News 217 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Animals & humans benefit from rape seed

Because of the high protein content, rape seed cake and rape flakes are suitable as raw materials for broilers, according to research by Dutch feed company Agrifirm. But animals are not the only ones to profit. Rape seed cakes could also be turned into tasty cookies for humans.

The research looked at whether the two by product from the oil production from rape seed are suitable to feed young broiler chickens. Parameters as digestion, growth, feed conversion, health and scattering quality were taken into account.

Cheap alternative
It was concluded that rape products are a good cheap alternative for soy in terms of protein content. However, rape products can differ in quality, dependent on the supplier. The production process should therefore always be taken into account.

Treat and test
In addition, rape seed contains some ingredients that may negatively influence the digestion process of the broilers. A good treatment can inactivate these ingredients. As a result of this study, Agrifirm developed a concept to treat and test rape products.

Cookies from rape seed waste
Rape seed products do not only benefit the animal feed industry, also the human food indutry can benefit. According to German technology magazine "Technology Review" researchers from Fulda College could produce low fat food with a nutty taste with the help of a special mould.

Food technologists from Fulda technical college have inoculated the high protein rapeseed cake with a fungus called Rhizopus microsporus. After two days the cake was fermented, meaning the sugars were converted to protein and vitamins. The treated rapeseed cake contained all vital amino acids.

With its cake-like consistency, the fermented product can easily be baked without the use of additional fats or oils. Possible finished products are cakes, cookies, spring roles, bread cuts, pastry and marinades. A slightly bitter taste is still disturbing and the researchers are working to improve ventilation for the fungus to work.

Related link:
Fulda College

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