In recent years, the tendency of enlarging of the planted areas under oilseed crops in Kazakhstan is distinctly observed due to steady increase of demand for oilseeds and its by-products on the global market, in particular, in neighboring countries (China, Iran, etc.).
It is well known that agricultural machinery, seeds material and weather conditions are the main factors effecting the quantity and quality of the harvest of all crops. Weather conditions (like temperature, humidity of the external environment) render special influence on the harvest of oilseed crops.
The freshly harvested seed mass of the oilseeds is characterized by incompleteness of maturing and as a result - instability for the influence of external factors both - at the last stages of formation, and at the subsequent storage. Depending on the external conditions, the development of seeds can get ripeness in several directions like ripening in the field, postharvest ripening at temporary storage of freshly harvested seeds and (under adverse conditions) - self-warming resulted in increased number of acid and other negative indicators.
It must be kept in mind that the seed longevity depends on their chemical content. The seeds containing starch (cereals) are usually more viable. Oilseeds are, as a rule, less durable.
Conditions for maturing and harvesting in 2017 in Kazakhstan were very favorable for receiving high-quality oilseeds. Traditionally, the general harvest of oilseeds in the country totals nearly 2.2 mln tonnes, and North Kazakhstan oblast is the leading one by this indicator (712 thsd tonnes in 2017).
The structure of export will remains almost invariable in 2017 with the flaxseed staying the key export oilseed. The main importers of Kazakh flaxseed are the EU countries from which Belgium is obviously distinguished. Besides, the strong export of oilseed crops to Afghanistan and Turkey is outlined. Thus, as for the quality indicators, flaxseed of 2017 crop harvest possess a high oil content – 40% and more (on dry weight) and also insignificant concentration of free fatty acids (FFA) – no more than 0.8%. Respectively, the indicator of "acid number" (acid value) doesn't exceed an admissible limit of 2 mg of KOH.
The favorable situation is observed also with one more oilseed crop, rapeseed, which crop in the current year can total 300 thsd tonnes. Kazakh rapeseed is actively exported to Russia, Mongolia, quite good volumes also go to the European Union. The interest in import of oilseeds from RK is also expressed by China and Italy.
Speaking about the quality of Kazakh rapeseed, it is necessary to consider that, unlike other oilseed crops, they contain toxic inclusions – erucic acid and glucosinolates. When processing, erucic acid is completely extracted and passes into oil but it doesn’t get to rapeseed meal. The excess intake of erucic acid into the organism exerts negative impact on the functioning of cardiovascular system. Glucosinolates are the complex organic compounds including glucose and aglycon. However, glyucozinolates have low toxicity under the influence of microsinase enzyme which is contained in seeds of rapeseed; glyucozinolate are hydrolyzed with izotiotsionat, various cyclic connections, nitriles and other substances which negatively influence the functions of thyroid gland, liver, intestines. The quantity of toxic components in rapeseed is genetically determined and also depends on factors of the external environment.
The tested samples of 2017 rapeseed harvest demonstrate low quantity of the limiting factors: erucic acid – no more than 1% (at the limit of 2%); glyucozinolate – no more than 15 µmol/g (at the limit of 25 µmol/g). At the same time, the content of fat was in the range of 40 ÷ 50% (on dry weight). The amount of free fatty acids (FFA) didn't exceed an admissible limit (2%) and was within 0.2 ÷ 0.6%. Thus, quality indicators of rapeseed allow to count on its high export potential.
Sunflower is one more important oilseed crop, which harvest in Kazakhstan in 2017 totaled nearly 750 thsd tonnes. China and Uzbekistan are the main importers of the oilseed from Kazakhstan. As for the planted areas under sunflower, East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar oblasts are the main regions.
The seeds quality of sunflower as well as rapeseed shouldn’t call on special complaints. The oil content ranges from 45 to 50% (on dry weight) with a small amount of beaten (1.5%), overheated (1.7%) and corroded seeds (1.8%). The maintenance of the limiting components (mycotoxins, remains of pesticides, heavy metals, etc.) doesn't exceed admissible borders of the import countries.
However, we believe that due to the small output of sunflower seed Kazakhstan won’t be able to compete in the global market with key producers (Russia, Ukraine).
High-quality vegetable oil is also developed from soybeans. Thus, the main productive region of soybeans in Kazakhstan is Almaty oblast with the average harvest at 200-300 thsd tonnes per year. 15-20% of the total harvest annually goes for export. Sweden, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the main importers of Kazakh soybeans.
However, it should be noted that now soybeans isn't too popular among Kazakh agrarians, due to the lack of sales markets, first of all, because of tough competition with China as the top global producer. Also, we are bound to note the high versatility of the reporting crop. It’s usefulness is undoubted. For the protein value it surpasses the best quality meat. And it’s protein isn't similar to vegetable proteins, and by the amino-acid structure is closer to egg protein with the total absence of purines. Soybean seeds contain on average 36-42% of full-fledged protein, 19-22% of oil and up to 30% of carbohydrates. Thus, providing an appropriate observance of requirements of agro-technology and high-quality seeds, this crop is the way of the future.
Speaking about oilseed by-products, it should be noted the clear tendency of high demand for Kazakh meals and cakes observed in China and Iran for the last 2-3 years. At the same time it is necessary to consider high requirements to the quality indicators of the production in Iran such as protein content, fats, celluloses, ashes, heavy metals, urea, etc. and also humidity and microbiological indicators.
Nevertheless, vegetable oil is the main by-product of oilseeds and soybeans. In this context, high interest to the product, besides China and Iran, is shown by the European counties. And, as a rule, the export-oriented primarily is the vegetable oils of first extraction which are then exposed to cleaning, odor removal, etc.
Summing up, it should be noted that the interest of foreign consumers for purchasing of oilseeds, beans and their by-products increases that has to mobilize Kazakh agrarians and processors. At the same time, of course, special attention should be paid to the questions of quality of raw materials and by-products.
business manager of agro-industrial complex department at LLP SGS Kazakhstan