Utilisation of canola meal as protein source in dairy cow diets: a review
Growth in food consumption demand since 2005 has steadily driven increases in canola production. Crushing of canola generates valuable commodities including high-value meal traded worldwide as a protein source. Due to its balanced amino acid profile and high digestibility, canola meal is supplemented into dairy cattle feed to optimise milk protein synthesis and lactation output. This review provides an overview of canola meal, including production techniques, protein characteristics, methods to quantify protein quality and factors contributing to variation of rumen-undegraded protein content. To assist dairy industries to reduce N wastes, this review consolidates current understanding of dairy cattle lactation performance in response to dietary supplementation of canola meal. The effects of processing conditions, levels of rumen-undegraded protein, and lactation response to canola meal relative to other protein sources are evaluated. Novel physical and chemical treatments developed to increase post-ruminal supply of canola meal protein for animal utilisation are examined.