Canola

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For the inventor of the harp in Celtic mythology, see Canola (mythology).

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 a cultivar of either rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) or field mustard/turnip rape (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, syn. B. campestris L.). Consumption of the oil is common and does not cause harm in humans[1][2] and livestock.[3] 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 B. rapa and B. napus species, recent cross-breeding of multiple lines of B. juncea have enabled this mustard variety to be classified as a canola variety by lowering both erucic acid and glucosinolates to the market standards, achieving 'LEAR' status (for low erucic acid rapeseed). It may also be referred to as canola oil and is considered safe for human consumption.[4]

Etymology[edit]

The name "canola" was chosen by the board of the Rapeseed Association of Canada in the 1970s. The "Can" part stands for Canada and "ola" refers to oil.[5][6] However, a number of sources, including dictionaries, continue to claim it stands for "Can(ada)+o(il)+l(ow)+a(cid). These dictionaries include the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary.[7] The name was coined partially to avoid the negative connotations of rape.[8]

History[edit]

Close-up of rapeseed blooms
Canola flower
Canola field in New South Wales, Australia

Canola was developed through conventional plant breeding from rapeseed, an oilseed plant already used in ancient civilization as a fuel. The word "rape" in rapeseed comes from the Latin word rapum meaning turnip. Turnip, rutabaga, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, and many other vegetables are related to the two natural canola varieties commonly grown, which are cultivars of B. napus and B. rapa. The change in name serves to distinguish it from natural rapeseed oil, which has much higher erucic acid content.

Brassica oilseed varieties are some of the oldest plants cultivated by humanity, with documentation of its use in India 4,000 years ago, and use in China and Japan 2,000 years ago.[9]:55 Its use in Northern Europe for oil lamps is documented to the 13th century.[9] Its use was limited until the development of steam power, when machinists found rapeseed oil clung to water- and steam-washed metal surfaces better than other lubricants. World War II caused high demand for the oil as a lubricant for the rapidly increasing number of steam engines in naval and merchant ships. When the war blocked European and Asian sources of rapeseed oil, a critical shortage developed, and Canada began to expand its limited rapeseed production.

After the war, demand declined sharply, and farmers began to look for other uses for the plant and its products. Rapeseed oil extracts were first put on the market in 1956–1957 as food products, but these suffered from several unacceptable characteristics. Rapeseed oil had a distinctive taste and a disagreeable greenish color, due to the presence of chlorophyll. It also contained a high concentration of erucic acid. Experiments on animals have pointed to the possibility that erucic acid, consumed in large quantities, may cause heart damage, although Indian researchers have published findings that call into question these conclusions and the implication that the consumption of mustard or rapeseed oil is dangerous.[10][11][12][13][14] Feed meal from the rapeseed plant also was not particularly appealing to livestock, because of high levels of sharp-tasting compounds called glucosinolates.

Canola was bred from rapeseed at the University of Manitoba, Canada, by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s,[15][16] and had a very different nutritional profile in addition to much less erucic acid.[17]

A variety developed in 1998 is considered to be the most disease- and drought-resistant canola variety to date. This and other recent varieties have been produced using genetic engineering. In 2011, 26% of the acres sown were genetically modified (biotech) canola.[18]

Canola was originally a trademark, but is now a generic term for edible varieties of rapeseed oil in North America and Australia. In Canada, an official definition of canola is codified in Canadian law.[19]

Production and trade[edit]

Rapeseed was once considered a specialty crop in Canada, but now has become a major American cash crop. Canada and the United 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. In the United States, 90% of the canola crop is grown in North Dakota.[20]

Rapeseed is the highest-producing oilseed crop in the United States. Winter growing of hybrid canola seed appears possible in central Oregon; 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 them for pollination. The rapeseed blossom is a major source of nectar for honeybees.

The major importers of canola seed are Japan, Mexico, China, and the European Union (EU), while the US is the primary importer of canola oil and meal. Canada accounts for more than half of world trade in canola seed, meal, and oil.[21] World production of rapeseed oil in the 2002–2003 season was about 14 million metric tons.[22] In the 2010–2011 season, world production is estimated to be at 58.4 million tonnes.[23] 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.[20]

The main price discovery mechanism for worldwide canola trade is the ICE Futures Canada (formerly Winnipeg Commodity Exchange) canola futures contract. Rapeseed is traded on the Euronext exchange.

Canola oil[edit]

Bottle of canola cooking oil

Canola oil is made at a processing facility by slightly heating and then crushing the seed. Almost all commercial canola oil is then refined using hexane. Finally, the crude oil is refined using water precipitation and organic acid, "bleaching" with clay, and deodorizing using steam distillation.[24] About 43% of a seed is oil;[25] the remainder is a rapeseed meal that is used as high quality animal feed. About 23 kg (51 lb) of rapeseed makes 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.[citation needed]

The oil has many nonfood uses and, like soybean oil, is often used interchangeably with non-renewable petroleum-based oils in products, including industrial lubricants, biofuels, candles, lipsticks, and newspaper inks depending on the price on the spot market. Canola oil is also recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for use as a fertility-preserving vaginal lubrication.[26]

The average density of canola oil is 0.92 g/ml.[27]

Health information[edit]

Compound Family  % of total
Oleic acid
ω-9
61%[28]
Linoleic acid
ω-6
21%[28]
Alpha-linolenic acid
ω-3
11%[28] 9%[29][30]
Saturated fatty acids
7%[28]
Palmitic acid
4%[29]
Stearic acid
2%[29]
Trans fat
0.4%[31]

Canola oil is low in saturated fat and contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 2:1. If consumed, it also reduces low-density lipoprotein and overall cholesterol levels, and as a significant source of the essential omega-3 fatty acid is associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.[32][33][34][35][36] Canola oil has been given a qualified health claim from the United States Food and Drug Administration due to its high levels of cholesterol-lowering fats.[37]

Erucic acid issues[edit]

Main article: Erucic acid

Although wild rapeseed oil contains significant amounts of erucic acid,[38] the cultivar used to produce commercial, food-grade canola oil was bred to contain less than 2% erucic acid, levels that are not believed to cause harm in humans,[39][40] and no health effects have been associated with consumption by humans of erucic acid[41] nor genetically modified canola oil.[42] Although rumors that canola oil can cause dangerous health problems circulated,[8][43] there is no evidence to support the conclusion that canola oil poses unusual health risks, and its consumption in food-grade forms is generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration.[2][39]

Chinese and Indian cultures have used rapeseed oils for thousands of years, but the form used was unrefined (natural), which may make a difference in effect on health.[44]

Research[edit]

Canolol (4-vinyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenol or 4-vinylsyringol), a phenolic compound showing antioxidant properties, is found in crude canola oil.[45]

Biodiesel[edit]

Main article: Biodiesel

Europe has invested heavily in infrastructure to use canola oil for biodiesel, spurred by EU biodiesel policy initiatives.[21]

Comparison to other vegetable oils[edit]

Vegetable oils
Type Processing
Treatment
Saturated
fatty acids[46]
Mono-
unsaturated
fatty acids[46]
Polyunsaturated fatty acids Oleic acid
(ω-9)
Smoke point
Total poly[46] linolenic acid
(ω-3)
Linoleic acid
(ω-6)
Canola (rapeseed) - 7.365 63.276 28.142 9-11 19-21 - 400 °F (204 °C)[47]
Coconut - 91.00 6.000 3.000 - 2 6 350 °F (177 °C)[47]
Corn - 12.948 27.576 54.677 1 58 28 450 °F (232 °C)[48]
Cottonseed - 25.900 17.800 51.900 1 54 19 420 °F (216 °C)[48]
Flaxseed/Linseed (European)[49] - 6 - 9 10 - 22 68 - 89 56 - 71 12 - 18 10 - 22 225 °F (107 °C)
Olive - 14.00 72.00 14.00 <1.5 9–20 - 380 °F (193 °C)[47]
Palm - 49.300 37.000 9.300 - 10 40 455 °F (235 °C)[50]
Peanut - 16.900 46.200 32.000 - 32 48 437 °F (225 °C)[48]
Safflower (>70% linoleic) - 8.00 15.00 75.00 - - - 410 °F (210 °C)[47]
Safflower (high oleic) - 7.541 75.221 12.820 - - - 410 °F (210 °C)[47]
Soybean - 15.650 22.783 57.740 7 50 24 460 °F (238 °C)[48]
Sunflower (<60% linoleic) - 10.100 45.400 40.100 0.200 39.800 45.300 440 °F (227 °C)[48]
Sunflower (>70% oleic) - 9.859 83.689 3.798 - - - 440 °F (227 °C)[48]
Cottonseed (hydrogenated) Hydrogenated 93.600 1.529 .587 .287[46]
Palm (hydrogenated) Hydrogenated 47.500 40.600 7.500
Soybean (hydrogenated) Hydrogenated 21.100 73.700 .400 .096[46]
Values as percent (%) by weight of total fat.

Genetic modification issues[edit]

Blooming Canola field in Saskatchewan, Canada.

A genetically engineered rapeseed that is tolerant to herbicide was first introduced to Canada in 1995 (Roundup Ready canola). In 2009, 90% of the Canadian crop was herbicide-tolerant.[51] As of 2005, 87% of the canola grown in the US was genetically modified.[52] A 2010 study conducted in North Dakota found glyphosate- or glufosinate-resistance transgenes in 80% of wild natural rapeseed plants, and a few plants that were resistant to both herbicides. The escape of the genetically modified plants has raised concerns that the build-up of herbicide resistance in feral canola could make it more difficult to manage these plants using herbicides. However one of the researchers agrees that ".. feral populations could have become established after trucks carrying cultivated GM seeds spilled some of their load during transportation." She also notes that the GM canola results they found may have been biased as they only sampled along roadsides.[53]

Legal issues[edit]

Legal issues include whether given countries allow GM canola to be grown, and litigation between farmers and patent holders.

Regulation[edit]

There are several forms of genetic modification, such as herbicide (glyphosate and glufosinate, for example) tolerance and different qualities in canola oil. Regulation varies from country to country; for example, glyphosate-resistant canola has been approved in Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, and the US, while Laurical, a product with a different oil composition, has been approved for growing only in the Canada and the US.[54]

In 2003, Australia's gene technology regulator approved the release of canola altered to make it resistant to glufosinate ammonium, a herbicide.[55] The introduction of the genetically modified crop to Australia generated considerable controversy.[56] Canola is Australia's third biggest crop, and is used often by wheat farmers as a break crop to improve soil quality. As of 2008, the only genetically modified crops in Australia were canola, cotton, and carnations.[57][58]

Litigation[edit]

Genetically modified canola has become a point of controversy and contentious legal battles. In one high-profile case (Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser) the Monsanto Company sued Percy Schmeiser for patent infringement after he replanted canola seed he had harvested from his field, which he discovered was contaminated with Monsanto's patented glyphosate-tolerant canola by spraying it with glyphosate, leaving only the resistant plants. The Supreme Court ruled that Percy was in violation of Monsanto's patent because he knowingly replanted the resistant seed that he had harvested and also imposing fees of over $200,000 on Schmeiser, but he was not required to pay Monsanto damages since he did not benefit financially from its presence.[59] On 19 March 2008, Schmeiser and Monsanto Canada Inc. came to an out-of-court settlement whereby Monsanto would pay for the clean-up costs of the contamination, which came to a total of C$660.[60]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Zeratsky, Katherine (2009). "Canola Oil: Does it Contain Toxins?". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Canola". infoplease.com. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
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  5. ^ Canola Council of Canada. "What is Canola?". Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  6. ^ AgCanada. "Canola was a "calculated" risk". Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  7. ^ "canola". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  8. ^ a b Mikkelson, Barbara (30 December 2005). "Canola Oil and Rape Seed". Snopes.com. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Snowdon R et al. "Oilseed Rape". Chapter 2 in Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding in Plants: OIlseeds. Ed, Chittaranjan Kole. Springer, 2007
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  11. ^ Shenolikar, I (1980). "Fatty Acid Profile of Myocardial Lipid in Populations Consuming Different Dietary Fats". Lipids 15 (11): 980–982. doi:10.1007/BF02534427. 
  12. ^ Bellenand, JF; Baloutch, G; Ong, N; Lecerf, J (1980). "Effects of Coconut Oil on Heart Lipids and on Fatty Acid Utilization in Rapeseed Oil". Lipids 15 (11): 938–943. doi:10.1007/BF02534418. 
  13. ^ Achaya, KT (1987). "Fat Status of Indians – A Review". Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research 46 (3): 112–126. 
  14. ^ Indu, M; Ghafoorunissa (1992). "n-3 Fatty Acids in Indian Diets – Comparison of the Effects of Precursor (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) vs Product (Long chain n-3 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids)". Nutrition Research 12 (4–5): 569–582. doi:10.1016/S0271-5317(05)80027-2. 
  15. ^ "Richard Keith Downey: Genetics". science.ca. 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
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  19. ^ "Canola Varieties". Canola Growers Manual. Canola Council of Canada. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  20. ^ a b As canola demand rises, US works to grow more, Gannett, Associated Press, 19 August 2011, retrieved 20 August 2011 
  21. ^ a b USDA Economic Research Service. Last updated: October 10, 2012 Canola
  22. ^ USDA. "Agricultural Statistics 2005" (PDF). 
  23. ^ FAS.usda.gov
  24. ^ http://www.canolainfo.org/canola/index.php?page=6
  25. ^ Soyatech.com
  26. ^ "Optimizing Natural Fertility". Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  27. ^ "Section 3.1: Leaking Tank Experiments with Orimulsion and Canola Oil". NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS OR&R 6. Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. December 2001. 
  28. ^ a b c d "Comparison of Dietary Fats Chart". Canola Council of Canada. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  29. ^ a b c USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21 (2008)
  30. ^ DeFilippis, Andrew P.; Laurence S. Sperling. "Understanding omega-3's" (PDF). Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. 
  31. ^ USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22 (2009)
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  37. ^ "Qualified Health Claims, Letter of Enforcement Discretion U.S. Food and Drug Administration". 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  38. ^ doi:10.1007/BF02672436
  39. ^ a b U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 1 April 2010.
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  42. ^ Reddy, Chada S.; Hayes, A. Wallace (2007). "Foodborne Toxicants". In Hayes, A. Wallace. Principles and methods of toxicology (5th ed.). London, UK: Informa Healthcare. p. 640. ISBN 0-8493-3778-X. 
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  45. ^ Canolol: A Promising Chemical Agent against Oxidative Stress. Annia Galano, Misaela Francisco-Márquez and Juan R. Alvarez-Idaboy, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2011, 115 (26), pages 8590–8596, doi:10.1021/jp2022105
  46. ^ a b c d e "Nutrient database, Release 24". United States Department of Agriculture.  All values in this column are from the USDA Nutrient database unless otherwise cited.
  47. ^ a b c d e Katragadda, H. R.; Fullana, A. S.; Sidhu, S.; Carbonell-Barrachina, Á. A. (2010). "Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils". Food Chemistry 120: 59. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.070.  edit
  48. ^ a b c d e f Wolke, Robert L. (May 16, 2007). "Where There's Smoke, There's a Fryer". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  49. ^ Fatty acid composition of important plant and animal fats and oils (German) 21 December 2011, Hans-Jochen Fiebig, Münster
  50. ^ Scheda tecnica dell'olio di palma bifrazionato PO 64 (Italian)
  51. ^ Beckie, Hugh et al (Autumn 2011) GM Canola: The Canadian Experience Farm Policy Journal, Volume 8 Number 8, Autumn Quarter 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012
  52. ^ Johnson, Stanley R. et al Quantification of the Impacts on US Agriculture of Biotechnology-Derived Crops Planted in 2006 National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, Washington DC, February 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  53. ^ "GM crop escapes into the American wild". Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  54. ^ eurofins. Last updated 31 January 2014 Genetically Modified Canola
  55. ^ "GM canola gets the green light". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 April 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  56. ^ for example Price, Libby (6 September 2005). "Network of concerned farmers demands tests from Bayer". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-10-10.  and "Greenpeace has the last laugh on genetic grains talks". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 13 March 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-20.  also Cauchi, Stephen (25 October 2003). "GM: food for thought". The Age. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  57. ^ GM Crops and Stockfeed
  58. ^ GM Carnations in Australia
  59. ^ Federal Court of Appeal of Canada. Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser (C.A.) [2003] 2 F.C. 165. Retrieved 25 March 2006.
  60. ^ "Monsanto vs Schmeiser: In the Spotlight". Retrieved 2009-03-05. [dead link]

External links[edit]