Canola refers to both an edible oil (also known as Canola oil) produced from the seed of any of several varieties of the rape plant, and to those plants, namely acultivar of either rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) or field mustard/turnip rape (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, syn. Brassica campestris L.). Consumption of the oil is not believed to cause harm in humans and livestock.It is also used as a source of biodiesel.
Canola was bred naturally from rapeseed at the University of Manitoba, Canada, by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s and had a different nutritional profile, in addition to much less erucic acid. In the international community, Canola is generally referred to as Rapeseed 00 or Double Zero Rapeseed to denote both low glucosinolates and low erucic acid. In addition to varieties from the traditional Rapa dn Napus species, recent cross-breeding of multiples lines of Brassica junceahave enable this mustard variety to be classified as a canola variety by lowering both erucic acid and glucosinolates to the market standards, achieving LEAR status (forlow erucic acid rapeseed). It may also be referred to as canola oil and is considered safe for human consumption.
Production and trade
Rapeseed was once considered a specialty crop in Canada, but canola now has become a major American cash crop. Canada and theUnited States produce between 7 and 10 million tonnes of canola seed per year. Annual Canadian exports total 3 to 4 million tonnes of the seed, 800,000 tonnes of canola oil, and 1 million tonnes of canola meal. GM canola may not be grown in jurisdictions that have not approved GMOs. Within the United States, 90% of the canola crop is grown in North Dakota.
Rapeseed is the highest-producing oil seed crop in the USA. An Oregon State University researcher has determined that winter growing ofhybrid canola seed appears possible in central Oregon, USA; however, the state prohibits it from being grown in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties, because it may attract bees from specialty seed crops, such as carrots, which require bees for pollination. The rapeseed blossom is a major source of nectar for honeybees.
The major customers of canola seed are Japan, Mexico, China, and Pakistan, while the bulk of canola oil and meal goes to the United States, with smaller amounts shipped to Mexico, China, and Europe. World production of rapeseed oil in the 2002–2003 season was about 14 million metric tons.In the 2010–2011 season, world production is estimated to be at 58.4 million tonnes.The United States is a net consumer of canola oil, having used 3 billion pounds in 2010, 2.5 billion of which was imported from Canada.
The main price discovery mechanism for worldwide canola trade is the ICE Futures Canada (formerly Winnipeg Commodity Exchange) canolafutures contract. Rapeseed is traded on the Euronext exchange.
Bottle of canola cooking oil
Canola oil is made at a processing facility by slightly heating and then crushing the seed. Almost all commercial grade canola oil is then refined usinghexane. Finally, the crude oil is refined using water precipitation and organic acid, "bleaching" with clay, and deodorizing using steam distillation.Approximately 43% of a seed is oil.What remains is a rapeseed meal that is used as high quality animal feed. 22.68 kg (50 lb) of rapeseed makes approximately 10 L (2.64 US gal) of canola oil. Canola oil is a key ingredient in many foods. Its reputation as a healthy oil has created high demand in markets around the world, and overall it is the third most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world.
The oil has many non-food uses and often replaces non-renewable resources in products, including industrial lubricants, biofuels, candles, lipsticks, and newspaper inks. Canola oil is also recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for use as a fertility-preserving vaginal lubrication.
The average density of canola oil is 0.92 g/ml.