Tuesday, July 04, 2023

History of canola oil

Rapeseed oil has been used in Asia for cooking and lighting purposes for many centuries. However, during the 18th century with the introduction of steam engines, it was discovered that rapeseed oil, which contains a high level of erucic acid, had better adhesion to metal surfaces in steam engines compared to other oils.

In the early 1950s, the National Research Council and private oil processors in Canada conducted experiments to explore the potential of rapeseed for edible applications. This research was motivated by the agricultural prospects of rapeseed and the need to find an alternative cash crop for Prairie farmers.

The production of canola oil began in Canada in 1974. Canola oil is derived from rapeseed using traditional plant breeding techniques that successfully reduced the levels of erucic acid and glucosinolate.

Canola was developed from rapeseed cultivars of Brassica napus and B. rapa at the University of Manitoba, Canada, by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s.

The term 'Canola' is a blend of 'Canadian' and 'ola,' which means oil. In 1978, the Western Canadian Oilseed Crushers' Association trademarked the term canola to distinguish the new low-erucic acid and low-glucosinolate varieties and their products from the older rapeseed varieties.
History of canola oil