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Rapeseed Oil:

Rapeseed oil is extracted from the "Raps" or rape plant, specifically the seeds. It is a very common crop and it has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years in India and since the Middle Ages in Europe, mostly for lamp oil, to make soap and later to lubricate engines. It was eaten during famine times and during both World Wars when margarine was made out of it.

Up to 1974, rapeseed oil was used very little in the food industry; the rest was used in machine and chemical industries. Then, through selective breeding programs in several major universities, the bitter-tasting, toxic substance, erucic acid, was reduced to a level that was safe for human consumption in winter rapeseed. Later, in Canada, summer rapeseed was found with low levels of the acid and further research picked out plants with low levels of Glucosinolates as well.

Rapeseed today is used to make biodiesel, margarine, animal feed and bio plastics. A type of edible rapeseed oil is called Canola, which was bred in Canada in the 1970s. The name "Canola" is a contraction of "CANadian" and "OLA", which means oil and is now used generically to mean edible rapeseed oil. Rapeseed 00 is the term for one genetically modified type of edible rapeseed.

Canola oil contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and is high in monounsaturated fats. It is considered healthy oil for cooking by many people. It is liquid at room temperature, neutral-tasting and can be used for cooking at medium heat and in cold dishes as a dressing or marinade.

 

Rapeseed is related to mustard, turnips and other cabbage plants. Honeybees pollinate it and the honey is mixed with other types or sold as bakery-grade.

Bio diesel:

Rapeseed oil is used as diesel fuel, either as biodiesel straight in heated fuel systems, or blended with petroleum distillates for powering motor vehicles. Biodiesel may be used in pure form in newer engines without engine damage and is frequently combined with fossil-fuel diesel in ratios varying from 2% to 20% biodiesel.

Rapeseed oil is the preferred oil stock for biodiesel production in most of Europe, accounting for about 80% of the feedstock, partly because rapeseed produces more oil per unit of land area compared to other oil sources, such as soybeans, but primarily because canola oil has a significantly lower gel point than most other vegetable oils. An estimated 66% of total rapeseed oil supply in the European Union is expected to be used for biodiesel production. ...back

 

 
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