Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

CSU Graduation: Research to improve quality of oilseed meals

Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD research has shown refining oil-extraction techniques could improve the quality of Australian oilseed meals used as a supplement in feed for livestock.

Dr Rebecca Heim and supervisor Associate Professor Gaye KrebsDr Rebecca Heim will be awarded a PhD in a CSU Graduation ceremony on Tuesday 11 December for research investigating the nutritional and digestibility characteristics of canola meal for livestock.

Dr Heim’s research through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) at CSU, provides new information for processors who produce canola meal as a by-product of oil production.

Dr Heim said the research is also set to benefit livestock producers, such as dairy farmers, who use the meal in feed for their cows.

“The PhD included a benchmark quantitative survey of general and digestibility characteristics of protein for ruminants in Australian produced oilseed such as canola, soybean, cottonseed, and flaxseed meals,” Dr Heim said.

“The research found that the ruminal digestibility of protein differed between oilseed types and oil-extraction techniques including cold-press, expeller and solvent-extraction, and that crude protein content in canola meal consistently varied between cultivars.”

Dr Heim hopes that the information can be used by meal producers and end-users to enhance feed ration formulations and provide better indications of animal performance.

Canola meal pellets photo Dr Rebecca Heim“The studies also highlight opportunities to improve the quality of Australian oilseed meals by refining oil-extraction technique conditions,” Dr Heim said.

Dr Heim’s research was funded by the Australian Government through the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme and was supported by industry partner MSM Milling. Dr Heim was based at CSIRO in Werribee, Victoria.

The FGC is administered by Charles Sturt University and is an initiative of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation. Dr Heim is one of six students from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation to be awarded PhDs in 2018.


Media Note: Dr Heim will graduate in a ceremony at CSU in Wagga Wagga at 2pm on Tuesday 11 December.

She is available for interview via email, contact Graham Centre Communications Officer Ms Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email