SASKATOON, Sask, JUNE 20, 2016 – Two experimental trials are underway at the University of Saskatchewan to assess Camelina as a high-value feedstock for dairy animal diets.
Eight Holsteins will consume nearly five tonnes of Camelina meal to see if various inclusions will produce volumes of fine-tasting milk with healthy Omega3-type nutrients.
Rex Newkirk, Chair of Food Processing Technology in the Department of Animal Science and Poultry, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, said the trials are intended to assess the impact of Camelina meal on milk production output, milk taste, and fatty acid content in the milk.
Recent European trials showed concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega-type fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) rose significantly in milk from animals that were fed Camelina meal. This can produce softer butter and may convey potential anti-cancer properties.
Camelina has been approved for use in broiler chicken rations in Canada. Similar approval for inclusion of Camelina in rations for laying hens in the egg industry is anticipated soon.
“Can you imagine a day when all our eggs produced in Canada are healthier with high Omega3 content?” Newkirk said. “It could be the same thing with milk.”
Results of the two 4-month-long feeding trials will be peer-reviewed and submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Camelina meal for the feeding trial is being supplied by Saskatoon-based Smart Earth Seeds, the global leader in Camelina development and production.
“Camelina is a high quality non-GMO source of protein, omega rich oils and high levels of vitamin E in the form or various tocopherols,” said Jack Grushcow, CEO of Smart Earth Seeds. “Our goal is to get local markets to take advantage of these Camelina benefits so we can build local processing infrastructure and deliver benefits to our rural communities.”
Camelina has garnered production interest due to its high oil content and unique oil properties for use in bio-based lubricants, polymers and as a unique and valuable animal feed concentrate.