University of Manitoba: Livestock Industry Offers Potential New Market for Hemp Products

Oct 14, 2010 | Corporate Member News

Dr. Jim House – University of Manitoba

Researchers with the University of Manitoba are confident the livestock industry offers great potential as a new market for hemp products.

Researchers with the University of Manitoba are halfway through a three-year study examining the use of hemp oil and hemp seed products on the performance of laying hens and broiler chickens and on the nutritional profiles of the eggs and meat produced by the birds.

The goal is to provide the data necessary to support the registration of hemp products for use in livestock diets in Canada.

Dr. Jim House, the head of the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, says although hemp products are widely used in human nutrition they’re not approved for use in livestock rations.

According to Dr. Jim House-University of Manitoba:

Really what we’re looking at is an alternative feed ingredient.

Hemp is grown in Manitoba.

Manitoba has one of the most intensive production areas for hemp production in Canada.

Right now the bulk of it is being produced for the human food markets or the extraction of the oil fraction from hemp, the hemp seed, in order to fulfill the needs within the food or the cosmetic industries.

The resultant meal that’s produced after you press the oil out is available and predominantly used now as a source of protein and fibre in human food products.

That product is also ideally suited for evaluation and use as a protein supplement for animal feeds.

Additionally the oil is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, not as high as what you would find in flax seed but certainly is a source of omega-3 fatty acids that could contribute to the omega-3 content of a number of animal products and so we’re also looking at that as an opportunity.

Dr. House says although this particular study focuses on chickens, the information is also applicable to other feather species such as turkeys and to other monogastric species such as pigs.

For UniversityNews.Org, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

*This first appeared in the September 9 edition of University News, a presentation of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences, to learn more click here.

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