 5% (Hertrampf et al., 2000).


Rapeseed meal has a digestible energy lower than that of soybean meal in salmonids (9.6-11.5 vs. 13.0 MJ/kg as fed) (Sauvant et al., 2004; NRC, 2011). The amino acid profile of rapeseed protein is the best of the plant protein sources currently available and the amino acids are highly digestible (83-99%) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) (Anderson et al., 1992; Friedman, 1996). Rapeseed meal has been routinely fed for over 20 years to salmonids (Higgs et al., 1996 cited by Newkirk, 2009). A meta-analysis, including 45 feeding experiments, where rapeseed meal was fed to salmonids found that rapeseed meal inclusion linearly decreased specific growth rate, thus it was suggested to limit inclusion to 10% in salmonid diets (Collins et al., 2013).

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Rapeseed meal has been extensively assessed in rainbow trout and was generally found to be deleterious to 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). Rapeseed meal included in juvenile rainbow trout diets at 10, 20 and 30% for 9 weeks had deleterious effects at all levels, on hepatosomatic index, growth performance, feed conversion ratio and immunological status of the fish (Hernandez et al., 2012). A few studies differed from this trend (Burel et al., 2001; Shafaieipour et al., 2008). Inclusion of rapeseed meal containing 26 µmol/g glucosinolates in diets for juvenile rainbow trout at up to 30% had no effect on growth, voluntary feed intake, or feed efficiency after 58 days of experimental feeding (Burel et al., 2001). It was possible to include rapeseed meal at 17,5% (diet DM) in combination with soybean meal (14.5% diet DM) to replace 40% of the protein provided by fish meal (Güroy et al., 2012).

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

In juvenile chinook salmon diets where rapeseed meal was used to replace 15 or 30% of herring meal, growth and feed intake were reduced. The use of low-temperature and high-temperature extruded rapeseed meals reduced these deleterious effects. These products also reduced thyroid problems in salmons (Satoh et al., 1998).


Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

In channel catfish, apparent digestibilities of DM, energy and protein of rapeseed meal were 47-69%, 72% and 79%, respectively, and were lower than those of soybean meal (Li et al., 2013; Kitagima et al., 2011). Rapeseed meal was included in juvenile channel catfish diets at up to 31% with no negative effects on performance (Lim et al., 1997).

Australian catfish (Tandanus tandanus)

Australian catfish fed 30 or 45% rapeseed meal in the diet to replace fish meal 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).


Rapeseed meal is commonly included in carp diets, which are normally based on plant protein (Newkirk, 2009). However, recent studies with juvenile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and juvenile crucian carp (Carassius auratus x Cyprinus carpio) found that high levels of rapeseed meal (45% or 50% of the diet) had deleterious effects on fish liver and subsequently impaired performance (growth, feed intake, feed conversion ratio) and health (blood parameters) (Yuan et al., 2014; Tan QingSong et al., 2013; Cai ChunFang et al., 2013). It was suggested to either limit rapeseed meal inclusion in grass carp diet at 16% or to supplement it with glutathione (400 mg/kg), as glutathione has a protective effect on fish liver (Yuan et al., 2014). In fry, it was suggested that rapeseed meal inclusion could be as high as 15% for grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and 22% for common carp (Cyprinus carpio) (Yigit et al., 2013; Soares et al., 1998). In 2-year-old common carp, cold-pressed rapeseed meal inclusion rates up to 33% had no effect on growth or feed utilization (Mazurkiewicz et al., 2011).

Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

Apparent digestibilities of DM, energy and protein in Nile tilapia were higher than in catfish at 67%, 74% and 91%, respectively (Li et al., 2013; Kitagima et al., 2011). In China, it was possible to use up to 19% rapeseed meal 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 was fed to juvenile Nile tilapia with no health or performance issues (Gaiotto et al., 2004). Earlier inclusion levels recommended have been in the 10-25% range (Abdul-Aziz et al., 1999; Higgs et al., 1989). In China, genetically modified Nile tilapia were fed diets where 75% of the fish meal was replaced by rapeseed meal (thus representing 55% of the tilapia diet) without impairing growth performance (Luo et al., 2012).

Red seabream (Pagrus auratus)

Canola meal was included at up to 60% of red seabream diets without detrimental effects on performance (Glencross et al., 2004).



A series of experiments on kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus) showed that rapeseed meal could be included in the diets of shrimps in order to replace part of the fish meal. While it was not possible for rapeseed meal to replace more than 20% fish meal protein as a sole protein source, it could be used in a blend with soybean meal (ratio 4:6), supplemented with amino acids, phytase and fish solubles, when 85% of the fish meal protein could be replaced (Mahbuba Bulbul et al., 2016Mahbuba Bulbul et al., 2015Mahbuba Bulbul et al., 2012).

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

Nutritional tables

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

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 89 0.9 84.3 94.5 7005  
Crude protein % DM 38.1 1.3 32.6 44.8 7056  
Crude fibre % DM 14.3 1.2 8.6 18.1 6136  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 31.6 3.5 20.5 41.6 241 *
Acid detergent fibre % DM 20.7 1.6 16.8 26.6 239 *
Lignin % DM 9.7 1.2 7.1 13.8 285 *
Ether extract % DM 2.4 0.7 0.3 5.7 5758  
Ash % DM 7.6 0.4 6.5 10.4 1164  
Insoluble ash % DM 0.3          
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 6.3 1.6 0.6 8.1 99  
Starch (enzymatic) % DM 1.6   1.3 1.8 2  
Total sugars % DM 10.5 0.9 8.2 13.6 80  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.3 0.4 18.3 20 28 *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine g/16g N 4.3 0.1 3.8 4.6 77 *
Arginine g/16g N 5.8 0.3 5 6.4 129 *
Aspartic acid g/16g N 7.1 0.3 6.2 8.1 78 *
Cystine g/16g N 2.4 0.1 1.8 2.6 130 *
Glutamic acid g/16g N 17 0.9 14.9 21.1 78 *
Glycine g/16g N 5 0.2 4.4 5.3 77 *
Histidine g/16g N 2.7 0.08 2.4 2.9 130 *
Isoleucine g/16g N 4 0.08 3.7 4.3 130 *
Leucine g/16g N 6.8 0.1 6.6 7.5 130 *
Lysine g/16g N 5.3 0.3 3.8 6.2 247 *
Methionine g/16g N 2 0.07 1.8 2.2 127 *
Methionine+cystine g/16g N 4.4 0.1 4 4.7 129 *
Phenylalanine g/16g N 3.9 0.1 3.4 4.3 130 *
Phenylalanine+tyrosine g/16g N 6.7 0.2 6.2 7.5 56 *
Proline g/16g N 6 0.3 5.3 7 68 *
Serine g/16g N 4.4 0.2 3.9 4.9 77 *
Threonine g/16g N 4.3 0.2 3.8 4.8 83 *
Tryptophan g/16g N 1.2 0.1 1.1 1.7 65 *
Tyrosine g/16g N 2.8 0.2 2.3 3.4 64 *
Valine g/16g N 5.1 0.1 4.7 5.5 129 *
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Myristic acid C14:0 % fatty acids 0.03 0.05 0 0.2 61  
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 4.7 0.9 3.9 11.5 78  
Palmitoleic acid C16:1 % fatty acids 0.2 0.09 0 0.4 63  
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 1.6 0.3 1.4 3.6 78  
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 60.4 2.7 43.6 64.2 78  
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 20 1.4 17.3 24.9 81  
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 9.2 1.9 1.2 12.5 77  
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 8.6 1 5.1 11.3 433  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 12.7 1 10.2 20.8 511  
Potassium g/kg DM 14.1          
Sodium g/kg DM 0.29          
Chlorine g/kg DM 0.7          
Magnesium g/kg DM 4.6   3.1 5.4 4  
Sulfur g/kg DM 8.3       1  
Manganese mg/kg DM 68 11 49 86 10  
Zinc mg/kg DM 78 25 56 142 18  
Copper mg/kg DM 9 7 2 25 17  
Iron mg/kg DM 183 36 110 202 5  
Selenium mg/kg DM 1          
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 68.6 5.7 56 78.7 14 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.3 1 12.6 16 14 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 12.2         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.5       1 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 76.6 4.6 72.6 88.8 13 *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 7.7   5.5 8.4 2 *
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 6.8         *
Ruminants nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 75.8       1 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 75         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.1         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 77.2         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 69         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 75         *
a (N) % 27 7 8 27 6  
b (N) % 67 14 54 89 6  
c (N) h-1 0.1 0.045 0.02 0.14 6  
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=6%) % 60   51 78 4 *
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=4%) % 65   63 76 2 *
a (DM) % 28 5 19 36 6  
b (DM) % 55 13 48 79 6  
c (DM) h-1 0.085 0.028 0.018 0.09 6  
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 12.7         *
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 11.3         *
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 65.5         *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 71.2         *

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


AFZ, 2017; Ahmed et al., 2014; Allan et al., 2000; Anon., 2001; Bach Knudsen, 1997; Bourdon, 1986; Chibowska et al., 2000; CIRAD, 1991; CIRAD, 1994; CIRAD, 2008; Cowan et al., 1998; Eeckhout et al., 1994; Foltyn et al., 2015; Franke et al., 2009; Habib et al., 2013; Kamalak et al., 2005; Karlsson et al., 2009; Kozłowski et al., 2011; Kracht et al., 2004; Lessire et al., 2009; Liu et al., 1994; Lund et al., 2008; Mariscal Landin, 1992; Maupetit et al., 1992; Nadeem et al., 2005; Noblet et al., 1989; Noblet, 2001; Orskov et al., 1992; Skiba et al., 1999; Skiba et al., 2000; Soliva et al., 2005; Son et al., 2017; Szczurek, 2009; Tkachuk et al., 1969; Todorov et al., 2016; Weisbjerg et al., 1996; Woods et al., 2003

Last updated on 03/02/2020 21:45:10

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 92 2.4 84.6 98.1 508  
Crude protein % DM 33.7 2.4 22.6 44 510  
Crude fibre % DM 12.7 1.4 8 17.2 420  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 29.3 4.6 18.1 40.4 48 *
Acid detergent fibre % DM 19.5 1.9 12.9 22.4 45 *
Lignin % DM 9 2 4.3 13.7 30 *
Ether extract % DM 12.8 3.8 5.6 25.6 390  
Ash % DM 6.7 0.6 5.2 11.4 169  
Insoluble ash % DM 0.3          
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 6.6 1.5 1.7 7.1 11  
Starch (enzymatic) % DM 1.6   1.5 6.7 2  
Total sugars % DM 10 1.3 8.2 12.2 9  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 21.4 1.3 18.5 24.3 32 *
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine g/16g N 4.4 0.2 4.2 5 30 *
Arginine g/16g N 5.8 0.4 5.6 6.9 37 *
Aspartic acid g/16g N 7.1 0.5 6.4 9.1 31 *
Cystine g/16g N 2.4 0.3 1.9 2.9 37 *
Glutamic acid g/16g N 16.9 1 15.6 19.5 31 *
Glycine g/16g N 5 0.2 4.8 5.6 31 *
Histidine g/16g N 2.7 0.3 2.5 3.6 33 *
Isoleucine g/16g N 4 0.3 3.1 4.6 36 *
Leucine g/16g N 6.8 0.3 6.3 7.7 37 *
Lysine g/16g N 5.5 0.4 4.4 6.4 54 *
Methionine g/16g N 2 0.2 1.6 2.4 42 *
Methionine+cystine g/16g N 4.4 0.4 3.7 5.2 34 *
Phenylalanine g/16g N 3.9 0.3 3.3 4.5 37 *
Phenylalanine+tyrosine g/16g N 6.7 0.7 6.2 8.9 15 *
Proline g/16g N 6.1 0.3 5.5 6.7 30 *
Serine g/16g N 4.4 0.3 3.4 5 30 *
Threonine g/16g N 4.4 0.3 3.8 5 33 *
Tryptophan g/16g N 1.2 0.09 1.1 1.4 17 *
Tyrosine g/16g N 2.8 0.6 2.3 5 18 *
Valine g/16g N 5.1 0.4 4.2 5.9 37 *
Fatty acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Myristic acid C14:0 % fatty acids 0.03 0.05 0 0.2 61  
Palmitic acid C16:0 % fatty acids 4.7 0.9 3.9 11.5 78  
Palmitoleic acid C16:1 % fatty acids 0.2 0.09 0 0.4 63  
Stearic acid C18:0 % fatty acids 1.6 0.3 1.4 3.6 78  
Oleic acid C18:1 % fatty acids 60.4 2.7 43.6 64.2 78  
Linoleic acid C18:2 % fatty acids 20 1.4 17.3 24.9 81  
Linolenic acid C18:3 % fatty acids 9.2 1.9 1.2 12.5 77  
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 8.2 1.4 5.7 10.9 52  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 11.9 1 8.8 14 56  
Potassium g/kg DM 12.5 1.1 11.1 13.6 5  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.56          
Chlorine g/kg DM 0.8   0.07 0.9 2  
Magnesium g/kg DM 5.3   4.5 5.8 4  
Sulfur g/kg DM 8.3          
Manganese mg/kg DM 63 13 40 72 5  
Zinc mg/kg DM 64 10 57 80 5  
Copper mg/kg DM 5 0.8 4 6 5  
Iron mg/kg DM 187   107 258 3  
Selenium mg/kg DM 0.2   0.04 0.4 2  
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 70.8 10 55 90.8 10 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 15.2 2.2 11.5 19 10 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.2         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 9.8         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 79 6.6 65 87.6 10 *
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 11.2   8.9 14.4 4 *
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 10.5 1.5 7.7 13.2 15 *
Ruminants nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 78       1 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 78.5       1 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.1         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 77       1 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 69   48 72 3 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 75       1 *
a (N) % 27 7 8 27 6  
b (N) % 67 14 54 89 6  
c (N) h-1 0.1 0.045 0.02 0.14 6  
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=6%) % 60       1 *
Dry matter degradability (effective, k=4%) % 65       1 *
a (DM) % 28 5 19 36 6  
b (DM) % 55 13 48 79 6  
c (DM) h-1 0.085 0.028 0.018 0.09 6  
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 14.2         *
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 13         *
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 66.2         *
Nitrogen digestibility, rabbit % 71.8         *

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


AFZ, 2017; Albar, 2006; Allan et al., 2000; Anon., 2001; Aufrère et al., 1991; Bach Knudsen, 1997; Bell et al., 1993; Bourdon et al., 1979; Bourdon, 1986; Bryan et al., 2017; CIRAD, 2008; Grala et al., 1999; Halle et al., 2013; Karlsson et al., 2009; Keith et al., 1991; Kong et al., 2016; Kong et al., 2017; Kracht et al., 2004; Kyntäjä et al., 2014; Lessire et al., 2009; Liu et al., 1995; Mulrooney et al., 2009; Mustafa et al., 1997; Nadeem et al., 2005; Onidol, 1985; Presto et al., 2011; Saki et al., 2008; Schöne et al., 1996; Sécalibio, 2018; Szczurek, 2009; Theodoridou et al., 2013; Toghyani et al., 2014; Toghyani et al., 2015; Woyengo et al., 2009

Last updated on 03/02/2020 21:47:51

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Sauvant D., Lessire M., Lebas F., 2020. Rapeseed meal. Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/52 Last updated on July 23, 2020, 16:36

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)