Replacement of Soybean Meal with Heat-Treated Canola Meal in Finishing Diets of Meatmaster Lambs: Physiological and Meat Quality Responses
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, P Bag x2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
Food Security and Safety Niche area, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, P Bag x2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
School of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Mpumalanga, P Bag x11283, Mbombela 1200, South Africa
Centre for Applied Radiation Science and Technology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, P Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2020
Revised: 13 September 2020
Accepted: 15 September 2020
Published: 24 September 2020
The use of soybeans as a dietary protein source in ruminant diets is environmentally, economically and socially unsustainable. It is for this reason that canola meal (CM) has emerged as a more sustainable alternative protein source to soybean meal (SBM). However, expeller CM is quickly broken down in the rumen resulting in inefficient utilization by rumen microbes, while a small rumen bypass protein fraction means that few of the essential amino acids in CM reach the small intestine. Consequently, the utility of CM protein as an alternative to soybean protein for high-producing ruminants is lower, requiring pre-feeding treatments such as heating to enhance its feed value. This study investigated whether heat treatment could improve the feed value of CM protein sufficiently to partially (50%) or completely substitute SBM in finishing diets of Meatmaster lambs. The results showed that while CM can completely replace SBM in diets of lambs without compromising growth performance and meat quality, heat treatment of CM did not offer any additional benefits.