What is Canola?
Canola is a crop that grows along with plants three to five feet tall, from which canola oil and food preparation seeds are harvested and crushed. These plants produce little, yellow flowers, which beautify the environment.
Canola seeds contain about 45% oil. That large percentage of oil comes in a small package. Canola seeds are about the size of poppy seeds, although they are brownish-black in color.
From germination to seed making, the life period of a canola plant takes about 3 ½ months, depending on temperature, moisture, sunlight, and soil fertility.
Canola is the cool season crop. It grows especially well on prairies, where cold nights and hot days allow it to develop its own unique fatty acid profile. Canola belongs to a part (or genus) of the crucifer family called Brassica. In addition to canola, brassica plants include mustard, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and turnips. Brasicas is a great source of food in many countries, including Canada.
Where did Canola Come From?
The name Canola was recorded as a trademark in Canada in 1970. The name comes from Can as in Canada and from Ola in oil! The plant was bred by Canadian scientists Dr. Keith Downey and Dr. Baldur Stefansson, who selected rapeseed populations when looking for a crop that would produce a healthy, edible oil product.
Before canola oil, most Canadian oils were used for edible purposes and people wanted domestic edible oils.
Canola was selected from rapeseed by the knowledge and ingenuity of these Prairie Plant scientists. Canola is not rapeseed. It looks the same but the nutritional makeup is very different. Canola came after years of hard work, research, and countless field tests of new plant species.
The canola oil has a complement of fatty acids that make it one of the healthiest oils. The canola oil is also a source of Vitamins E and K. Canola meal is a nutritious livestock feed.
Cooking with Canola
Canola is a versatile oil that can be used in baking, sautéing, frying, marinating, and salad dressings.
Canola oil has a light taste and color, stays liquid in the fridge (making it free-running), and blends well with herbs and spices.
Canola oil is used in baking results in a soft, moist texture. It can also be used to grease baking pans and can be used to replace high-saturated or Trans fats as an ingredient. Canola oil does not impart a distinctive flavor to baked products.
The Canola oil has a high smoke point. Even after a long frying time, canola oil forms a minimal amount of Tran’s fats. It doesn’t transfer food flavors.
Canola oil in a marinade helps moisturize the food while the acid (vinegar or lemon juice, etc.) helps to tenderize it. Canola oil’s mild flavor allows the flavors in food and the other marinade ingredients to prevail. The liquid stay in the refrigerator allows the canola marinade to be easily removed. It stays liquid in the refrigerator, which simplifies the marinating process.
How to Store
Canola oil is stored in a cool, dark place. Under these conditions, it will keep up to one year if tightly-sealed. Storing canola oil in a warm, light intensive place can speed up oxidation which causes the oil to turn rancid.
Why Use Non-Hydrogenated Canola Margarine?
- It has less Trans and saturated fats.
- It is recommended as a heart-healthy choice.
- It contains Vitamins A and E.
- It has cholesterol-lowering effects.
- It contains essential fatty acids.
Vegetable Oil Comes From
Some food products may include canola oil labeled “vegetable oil.” “Vegetable oil” on a label allows food manufacturers to change or add oil without changing the product label. This is not always the healthiest choice as there is no guarantee of the oil’s fatty acid composition.
Put Good Fat in your Diet!
People think that all fat is bad. In fact, fat is an important part of the diet, providing the largest amount of energy per gram in any food. In addition, fats help keep us warm and regulate our immune system. They contain essential fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids and improve the taste of food. However, there is general agreement among health professionals that the type of fat eaten is as important as the amount eaten. That’s why it’s important to choose healthy unsaturated fats like canola oil.
Canola oil is a healthy vegetable oil available to consumers. It is the lowest in saturated fat, which raises bad LDL cholesterol and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. It is high in monounsaturated fat which can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad LDL cholesterol in the blood and helping to control blood glucose. And, it’s high in omega-3 fats as well as a source of omega-6 fats – both of which you must include in your diet. Canola oil does not contain trans-fat and is cholesterol-free. It is high in vitamin E which protects against oxidative damage and can prevent cancer and heart disease.
The Canola oil is also a source of Vitamin K which is important to blood clotting and bone metabolism.
FOOD PRODUCTS FROM CANOLA OIL:
- Coffee whitener
- Cooking spray
- Snack foods
- Liquid shortening
- Salad oil
- Sandwich spread
- Cake mixes
- High-stability frying oil
- Antistatic for paper and plastic wrap
- Dust depressants
- De-icer for airplanes
- Printing ink
- Suntan oil
- Biodegradable greases
FROM CANOLA MEAL:
- Livestock feed
- Protein isolates for human food
- Pet food
- Fish food
- Poultry feed
Who produces the most canola?
The 20 percent of the world’s canola is produced by Canada, by far the largest exporter, accounting for 74 percent of export trade.
What is the price of canola per bushel?
Canola that began in 2019 with a cash price of about $10.50 per bushel is down to about $9.75. Some analysts believe it will be trading in the $9 to $9.50 range by summer.
Name Samira H.
Revised Date: 16-07-2020