Canola is the acronym for the Canadian Oil Low Acid crop, developed in 1974, by the Canadian plant breeders from the oil seed rape, genetically modified by conventional techniques, to make it fit for human consumption. Canola is very low in erucic acid (about one per cent), and glucosinolates (30 μ mol/g). It is considered a healthy edible oil as it contains about 70 per cent of monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, more than most other edible oils. Canola seed cake can be used as cattle and poultry feed. People miscall it as Rai in Hindi.
Canola, got its most marketed name from its home town where it is majorly grown, in Canada. It is also known as Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed, or L.E.A.R.
Rape, Rapeseed is a plant belonging to the mustard family. Also known as Cole Mustard Seed.
Botanical name: Brassica Napus or Brassica Campestris.
For over 3,000 years rapeseed was the preeminent culinary fat for the Indians and Western Asians (Indian sub-continent) and China. It has been cultivated in Western Europe since the 13th century and has become the most popular culinary oil due to its high oleic and mono unsaturated fat profile.
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.
Most canola oil is processed using hexane, a chemical derived from petroleum. Hexane is not carcinogenic in rodents
In India, canola is uncommon, but other species such as Brassica juncea, Brassica nigra and Sinapis alba are widely used for oil extraction.
India comes under one of the top ten Canola producing countries. As of the 2013/2014 season, largest producer being European Union with 21,102 MT, Canada at second place with 17,960 MT, where as in China it was 14,458 and in India 7,300 MT.