Canola Oil

Canola flowers

Canola oil is used in the formulation of salad dressings, shortening, deep frying, baking, cosmetics such as suntan oil, and soap. Canola oil is retrieved from the crushed seeds of the Canola plant, which is a part of the Brassica family just like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. The oil from the Canola plant, is considered beneficial for health as it contains the least amount of saturated fats and no trans-fats or cholesterol, making it the healthiest cooking oil. Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and a rich source of omega-6 fatty acid, essential for growth and development of the brain in individuals. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid.

History

Once considered a specialty crop in Canada, canola has become a major North 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. The United States is a net consumer of canola oil. The major customers of canola seed are Japan, Mexico, China and Pakistan, while the bulk of canola oil and meal goes to the United States, with smaller amounts shipped to Mexico, China, and Europe. World production of rapeseed oil in the 2002 to 2003 season was about 14 million metric tons.

Geography

Canola is either Canada’s first or second most valuable field crop besides wheat. The U.S. is Canada’s largest canola buyer. Canada’s principal seed buyers are Japan and Mexico, and China and Pakistan are emerging as major seed buyers. More than 52,000 Canadian farmers grow canola, Canola is also grown in the north central and southeastern United States. In Canada, the ten-year average is 11.3 million acres harvested. Canada is the biggest single producer of canola. However, the EU member countries combined grow more canola, and China’s rapeseed acreage exceeds Canada’s canola production. Canada produces 20 percent of the world’s canola/rapeseed and is by far the largest exporter, accounting for 74 percent of export trade. Canada produces GM, spring canola while winter canola predominates other geographic areas where canola is grown including the E.U. and China.

Skin & Body Care

Canola oil is rich in vitamin E and K, which helps to eradicate skin problems like wrinkles, fine lines, acne, blemishes etc. It is used as a base in many skin creams and lotions as it makes the skin supple and glowing. The fatty acids content in it helps to soothe and nurture dry skin.

Hair Care

The oil extracted from the Canola seed is considered beneficial to the hair. Hot oil hair treatments are an excellent remedy for dryness, breakage, frizzy hair and split ends. Canola oil is an inexpensive and tremendously effective remedy for limp or damaged hair.