Camelina can partially replace soybean meal in broiler diets

Camelina oil, or false flaxseed oil, is a pressed seed oil derived from Camelina sativa or false flax. It has a high omega-3 content and is used as a dietary supplement by some cultures.

Health Benefits

“One of the major problems in modern poultry farming is the need for sustainable and inexpensive sources of alternative dietary protein to [soybean] meal,” the scientists said, adding that soybean meal production is resource-intensive and not entirely environmentally friendly. “Camelina, on the contrary, is cheap to grow and contains a whole range of useful elements.”

The scientists added: “Now in human nutrition we see a deficiency of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which contributes to depression, cancer or coronary heart disease. Adding camelina seeds, oil or meal to the bird’s diet will solve this problem.

An improvement in poultry meat

During several trials, Lithuanian scientists found that adding camelina to poultry feed improved the quality of poultry meat and liver. Camelina is an oilseed crop containing 36.8% oil in the seeds, while in the meal the oil content is 6.4-22.7%.

Compared to other plants of the Brassicaceae family, camelina is distinguished by a unique fatty acid composition, as the content of αlinolenic fatty acids varies from 25.9 to 36.7% of total fatty acids. The total tocopherol content of camelina oil and cake is 751–900 and 687 mg/kg, respectively.

Adding camelina to poultry feed increases the amount of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in poultry meat and liver, the scientists said. The ALA content in chicken muscle increases 1.3-4.4, 2.4-2.9 and 2.3-7.2 times after supplementing chicken feed with, respectively, camelina (8 to 24%), seeds (10%) and oil (2.5 to 6.9). %) compared to the control group. The inclusion of camelina meal (5-25%), seeds (10%) and oil (2.5-4%) in chicken feed results in a total n-3 PUFA content of 1.5 3.9 times higher in muscle and liver.

Meanwhile, supplementation of chicken diets with camelina oil (4–6.9%), seeds (5–10%) and cakes (5–25%) results, respectively, in a decrease in 1.8–8.4, 1.6–1.9 and 1.3–2.9 times. n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio in muscle and 3.29 times lower n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio in liver, scientists found. After the inclusion of different amounts of camelina meal in chicken feed, a healthy n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio for human nutrition of 1.6 to 2.9 was found in chicken muscle.

Limited use due to antinutrients

Inclusion of 5% camelina seed in the diet had no effect on growth performance of chickens, but feeding 10% seed resulted in decreased body weight and body weight gain . The amount of dietary camelina oil ranging from 2.5-4.07-6.91% also had no effect on body weight, body weight gain, food consumption or food conversion rate of the chickens. This could be explained by a lower amount of antinutrients in the oil compared to meals or seeds, the scientists said.

Reduction of production costs

Poultry with a higher content of n-3 PUFAs is beneficial to consumers in their search for healthier products, as this meat increases the consumption of currently deficient n3 PUFAs and therefore reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, the use of camelina meal in poultry feed reduces the cost price of poultry and improves the sustainability of poultry farming and biofuel production. Wider use of camelina should reduce, at least in part, reliance on imported unsustainable soybean meal and induce its cultivation worldwide, thereby increasing the variety of crops used in agriculture, concluded the Lithuanian scientists.

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