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Crambe meal as a protein source for feeds

Carlson, K.D., Tookey, H.L.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 1983 v.60 no.12 pp. 1979
feeds, feed composition, dietary protein, crambe meal, Crambe abyssinica, plant source protein, plant proteins, protein content, amino acid composition, glucosinolates, detoxification (processing), beef cattle
Crambe abyssinica may be grown for its seed oil containing 55-60% erucic acid, which fills a long-term, technologically important US industrial market. The residual meal could serve in animal feeds, but, like other Cruciferae, crambe seed contains glucosinolates that limit the feed value of the defatted meal. Protein content, amino acid composition, protein efficiency tests and numerous animal feeding experiments show that crambe meal contains protein of good nutritional quality. Means of reducing, nullifying or removing the glucosinolates and their hydrolysis (aglucon) products have been the object of many studies, and crambe meals containing native levels of glucosinolates and/or aglucon products have been shown to be lethal to mice, rats and chicks when fed at significant dietary levels. Animal performance is inversely related to sublethal concen-trations of these compounds in modified meals. However, water-extracted crambe meals have excellent nutritional quality when such extraction removes the glucosinolates and/or aglucon products. Feeding experiments suggest that these meals, although more costly to prepare, could be used in feeds for nonruminant animals. On the other hand, moist heat-toasting of crambe meals in conventional oilseed extraction facilities provides meals of value for supplemental protein in beef rations. For this use, specifications and FDA ap-proval are in place for commercial exploitation of crambe meal. These studies and the status of crambe as a protein source in feeds are reviewed.