No difference A new study shows there is no difference in the bioavailability of the two sources
Canola or rapeseed oil has become firmly established as a high-quality food for humans, but so far its use for meal has been confined to animal feed. That could change, according to researchers at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.
(B)y feeding valuable plant protein to animals, almost two-thirds of it is wasted as it is transformed into animal protein,” nutritionist Dr. Gerhard Jahreis said in a university release.
“Annually, 60 million tonnes of rapeseed are harvested worldwide, corresponding to about 15 million tons of rapeseed protein which is fed only to animals. We are taking a keen interest in making this important protein source available for human consumption.”
The research team at Jena University conducted the first human study worldwide on the use of rapeseed protein for human nutrition. Results from the study have recently been published in the internationally renowned journal Clinical Nutrition.
In co-operation with a Canadian company, a protein isolate extracted from the meal was used in a study involving 28 volunteers.
The study participants consumed either rapeseed protein isolate or soya protein isolate. After ingesting the protein meals, eight blood samples were drawn from each participant and the postprandial amino acid response in blood was analyzed.
“Our findings have shown that there is no difference in the bioavailability between these two protein sources. Thus, soya, mostly cultivated in South and North America, and diversely used in the production of foods, can be fully replaced by rapeseed protein harvested in Europe,” Jahreis said.
Currently, legislation in Europe prevents the use of rapeseed protein for human nutrition. It requires registration as a “novel food” by the European Union.