Oilseed production has increased from 261 million metric tons in 1996/1997 to 324 million metric tons in 2001/ 2002.[1,2] Rapeseed, peanut, safflower, sesame seed, soybean, and sunflower are grown primarily for oil production. Nutritionally superior rapeseed cultivars are tradenamed ''Acanola.'' Cottonseed is a by-product of cotton production, and its oil is used for food and other purposes. Linseed is now mostly grown for industrial oil production. Today, the residues of oil production or oilseed meals are the major protein sources used for food animal production. Soybean is clearly the prominent oilseed produced in the world,[1,2] and soybean meal accounted for 68.1% of the world production of protein meals in 2001/2002 (Table 1).
Moderate heating is necessary to inactivate antinutri-tional factors present in oilseed meals, but overheating can greatly reduce the lysine availability. Oilseed meals are generally high in CP, and its content is usually standardized before marketing by dilution, usually with hulls. Most oilseed meals are low in lysine, but soybean meal is an exception. The extent of dehulling affects the CP and fiber contents, whereas the oil extraction method influences the ether extract content. Oilseed meals are generally low in Ca and relatively high in P. However, P is mostly present as phytate P, which is not utilized well by nonruminant species. Oilseed meals contain low-to-moderate concentrations of the B vitamins and are low in carotene and vitamin E.
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