Deutsch (DE-CH-AT)English (United Kingdom)


Sunday, 26 May 2019
Rapeseed oil (Colza oil)
Print E-mail


Colza oil is obtained by pressing or by extraction from the seed of low cis-docos-13-enoic acid varieties of Brassica napus L. and Brassica rapa L. (Cruciferae). Usually, it is then refined.Within the temperate latitudes, rapeseed has been cultivated since ancient times. It is not known for certain in which country it originated, but it is believed to have been somewhere in Eurasia, where the plant was mentioned as far back as the 2nd millennium B.C. The German name 'Rüb oil' does not actually come from (sugar) 'Rübe' (colza), but from the mediæval word 'Rübse' (=rapeseed). In addition to Europe, the following countries and areas also cultivate this crop: India, China, North America and Canada.

For centuries, colza oil was characterised by its high cis-docos-13-enoic acid content, which acted not only as a barrier to human nutrition (pathological changes to the myocardium and to cardiac lipids), but also compromised animal health (reduced appetite, weight reduction, thyroid enlargement). It was not until varieties were bred that were low in cis-docos-13-enoic acid that humans were able to use colza oil for dietary purposes (1973 saw the German Bundessortenamt [Federal plant-breeding agency] license the first variety with a low in cis-docos-13-enoic acid content.

Crude oil is obtained by purifying kribbled seed (oil content 30-40%), which is then heat-treated, flaked, conditioned (de-activation of lipase, myrosinase and thioglucosidase), pressed and/or extracted. The crude oil is then refined. The clear, pale to brown-yellow, semi-drying colza oil obtained in this manner, consisting mainly of palmitic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids, gives off a very faint smell, with either no taste or a slightly bitter taste. Colza oil is finding (increasing) use as an edible oil, following fat-hardening, in margarine production and as a mineral oil additive. It acts as a raw material in the production of factice (elastic mass for rubber goods), insect lime, grafting wax, plasters, leather greasing agent and it is a raw material for biological diesel production (methyl esters of rapeseed). In the pharmaceuticals trade, colza oil is used, inter alia, as a filler in soft gelatine capsules.Since 'old' colza oil, rich in cis-docos-13-enoic acid, is a good source of C20 and C22 fatty acids (plastics processing and detergent industries), these varieties of rapeseed are, once again, being cultivated on a wider scale.

INCI Name: Brassica Campestris Seed Oil