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Research r...WeanersTrial report 949

Trial report 949: Rapeseed cake for weaners - variety and processing

Weaner productivity was not adversely affected by the addition of 8% conventional rapeseed cake to a starter diet and 15% to a weaner diet. Enlargement of thyroid gland and liver was observed when pigs were fed rapeseed.


Cold-pressed rapeseed cake resulted in lower production value than conventionally pressed rapeseed cake. This was the only productivity difference found between the groups in this trial. The results show that weaners are not as sensitive to the use of rapeseed in feed as previously assumed as productivity was unaffected when 8% rapeseed cake was added to the starter diet and 15% to the weaner diet.

The effect on weaners of five different rapeseed products varying in processing and varieties was investigated according to the trial design shown in the table.

Rape variety  Lioness  Lioness  Excalibur  Lioness  Lioness  Control, soy protein 
Glucosinolate content in rapeseed cake  Low  Low  High  Low  Low 
Processing   Low temp HIgh temp.  High temp.  Cold pressing  Cold pressing / partial dehulling 

Initially, all batches of rapeseed were analysed to find rapeseed with high and low glucosinolate content. Subsequently rapeseed cake was produced under different processing methods. Preliminary analyses demonstrated differences in content of crude fat, feed units (FUgp), lysine and glucosinolates. Variations in nutrient content must be taken into consideration when formulating diets containing rapeseed to ensure that the diets have optimum nutrient composition.

Depending on variety, glucosinolate content was either 10 or 23 µmol/g. The content of 4-hydroxy-glucobrassicin reveals the intensity of heat that the rapeseed was exposed to during processing and thereby the percentage of glucosinolates that were decomposed to antinutritional components. Analyses showed that intensive heat processing caused the content of 4-hydroxy-glucobrassicin to drop below the recommended level of 2 µmol/g, which is an indication that the rapeseed cake was damaged by the heat.


Financial support

The project was financially supported by Innovation Act under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark, Danish Pig Research Centre and the Pig Levy Fund. Project ID.: DSP/09/52. Journal no. 3412-07-01960-03.

Støtte af Fødevareministeret og EU

Updated: 25.07.2012


Hanne Maribo

Chief scientist, PhD

Tel.: +45 3339 4390