Canola Oil is a Vegetable Oil derived from a variety of Rapeseed that is low in Erucic Acid (CH3(CH2)7CH=CH(CH2)11COOH), as opposed to Colza Oil. Canola was originally a trademark name of the Rapeseed Association of Canada, and the name was a condensation of “Can” from Canada and “OLA ” meaning “Oil, low acid”, but is now a generic term for edible varieties of rapeseed oil in North America and Australia.
The change in name serves to distinguish it from natural rapeseed oil, which has much higher erucic acid content. There are both edible and industrial forms produced from the seed of any of several cultivars of the plant family Brassicaceae, namely cultivars of Brassica napus L., Brassica subsp. Oleifera (syn. B. campestris L.), or Brassica juncea, which are also referred to as “Canola”.
According to the Canola Council of Canada, an industry association, the official definition of canola is “Seeds of the genus Brassica (Brassica napus, Brassica rapa or Brassica juncea) from which the oil shall contain less than 2% erucic acid in its fatty acid profile and the solid component shall contain less than 30 micromoles of any one or any mixture of 3–butenyl glucosinolate, 4–pentenyl glucosinolate, 2–hydroxy–3 butenyl glucosinolate, and 2–hydroxy–4–pentenyl glucosinolate per gram of air–dry, oil–free solid.
Canola oil is widely used as cooking oil, salad oil and in making margarine. Commodity canola oil is low in saturated fatty acids, which may have adverse effects on blood cholesterol levels. Hence, replacing highly saturated oils (i.e., animal fats, cottonseed) with canola oil in diet is a good option for a healthier life style. Some other current and potential non–food uses of canola oil include hydraulic fluid, biodiesel, cosmetics, engine oils, heat transfer oils, demolding agents, solvents, lubricants and printing ink formulations.
Consumption of the oil has become common in industrialized nations. It is also used as a source of biodiesel. It is made at a processing facility by slightly heating and then crushing the seed. Almost all commercial canola oil is then extracted using hexane solvent which is recovered at the end of processing. Finally, it is refined using water precipitation and organic acid to remove gums and free fatty acids, filtering to remove color, and deodorizing using steam distillation. The average density of canola oil is 0.92 g/ml (0.033 lb/cu in). Cold–pressed and expeller–pressed canola oil is also produced on a more limited basis. About 44% of a seed is oil, with the remainder as a canola meal used for animal feed. About 23/Kg. (51/lb) of its seed makes 10/L (2.64 US gal) of canola oil. It 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, after Soybean Oil and Palm Oil. The oil has many non–food uses and, like soybean oil, is often used interchangeably with non–renewable petroleum–based oils in products, including industrial lubricants, biodiesel, candles, lipsticks and newspaper inks, depending on the price on the spot market. Canola vegetable oils certified as organic are required to be from non–Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) rapeseed.
Health benefits of Canola Oil:
Highest in “Good Fats”:
Fat is important for balanced nutrition and maintaining your health because it gives you energy, it helps your body grow and develop, and it helps your body absorb micronutrients, such as vitamins “A”, “D”, “E” and “K”.
There are two types of good fats: (1) Polyunsaturated fat and (2) Monounsaturated fat. At 93%, it the highest amount polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats compared to all other popular cooking oils, including olive, sunflower, corn, soybean and palm oil.
The polyunsaturated fats in Canola oil are rich in two essential fatty acids: omega–3 and omega–6. These fatty acids are classified as essential for your health because your body cannot make them. Monounsaturated fats contain omega–9 fatty acids. Replacing foods that are high in “bad” fats, with foods that are high in unsaturated or “Good” fats can lower LDL cholesterol levels in your blood and in turn, decrease your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is a waxy substance and it’s essential for normal metabolic function. There are two types of cholesterol: Good (HDL) and Bad Cholesterol (LDL). Too much bad cholesterol (LDL) can clog your blood vessels with plaque, reducing oxygen and blood flow to your body. The good cholesterol (HDL) carries away the bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Canola oil has the lowest amount of “Bad Fats”
There are two types of “bad” fats: Trans fat and Saturated fat. Too much Trans and saturated fats can increase your risk of heart disease. It contains the lowest amount of saturated fat compared to all other commercial oils in the market and has zero Trans fats. At only 7%, canola oil has half the saturated fat of olive oil. At 91% and 51% respectively, coconut and palm oil have the highest amount of saturated fat.
Canola oil and other liquid vegetable oils are a better option than solid fats such as butter and coconut oil because they are high in “good fats” and lower in “bad fats”. Canola has the lowest amount of saturated fat among all commercially available vegetable oils, which makes it a great contribution to a healthy diet.
Like all plant–derived oils, Canola Oil has zero cholesterol.
Standard Specification of Refined Bleached Deodorized (RBD) Canola Oil: