Rapeseed (Brassica napus)
Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, oilseed rape, and, in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola, is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed. It is the third-largest source of vegetable oil in the world.
In Italy the cultivar Brassica rapa, called Rapini, Broccoletto or Cime di Rape, is eaten sauted and in pasta dishes, prefering the tender floretes like broccoli over the harder more fibrous stalks.
Today, rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, edible vegetable oils, and biodiesel; leading producers include the European Union, Canada, China, India, and Australia, due to its very high lipid and medium protein content.
Rapeseed Oil commonly known as Canola Oil is very rich in minerals. Canola is a trademark name; the condensation of "Can" from Canada and "Ola" meaning oil. Canola was bred from rapeseed cultivars of B. napus and B. rapa at the University of Manitoba, Canada, by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s, having then a different nutritional profile than present-day oil in addition to much less erucic acid.
Rapeseed oil is produced in two ways, a) By slightly heating and then crushing the seed, which oil is then extracted using hexane solvent, b) By cold-pressed and expeller-pressed. Only the latter would have the Organic Certification when derived from non-GMO rapeseed.
Rapeseed oil is considered safe for people to eat, and has a relatively low amount of saturated fat, a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat, with roughly a 2:1 mono- to poly-unsaturated fats ratio. Although wild rapeseed oil contains significant amounts of erucic acid, the cultivars used to produce commercial, food-grade canola oil were bred to contain less than 2% erucic acid, an amount deemed not significant as a health risk. The currect erucic acid content in comercial rapeseed oil from 2008 - 2015 was 0.01%.
Valued for its high oleic acid content (61%), rapeseed oil is a great addition in the manufacturing of cosmetics and soaps.
Find Organic Rapeseed Oil in the following BVO products.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.