About Canola Oil

Canola is a specific edible type of rapeseed, developed in the 1970s, which contains about 40 percent oil. The term “canola” is a registered name by the Western Canadian Oilseed Crushers Association. Canola varieties must have an erucic acid content of less than 2 percent and less than 30 micromoles of glucosinolates per gram of seed. This makes it acceptable as an edible oil and animal protein feed. Canola oil is considered one of the highest quality edible oils available. Canadian and U.S. farmers mostly grow low-erucic acid and low-glucosinolate varieties. High-erucic acid oil rapeseed is grown and used for industrial lubricants. This type of rapeseed mostly is grown in Europe, although some production occurs in Canada and the U.S.

In January 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted canola oil GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for use in human foods. This has led to greatly increased sales and demand in the U.S., with only part of the demand being met by U.S. production. Canola oil has achieved worldwide commodity status and is extensively used in Japan, Canada, and Europe.