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Rapeseed/canola Rapeseed oil has many great properties!

With the growing awareness of healthy eating, rapeseed oil is becoming increasingly important. It is not only good for our health, but also for the environment, as rapeseed cultivation promotes biodiversity and requires fewer pesticides than other oil plants.

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Canola oil/rapeseed oil

How is rapeseed oil produced?

Nowadays, rapeseed oil is one of the most widely produced vegetable oils alongside soybean oil and palm oil. After the ripe rapeseed has been thoroughly cleaned, its hulls can be broken open in a rolling mill. Three different methods can be used to obtain the oil: cold pressing, hot pressing and extraction. However, it should be noted that each production method has its advantages and disadvantages.

The cold pressing of rapeseed oil

When the seeds are cold-pressed, the oil is only produced by the mechanical pressure of the continuously rotating screw installed in the press, without any additional heat being added. The frictional heat alone produces an oil temperature of no more than 40°C. The extracted oil is then filtered mechanically.

In this way, most of the pure oil can be extracted without the use of chemical substances. The main advantage of cold pressing is that the fact that no high temperature is applied means that valuable flavors and ingredients (such as high-quality fatty acids, lecithin, enzymes, vitamins and minerals) and antioxidants, which are said to have a positive effect on human health, are retained. In addition, the oil remains chemically uncontaminated as no organic solvents are added and the oil retains its characteristic taste, smell and color.

Furthermore, cold-pressed oils have a shorter shelf life than refined oils due to their naturalness and the high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids and various other ingredients.

The hot pressing of rapeseed oil

If the hot pressing process is chosen for oil production, the oilseed is heated before mechanical pressing and before being added to the press. Hot pressing is particularly efficient if the heating is adapted to the press and the seed. A significant advantage of hot pressing is the higher oil yield. In addition, heating the oil releases important substances such as magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. However, pressing has decisive disadvantages. The valuable vitamins contained in the seeds are lost due to the increase in temperature and the hot pressing process also releases substances into the oil that can have a negative effect on its color, taste and smell.

Extraction – refined rapeseed oil

Germans often use refined rapeseed oil as an edible oil. This is obtained by extraction with hexane, which increasingly de-oils the rapeseed, and subsequent refining. However, extraction also has both advantages and disadvantages. Extraction is usually followed by refining. Another advantage is that refined oils have a better shelf life, a longer shelf life and a higher heat tolerance, as some of the unsaturated fatty acids contained in the oil are converted into saturated fatty acids during refining. However, the disadvantage of refined oils is that many valuable flavors and ingredients such as vitamins, carotenoids and minerals are removed.

The great properties of rapeseed oil

Oil presses for rapeseed processing

Refined rapeseed oil is almost colorless to yellowish and clear, while unrefined rapeseed oil has a dark yellow to brownish-yellow or greenish color.

There is also a difference in smell between the two types. Refined oil has a hint of citrus and smells fresh, slightly pungent and slightly green. Unrefined oil, on the other hand, smells nutty, slightly fruity and herbaceous and has a roasted note.

The taste is described as mild, pleasantly neutral and somewhat scratchy, sometimes also a little nutty.

Rapeseed oil can be kept for up to 12 months if stored in a cool, dark place at a constant temperature and without access to water and air.

Find out more about the many possible applications of rapeseed oil

Valuable agent in pharmacy and medicine

Rapeseed oil is used in the production of ointments and liniments, as a filling material for soft gelatine capsules and as a DC reagent for identifying fatty oils. In addition, the oleic acid contained in rapeseed oil can have a cholesterol-lowering effect and also support the various metabolic functions and the immune system. It can have an anti-inflammatory effect and provide relief for various complaints such as skin problems or joint pain.

Rapeseed oil is becoming increasingly popular in the cosmetics industry due to its nourishing properties

It moisturizes, smoothes the skin and can even help in the treatment of acne. More and more cosmetics brands are therefore relying on the natural benefits of rapeseed oil in their products.

Healthy and delicious oil for the kitchen

It is ideal for cooking, frying and baking and gives dishes a light and pleasant flavor. As rapeseed oil does not become bitter when combined with egg and dairy products, it is suitable for making marinades and mayonnaise. It is also used to produce margarine or shortening.

In addition to their own knowledge acquired through press trials, the following sources were used to create the article:

  • Öle, natürlich kaltgepresst, Basiswissen & Rezepte, Marcus Hartmann, Hädecke, 2008
  • Heilende Öle, Pflanzenöle als Nahrungs- und Heilmittel, Neue Erkenntnisse, Günter Albert Ulmer Verlag Tuningen
  • Lexikon der pflanzlichen Fette und Öle, Krist, Buchbauer, Klausberger, SpringerWienNewYork, 2008
  • www.wikipedia.de
  • en.wikipedia.org
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