Rapeseed Oil Production and Trade
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 in the world.
Rapeseed was once considered a specialty crop in Canada, but canola now has become a major American cash crop, and rapeseed is the highest-producing oil-seed crop in the USA. 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 seeds, 800 thousand tonnes of canola oil and 1 million tonnes of canola meal. 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 2002–2003 season was about 14 million metric tons. In the 2010–2011 season, world production is estimated to be at 58.4 million tonnes. 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.
The Canola Oil Extraction
Step 1: Roll the seeds with a sheller to rupture cells and make the seeds easier to be extracted.
Step 2: Heat the seeds slightly and feed them to the oil press machine for the first process which removes some of the oil and compresses the seeds into canola meal.
Step 3: Canola meal undergoes further processing to remove the remaining oil content. The oil content in the rapeseed ranges from 37.5% to 46.3%. So this step can’t be neglected.
Step 4: Combine the oil extracted during each step, and then subject them to processing according to the end product requirements. Different treatments are used to process salad oils, margarine, and shortenings.
Canola Oil Nutrition
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. It is recognized by many health professional organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and American Heart Association. 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.
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