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Chilean journal of agricultural research

versão On-line ISSN 0718-5839

Chilean J. Agric. Res. vol.77 no.3 Chillán set. 2017

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-58392017000300266 

RESEARCH

Nutrient content, fat yield and fatty acid profile of winter rapeseed ( Brassica napus L.) grown under different agricultural production systems

Arkadiusz Stepien1  * 

Katarzyna Wojtkowiak2 

Renata Pietrzak-Fiecko3 

1University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture, pl. Łódzki 3, 10-718. Olsztyn, Poland.

2University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Technical Science, Heweliusza Street 10, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland.

3University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Food Science, Cieszyński Square 1, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland.

ABSTRACT

Quality features of rapeseeds (Brassica napus L.) and potential for high yielding to a major extent may be defined by improvements in agricultural engineering methods that encompass biological progress. However, this is associated with intense fertilization and application of large amounts of pesticides, which may negatively impact on environment and may decrease quality of produced food. It is thus essential to develop and improve edible oil production systems to satisfy farmer and non-threatening consumer. The aim of this study was to evaluate content of nutrients, fat yield and fatty acid profile of rapeseed grown in 5-yr monoculture and after a 4-yr break in the crop rotation system with three levels of agricultural inputs. Three levels of technologies were used: economically (low-input), moderately intensively (medium-input) and intensively (high-input), varied in N amount and S fertilization as well as protection against pests. The medium- and high-input technologies applied in the monoculture contributed to an increased percentage of oleic acid in rapeseeds (by 5.7% and 5.5%), whereas low-input and high-input technologies resulted in an increased percentage proportion of linoleic (by 11.6% and 2.1%) and linolenic acid (by 6.6% and 5.0%) in the monoculture rapeseeds. The medium-input level generated an increased proportion of arachidic (from 6.9% to 15.0%), octadecanoic (by 4.9%), linoleic (by 7.0%), linolenic (by 5.1%) and eicosadienoic fatty acids (by 17.7%) in rapeseeds cultivated in the crop rotation system. The increase in technological input level significantly changed the ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids to linoleic and linolenic acids by 5.1% and 7.4% in both the crop rotation and by 4.2% and 7.9% monoculture systems. In general, the impact of winter rapeseed in crop sequence systems was found to have an insignificant impact on the content of macronutrients and trace elements in seeds. The highest fat yield was generated with the crop rotation system at the highest input level, whereas the lowest yield was recorded in the low-input monoculture technology.

Key words: Cropping system; integrated management; level of technology; rapeseed cultivars.

INTRODUCTION

Oil and protein are the basic raw materials derived from rapeseeds (Brassica napus L.) Rapeseed oil is an important source of energy in human nutrition (Omidi et al., 2010) and degreased rapeseeds are used as feedstuffs (Baltrukoniene et al., 2015). Rapeseed oil is a distinguished edible oil, which is also determined by a relatively high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid (C18:2) and α-linolenic acid (C18:3) that are classified as essential unsaturated fatty acids (EFAs) and have been associated with blood lipid profiles associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (Narits, 2010; Ntawubizi et al., 2010). According to Zatonski et al. (2008), rapeseed oil has a very low content of saturated fatty acids than other oil plants and a relatively high content of the basic fatty acids (C18:2) and (C18:3) at optimal 2:1 ratios. The value of rapeseed, as a source of vegetable oils and proteins, may be improved by: increasing the content of oil, modifying the composition of fatty acids in oil, and reducing the anti-nutritional compounds, mainly fiber and glucosinolates, in rapeseed meal (Liersch et al., 2013).

The quality features of rapeseeds and the potential for high yielding to a major extent may be defined by improvements in agricultural engineering methods that encompass biological progress. However, this is associated with intense fertilization and the application of large amounts of pesticides, which may negatively impact the consumer. It is thus essential to develop and improve edible oil production systems to make them both satisfying to the farmer and non-threatening to the consumer (Velicka et al., 2016). Fertilizer applications, especially on nutrient deficient soils, can therefore increase crop yields and quality (Albert et al., 2012; Malhi, 2012). Both macro and micronutrients are essential to proper crop growth, but N and S are the most limiting nutrients (Ngezimana and Agenbag, 2014). Hegewald et al. (2016) noted the importance of crop rotation to maintain seed yield and oil yield of oilseed rape, and to maximize the response to applied N. A reduced N-rate increased N-use efficiency and reduced the risk of high-N surpluses without a significant/equivalent decrease in the seed yield when the rotation was optimized.

New rapeseed cultivars characterized by high and reliable yields and improvements in agronomic practices increase profits, contribute to faster crop rotation and enable growing crops in monocultures (Cwalina-Ambroziak et al., 2016). Despite the above, intensive rotation of the same crop could have negative effects, such as frequent pest infestations, including plant pathogens (Mohammadi and Rokhzadi, 2012). This problem can be addressed by reversing soil fatigue through the introduction of new cultivars and technologies suited to their requirements (Sieling and Christen, 2015). An increased level of fertilization, especially with N, is always associated with a need to improve the efficacy of plant protection (Cwalina-Ambroziak et al., 2016). Crop rotation and optimal rates of N (Rathke et al., 2006) and S fertilization (Sienkiewicz-Cholewa and Kieloch, 2015) are of key importance in reducing pathogenic infections in rapeseed.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the content of nutrients, fat yield and fatty acid profile in a 5-yr monoculture and after a 4-yr break in the crop rotation system of rapeseed with three levels of agricultural inputs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Site and experimental set-up

The research facility is located in the Central European Lowlands, the sub-area of the South Baltic Lagoon, in the Ilawa Lake District. The study area is characterized by a young glacial landscape within the range of the ice sheet of the Pomeranian glaciation of the Vistula. Winter rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) was grown in monoculture and in crop rotation in Balcyny (53°36’ N, 19°51’ E), Poland, in 2009-2013. The field experiment was set up on loess soil, class IIIa soil/arable soil of good quality Topsoil (Ap) was made up of heavy loamy sand, and the E-horizon consisted of clay underlain by light loam in the illuvial horizon (Bt). According to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB, 2014), this corresponds to a Luvisol. Soil was slightly acidic (in KCl solution with pH 6.6), and its total N content was determined at 0.95 g kg-1 and total organic C content at 10.05 g kg-1. Soil concentrations of plant-available macronutrients (mg kg-1) were 93.3 mg P kg-1, 185.4 mg K kg-1, 58.5 mg Mg kg-1, and 550 mg Ca kg-1. The concentrations of soil nutrients were according to the valid standards and standard methods applied in Poland. The contents of macronutrients were determined: Total N by the Kjeldahl method, P and available K by the Egner-Riehm method in calcium-lactate extract ((CH3CHOHCOO)2Ca) acidified with hydrochloric acid to pH 3.6, available Mg was assayed after the extraction of 0.01 mol CaCl2 × 10-3 m3 from soil, using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) and Ca by universal method of extraction with 0.003 N acetic. Soil pH was determined electrometrically in a solution of 1 M KCl and humus content by the Tiurin method.

Before the experiment, a mixture of spring cereals (oats, barley, wheat) was sown in all plots for green fodder, without fertilization. The results presented in this study were noted in the fifth year of the experiment in the rapeseed monoculture (2013) and in crop rotation: 2009 winter rapeseed, 2010 winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), 2011 field bean (Vicia faba L.), 2012 spring wheat (T. aestivum), and 2013 winter rapeseed. The open-pollinated rapeseed ‘Californium’ was grown, seeds (4.5 kg ha-1) were sown in 20 August and dressed with insecticides imidacloprid 200 g and cypermethryna 50 g (Brasikol C 250 FS, Z.P.U.H. “Best-Pest” - Jaworzno, Poland) and fungicide tiuram 332 g and karbendazym 148 g (Funaben T 480 FS, Organika-Azot S.A. Jaworzno, Poland). Plants were harvested in the first half of July. Three levels of technologies were used: economically (low-input), moderately intensively (medium-input) and intensively (high-input), varied in amount of N and S fertilization as well as protection against pests. The applied fertilizer and pesticide treatments are given in Table 1. The experiment had a randomized block design with three replicates. The plot size was 12.0 m2, the harvested plot area was 9.0 m2.

Table 1: Treatments carried out in winter rapeseed (Brassica napus) plots experiment. 

*BBCH Monograph (2001).

Yield and content of macro and microelements

At the end of the experiment seeds were collected, dried and purified. Rapeseed seed were collected from the experimental field (9.0 m2) and its yield was calculated in tons per hectare at 15% humidity.

Seed samples (1 kg) were taken from the plot and subjected to chemical analysis for the content of macro- and micronutrients according to the methods used in agricultural chemistry. The seeds was mineralized in the acid mixture of HNO3 and HClO4 (4:1). The content of Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe was determined in the extract and mineralizate with the use of atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) (Hitachi Z-8200 Polarized Zeeman Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Hitachi, Tokyo, Japan). Total N was determined using the Kjeldahl method, P was determined with vanadium-molybdenum method, while K and Ca with atomic emission spectrometry (AES), and Mg with AAS in the material previously mineralized in H2SO4 with addition of H2O2 as an oxidizer.

Oil extraction and analysis

Fat content was determined with the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) (Infratec 1241 Grain Analyzer, Foss, Hillerod, Denmark), which takes measurements of transmission waves from the near-infrared region (570-1050 nm). Analysis of the fatty acids was done following the cold extraction of rape oil with chloroform/methanol (2:1 v/v). Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) were prepared according to Zadernowski and Sosulski (1978) using a mixture of chloroform:methanol:sulphuric acid (100:100:1, v/v/v). Chromatographic separation was performed using a gas chromatograph (Agilent 7890A, Agilent Technologies Wilmington, Delaware, USA) with a flame-ionization detector (FID) and a 30 m 0.32 mm internal diameter capillary column. The liquid phase was Supelcowax 10 and the film thickness was 0.25 µm.

The conditions of separation were as follows: helium was used as a carrier gas; flow rate 1 mL min-1; detector temperature 250 ºC; injector temperature 230 ºC; column temperature 195 ºC. The different acids were identified by comparing retention times with standards from Supelco (Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, USA). The fatty acid content is presented as the relative percentage (% total fatty acids) in rape oil.

Weather conditions

Poland’s climate can be described as a temperate climate, which is greatly influenced by oceanic air currents from the west, cold polar air from Scandinavia and Russia, as well as warmer, sub-tropical air from the south.

The mean monthly air temperatures (from winter rapeseed sowing till the end of November) were on a similar level as the analogous annual periods (Table 2). The drought recorded in August (with precipitation lower by 44.9 mm than in the annual periods) might have hindered seed germination, but the precipitation levels in the following months secured good plant growth before wintering. During the wintering period (December-March), when water resources should be accumulated for spring growth, precipitation was lower by 41.5 mm in comparison with the analogous periods in 1981-2010.

Table 2: Weather conditions in 2012-2013 and the multi-annual average of 1981-2010. 

Following melts, there were ground frosts in March, which presented a risk of potential plant damage due to thin snow cover. Weather conditions did also not favor plant development and growth at the stages from budding to silique formation - BBCH 53-79 (BBCH Monograph, 2001). The recorded precipitation volumes between April and June were lower by 50.9 mm (lower by 30.8% as compared to the annual periods) and remained below the requirements of winter rapeseed.

Statistical analyses

The results were statistically processed in Statistica 10.0 (StatSoft, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA) with the use of one-way ANOVA. Basic parameters and homogenous groups were determined by Tukey’s test at p = 0.05. The relationships between yield of seeds, content of fat, N, P, K, Mg, Ca, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn and yield of fat: saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), were described by linear regression analysis.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Content of macro and microelements

The chemical analysis of winter rapeseeds demonstrated that, regardless of production technology, the average content of minerals in the fifth year of monoculture was as follows: 29.9 g N kg-1, 0.595 g P kg-1, 1.12 g K kg-1, 0.298 g Mg kg-1, 0.55 g Ca kg-1, 3.18 mg Cu kg-1, 115.6 mg Fe kg-1, 42.8 mg Zn kg-1, and 38.2 mg Mn kg-1. In the fifth crop rotation year there was a year break in rapeseed: 29.2 g N kg-1, 0.562 g P kg-1, 1.12 g K kg-1, 0.302 mg Mg kg-1, 0.392 mg Ca kg-1, 3.47 mg Cu kg-1, 113.3 mg Fe kg-1, 44.6 mg Zn kg-1, and 42.4 mg Mn kg-1 (Table 3). These results are comparable in their P and Cu contents with a higher amount of N, Mg, Fe, Mn and Zn, although they have a lower content of other elements compared to the data reported by Fordonski et al. (2015).

Table 3: Macro and microelements content in seeds of winter rapeseed grown under different agricultural production systems. 

Averages two in rows followed by the same letter are nonsignificant (α < 0.05); ± standard deviation.

The content of N, P, K, and Mg in rapeseed did not differ significantly depending on its proportion in a crop rotation. The level of Ca was higher (by 17.0%) in rapeseed produced with a medium-input monoculture system compared to crop rotation technology. However, the content of this element was lower (by 34.9%) in the high-input crop rotation system than in monoculture. Considering the intensity of agricultural engineering procedures, only the highest level (high-input) generated a significant increase (10.0%) of N accumulation in the rapeseed compared to medium-input technology. Similarly, Ca content in a crop rotation was significantly higher with the high-input compared to both the low-input and medium-input technology. In the fifth monoculture year, a higher Ca content was recorded in the medium-input technology than the other levels (26.5% on average).

Depending on a crop rotation method, a generally higher content of microelements was measured in rapeseeds grown in the crop rotation system. However, a significantly higher content of Mn was found only for the low-input crop rotation technology and of Zn and Mn in the medium-input system. The rapeseed low-input crop rotation system was an exception, with a significantly lower Fe content (by 7.8%).

The highest fertilization level (high-input) generated a significantly higher content of Zn and Mn in rapeseeds in both crop rotation systems. A significantly higher Fe level was recorded in rapeseeds grown in the medium-input crop rotation technology and in the low-input monoculture system.

Yielding, fat content

Winter rapeseed cultivated for a number of years in the same field reacts with a substantial reduction in seed yield, but when seeded occasionally 2 yr in a row or in a short monoculture system it may generate yields at a similar level as after cereal plants (Rozylo and Palys, 2011; Jaskulska et al., 2014). When cultivated in a monoculture and crop rotation system, winter rapeseed yielded high-level crops, from 4.04 to 6.25 t ha-1 (Table 4).

Table 4: Seed and fat yield and fat content in seeds of winter rapeseed grown under different agricultural production systems. 

Averages in two rows followed by the same letter are nonsignificant (α < 0.05); ± standard deviation.

Regardless of the technology level, seed yield was higher by 18.6% with the crop rotation method than in the monoculture system. Significantly higher crops (by 47.3%) were obtained using low-input crop rotation technology compared to the low-input monoculture approach. The increase of agricultural engineering technologies contributed to diminishing differences in the yield between the crop rotation and monoculture systems. Increased intensity of agricultural technologies resulted in significantly higher seed crops only in the crop rotation system. Jarecki et al. (2013) found that higher level of agricultural engineering procedures, as compared with a lower input, generated a significant increase in seed yield by approximately 12%, which is a result of substantially higher number of siliques on the plant and thousand-seed weight. The level of oil in mature winter rapeseeds ranges between 45% and 50% on average (Liersch et al., 2013). In personal studies, winter rapeseeds ‘Californium’ contained 47.2% fat on average (Table 4). The crop rotation method did not substantially modify the fat content in rapeseeds. Moreover, the intensity level of agricultural procedures did not impact the fat content in rapeseeds, as reported in the studies performed by Jarecki et al. (2013).

The content of fat in seeds is mainly determined by genetics (Tanska et al., 2009; Wittkop et al., 2009; Ambrosewicz-Walacik et al., 2015), although it may change being influenced by habitat conditions (Ozturk, 2010; Spychaj-Fabisiak et al., 2011; Faraji, 2012; Varényiová and Ducsay, 2016). The fat yield was strongly correlated with seed yield (r = 0. 929) but was independent of fat content (Table 7). According to Narits (2010), N fertilization had a positive effect on seed yield and seed protein content. On the other hand, N fertilization, especially in higher rates, had a negative effect on oil content.

Fatty acid profile

The analysis of fatty acid composition demonstrated a high proportion of oleic (C18:1 c9), linoleic (C18:2) and linolenic (C18:3) acids (Table 5). There was no occurrence of the following fatty acids: erucic (C22:1n9), cis-13,16-docosadienoic (C22:2), lignoceric (C24:0), and nervonic (C24:1n9). In general, the proportion of winter rapeseed in the seeding structure had a varied effect on the fatty acid proportions. In rapeseeds from the monoculture, low-input and medium-input technologies resulted in a higher percentage contribution of oleic acid (C18:1 c9) while the high-input approach generated a reduction of its level. Low-input and high-input technologies contributed to an increase in the percentage proportion of C18:2 and C18:3 fatty acids in rapeseeds from the monoculture. The medium-input technology resulted in increased levels of C20:0, C18:1 c11, C18:2, C18:3, and C20:2 fatty acids in the crop rotation system rapeseeds.

Table 5: Fatty acid profile (%) in seeds of winter rapeseed grown under different agricultural production systems. 

Averages in two rows followed by the same letter are nonsignificant (α < 0.05); ± standard deviation.

aC14:0 myristic acid; C15:0 pentadecanoic acid; C16:0 palmitic acid; C17:0 margaric acid; C18:0 stearic acid; C20:0 arachidic acid; C22:0 behenic acid; C16:1 palmitoleic acid; C17:1 margaric-oleic acid; C18:1 oleic acid c9; C18:1 octadecanoic acid c11; C20:1 eicosenic acid; C18:2 linoleic acid; C18:3 linolenic acid; C20:2 eicosadienoic acid.

bM: Fifth year of monoculture (monoculture), Cr: fourth year break in rapeseed (crop rotation).

According to nutritional studies, a proper ratio of n-6 to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the daily ration should range from 6:1 to 4:1, although according to the experts of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL), the n-6 PUFA to n-3 PUFA ratio in the diet should not exceed 4 (Ntawubizi et al., 2010). The percentage changes in the proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid (C18:2) and linolenic acid (C18:3) did not exert any significant impact on the C18:2/C18:3 ratio in rapeseed from either crop rotation systems (Table 6). Greater differences in the C18:2/C18:3 acid ratio were reported with a varied level of agricultural engineering technology. An increased intensity of the technology significantly reduced the ratio of these acids both in the crop rotation and monoculture system. The recorded proportions of linoleic acid-to-linolenic acid approximated the levels reported by Tanska et al. (2009).

Table 6: Saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and C18:2/C18:3 in seeds of winter rapeseed grown under different agricultural production systems. 

Averages in two rows followed by the same letter are nonsignificant (α < 0.05); ± standard deviation

The average content of SFA in rapeseed oil was 7.41%, PUFA was approximately 28.2%, and MUFA was approximately 64.3%. Neither the level of technology nor the crop sequence impacted the content of SFA with C14, C15, C16, C17, C18, C20, and C22 atoms. The highest content of MUFA (66.1%) was recorded with the highest level of technology in the crop rotation system, and of PUFA (29.9%) with the low-input monoculture system. Rapeseed oil from the monoculture system contained a significantly higher amount of MUFA (medium-input) and PUFA (low- and high-input). Depending on the level of rapeseed saturation in crop rotation and technology, the MUFA:PUFA ratio ranged from 2.1:1 to 2.5:1 and was similar to typical rapeseed oil. According to Liersch et al. (2013), oil with the monounsaturated-to-polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio of 2:1 perfectly fits into the nutritional recommendations.

A correlation analysis shows a negative relation between seed yield and content of P (r = -0.535) (Table 7). There was a positive relation between fat yield and seed yield (r = 0.929) and Mn level (r = 0.623) and a negative relation between P (r = -0.596) and Fe content (r = -0.669). The increase in SFA was closely correlated with K (r = 0.800) and Mg (r = 0.920) contents. There was a positive correlation between the MUFA content and the level of P (r = 0.604), and Ca (r = 0.876) with the content of Cu, Zn, and Mn (r = 0.487, r = 0.511 and r = 0.585, respectively). As the only lipid fraction, PUFAs were correlated with seed yield (r = -0.472). Together with the increase in Mg and Fe content, the amount of PUFA increased (r = 0.514 and r = 0.553, respectively) whereas the PUFA fractions decreased together with increasing Ca and Mn levels (r = -0.835 and r = -0.578, respectively).

Table 7: Correlations between seed yield, fat content, macro and micronutrients in seeds and fat yield, saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in seeds of winter rapeseed grown under different agricultural production systems. 

ns: Nonsignificant differences.

CONCLUSIONS

In general, the impact of winter rapeseed in crop sequence systems was found to have an insignificant impact on the content of macronutrients and trace elements in seeds, except for the higher levels of Ca (high-input), Mn (low-input and medium-input) and Zn (medium-input) in rapeseeds from the crop rotation system and higher contents of Ca (medium-input) and Fe (low-input) in the monoculture system.

The highest level of agricultural technology (high-input method) in both systems resulted in a significant increase of Zn and Mn content in seeds and N and Ca level in the crop rotation system.

The medium-input and high-input technologies applied in the monoculture contributed to an increased percentage of oleic acid (C18:1 c9) in rapeseeds, whereas the low-input and high-input technologies resulted in an increased percentage proportion of C18:2 and C18:3 acids in the monoculture rapeseeds. The medium-input level generated an increased proportion of C20:0, C18:1 C11, C18:2, C18:3 and C20:2 fatty acids in rapeseeds cultivated in the crop rotation system.

The increase in the level of technological input significantly changed the ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids to linoleic (C18:2) and linolenic acids (C18:3) in both the crop rotation and monoculture systems.

The proportion of saturated fatty acids was positively correlated with the content of K and Mg. The level of monounsaturated fatty acids was positively correlated with P and Ca content and with levels of Cu, Zn and Mn. The proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids was positively correlated with the level of Mg and Fe, although it was negatively correlated with the seed yield and the content of Ca and Mn.

The oil content in winter rapeseeds ranged from 46.0% to 59.1%. The fat yield was strongly correlated with the seed yield (r = 0.929) although it was independent of the fat content. The highest fat yield was generated with the crop rotation system at the highest input level, whereas the lowest yield was recorded in the low-input monoculture technology.

Continuous rape cultivation does not have negative effects on seed yield and quality. Because of the technological quality of the seed, which is determined by the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acid, it is advisable to use low-input technology.

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Received: April 07, 2017; Accepted: June 29, 2017

*Corresponding author (arkadiusz.stepien@uwm.edu.pl).

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