canola

In agriculture, canola is a trademarked quality description of a group of cultivars of rapeseed variants from which low erucic acid rapeseed oil and low glucosinolate meal are obtained. Also known as "LEAR" oil (for Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed), Canola was initially bred in Canada by Keith Downey and Baldur Stefansson in the 1970s.

The word "canola" is derived from "Canadian oil, low acid" in 1978 . [1][2]

History

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Canola field in Temora, New South Wales
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Canola field near Bindi Bindi Western Australia
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Canola field near Red Deer, Alberta


Once considered a specialty crop in Canada, canola has evolved into a major North American cash crop. Canada and the United States produce between 7 and 10 million metric tons (tonnes) of canola seed per year. Annual Canadian exports total 3 to 4 million metric tons of the seed, 700,000 metric tons of canola oil and 1 million metric tons 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 Taiwan, Mexico, China, and Europe. World production of rapeseed oil in the 2002–2003 season was about 14 million metric tons. [3]

Canola was developed through conventional plant breeding from rapeseed, an oilseed plant with roots in ancient civilization. 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 canola species commonly grown: Brassica napus and Brassica rapa. The negative associations with the word "rape" in North America resulted in the more marketing-friendly name "Canola", but also to distinguish it from regular rapeseed oil, which has much higher erucic acid content. Hundreds of years ago, Asians and Europeans used rapeseed oil in lamps. As time progressed, people employed it as a cooking oil and added it to foods. Its use was limited until the development of steam power, when machinists found rapeseed oil clung to water- and steam-washed metal surfaces better than other lubricants. World War II saw high demand for the oil as a lubricant for the rapidly increasing number of steam engines in naval and merchant ships. When the war blocked European and Asian sources of rapeseed oil, a critical shortage developed and Canada began to expand its limited rapeseed production.

After the war, demand declined sharply and farmers began to look for other uses for the plant and its products. Edible rapeseed oil extracts were first put on the market in 1956–1957, but these suffered from several unacceptable characteristics. Rapeseed oil had a distinctive taste and a disagreeable greenish colour due to the presence of chlorophyll. It also contained a high concentration of erucic acid. Experiments on animals have pointed to the possibility that erucic acid, consumed in large quantities, may cause heart damage, though Indian researchers have published findings that contradict these conclusions. Feed meal from the rapeseed plant was not particularly appealing to livestock, due to high levels of sharp-tasting compounds called glucosinolates.

Rapeseed had been grown in Canada (mainly Saskatchewan) since 1936 . Canadian plant breeders took up the challenge to improve the quality of the plant. In 1968, Dr. Baldur Stefansson of the University of Manitoba used selective breeding to develop a low erucic acid variety of rapeseed. In 1974 another variety was produced with both a low erucic acid content and a low level of glucosinolates; this was dubbed Canola, from Canadian Oil Low Acid.

A variety developed in 1998 is considered to be the most disease- and drought-resistant variety of Canola to date. Recent varieties such as this have been produced by gene splicing techniques.

Canola could emerge as a crop in Central Oregon. An Oregon State University researcher has determined that growing winter canola for hybrid seed now appears possible. Canola is the highest producing oil-seed crop, but the state prohibits it from being grown in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties because it may attract bees away from specialty seed crops such as carrots which require bees for pollination.

Health effects

Canola oil has been touted as a healthy oil due to its low saturated fat and high monounsaturated oil content—the latter almost 60%—and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids profile. The Canola Council of Canada states it is completely safe and is the healthiest of all commonly used cooking oils.[4] Traditional rapeseed oil contains higher amounts of erucic acid and glucosinolates, both of which were deemed undesirable for human consumption by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Erucic acid is implicated with cancer and rancidity and glucosinolates are goitrogenic. Canola oil reduces them to very low levels—0.5 to 1% for erucic acid—which is below the 2 percent limit set by the USDA.[5]

For many years, rapeseed oil was used for human consumption in Canada. Although the undesirable effects of glucosinolates and erucic acid were known, they were deemed an acceptable risk versus the many health benefits of rapeseed oil. Nonetheless, researchers attempted and were able to develop fully "double-zero" varieties by the 1980s without significant levels of those two compounds.

Nonetheless, the oil generated controversy with an article implicating Canola oil with glaucoma and the Mad Cow Disease.[6] This article was taken up, condensed and widely circulated in a story via emails. The industry and many health professionals condemn this as an email hoax and condemn its claims as being wholly unsubstantiated.[7]

Genetic modification

Genetically modified canola which is resistant to herbicide was first introduced to Canada in 1995. Today 80% of acres sown to canola are sown with genetically modified canola.[8]

Introduction of the genetically modified crop to Australia generated considerable controversy.[9] Canola is Australia's third biggest crop, and is often used by wheat farmers as a break crop to improve soil quality. As at 2003 the only genetically modified crops in Australia were non-food crops: carnations and cotton. In 2003, Australia's gene technology regulator approved the release of canola altered to make it resistant to the herbicide Glufosinate ammonium.[10]

Other facts

  • Today about 75% of the Canola crops planted in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are GM (genetically modified food) herbicide-tolerant varieties.
  • In 2004, North Dakota produced 91% of the Canola in the United States.[11]
  • "Canola oil (19 grams – about 1 ½ tablespoons per day) may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to its unsaturated fat content, according to supportive but not conclusive research. Canola oil should replace a similar amount of saturated fat in the diet without increasing calories."[12]
  • The rapeseed blossom is a major source of nectar for honeybees.
  • Canola oil is a promising source for manufacturing biodiesel, a renewable alternative to fossil fuels.
  • The main price-discovery mechanism for worldwide canola trade is the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange canola futures contract. Rapeseed is traded on the Euronext exchange.

References

1. ^ What is canola?. A problem with weeds – the canola story. Biotechnology Australia (Australian Government). Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
2. ^ Klahorst, Suanne J. (1998). Dreaming of the Perfect Fat. Food Product Design (Virgo Publishing). Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
3. ^ USDA. Agricultural Statistics 2005 (pdf).
4. ^ Canola Oil: The truth!. Canola Council of Canada. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. “Canola oil is the healthiest of all commonly used cooking oils. It is lowest in saturated fat, high in cholesterol-lowering mono-unsaturated fat and the best source of omega-3 fats of all popular oils.
5. ^ Canola oil: Is it harmful to your health?. Ask a food and nutrition specialist. MayoClinic.com (2006). Retrieved on 2007-10-20. “Currently, canola oil contains 0.5 percent to 1 percent erucic acid — which is well below the 2 percent limit set by the Food and Drug Administration.
6. ^ Thomas, John (1996). Blindness, Mad Cow Disease and Canola Oil. "This excerpt from John Thomas’ new book, Young Again: How to Reverse The Aging Process, published by Promotion Publishing, San Diego, has been edited especially for Perceptions." - web domain whale.to : ie the Country code top-level domain is Tonga. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. “Rape is the most toxic of all food-oil plants. ... Rape (canola) oil causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability and blindness in animals—and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991 when it was thrown out. You may remember reading about the cows, pigs and sheep that went blind, lost their minds, attacked people and had to be shot.
7. ^ Mikkleson, Barbara and David P. (2005). Urban Legends Reference Pages: Canola Oil and Rape Seed. Snopes. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. “What we have here is a bit of truth about a product's family history worked into a hysterical screed against the product itself. There is no earthly reason to give any credence to this rumor — Canola oil is not the horrifying product this widely-disseminated e-mail makes it out to be, nor has the FDA turned loose on the American public a health scourge worthy of being named one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse. and Edell, Dean (1999). Canola Oil: Latest Internet Hoax Victim. Healthcentral.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. “There are a lot of hoaxes and false health information being spread over the Internet that I've been collecting at HealthCentral in the Internet Hoax Watch Center. One of the latest to come to my attention is about canola oil, also known as rape seed oil. While canola oil has been shown to be beneficial, there has been a lot of bogus information showing up that defames the popular unsaturated product.
8. ^ Canola Facts: Why Growers Choose GM Canola. Canola Quick Facts. Canola Council of Canada. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. “GM or transgenic canola varieties have been modified to be resistant to specific herbicides. They are called herbicide-resistant varieties. The plants are modified, but the oil is not modified. It is identical to canola oil from non-modified or conventional canola. Herbicide-resistant GM canola is grown on about 80% of the acres in western Canada. GM canola was first introduced in 1995.
9. ^ for example Price, Libby. "Network of concerned farmers demands tests from Bayer", ABC Rural: Victoria, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 6 September 2005. Retrieved on 2007-10-10.  and "Greenpeace has the last laugh on genetic grains talks", Rural news, Australian Broadcaasting Corporation, 13 March 2003. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.  also Cauchi, Stephen. "GM: food for thought", Science article, The Age, 25 October 2003. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. 
10. ^ "GM canola gets the green light", National News, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 2003. Retrieved on 2007-10-20. 
11. ^ [1]
12. ^ [2]

External links

In Irish mythology, Canola was the mythical inventor of the harp. After having an argument with her lover, she left his bed in the middle of the night to take a walk. She heard beautiful music and sat down, soon falling asleep.
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Canola is a software application that acts as a full-screen media center for the Maemo Embedded Linux platform. Canola is able to play media stored locally on the device, and also find media from remote servers using the DAAP and UPnP protocols.
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Agriculture (from Agri Latin for ager ("a field"), and culture, from the Latin cultura "cultivation" in the strict sense of "tillage of the soil". A literal reading of the English word yields "tillage of the soil of a field".
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cultivar is a cultivated plant that has been selected and given a unique name because it has desirable characteristics (decorative or useful) that distinguish it from otherwise similar plants of the same species. When propagated it retains those characteristics.
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B. napus

Binomial name
Brassica napus
L.

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed
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Erucic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, denoted 22:1 ω-9. It is prevalent in rapeseed, wallflower seed, and mustard seed, making up 40 to 50 percent of their oils.
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B. napus

Binomial name
Brassica napus
L.

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed
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Richard Keith Downey, O.C., Ph.D., D.Sc., LL.D., F.A.I.C., F.R.S.C., (born January 26, 1927) is a Canadian agricultural scientist and, as one of the originators of canola, became known as the "Father of Canola".

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, In 1951 he received a B.S.A.
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Baldur Rosmund Stefansson, OC , OM, F.A.I.C. (April 26, 1917 - January 3, 2002) was a Canadian agricultural scientist and as one of the originators of canola, became known as the "Father of Canola".
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B. napus

Binomial name
Brassica napus
L.

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed
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B. napus

Binomial name
Brassica napus
L.

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed
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Trinomial name
Brassica rapa rapa
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The turnip (Brassica rapa var.
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