Facts about rapeseed

We found 24 facts about rapeseed

Probably a hybrid

Rapeseed - one of three varieties of cabbage rapeseed (Brassica napus) is probably an offspring of two different species. It is one of the oilseed crops grown for its high-fat content. A distinctive feature of rapeseed is its intense yellow, four-petaled flowers, which make the fields look almost magical in May.

The first records of rapeseed cultivation date back 6000 years ago in Asia.
In Europe, rapeseed began to be cultivated in the 13th century.

At that time, rapeseed oil was used as fuel for lamps and later also for soap production.

In Poland, oilseeds have already been found in excavations dating back to the 10th century.

In serf times, rapeseed oil was used by the poor as an omelet.

Rapeseed is currently grown in many countries around the world, in temperate and subtropical climates.
The largest rapeseed producer in Europe is France, followed by Germany.

Globally, the largest producers are Canada, China and India.

Rapeseed comes in two forms: spring and winter.

Spring rapeseed is an annual crop and winter is a biennial.

Winter rapeseed is mainly grown in Poland, with its crops occupying 95% of the area of all oilseed crops.

Seeds are sown in August, germinating as early as a week after sowing into the ground. Even before winter, rapeseed produces a short stem covered with several leaves. Full development and flowering occurs in the spring. The first flowers appear in May, although in warmer areas of the field, they can bloom as early as April.

Rapeseed blooms for about 45 days and the flowers are pollinated by bees.

Spring rapeseed blooms in late June and early July.Spring rapeseed blooms in late June and early July.

The fruit of rapeseed is the psyllium (a dry, cracking fruit), containing many seeds.

The psyllium cracks quite easily, so there can be significant losses when harvesting.

Winter rapeseed typically contains 45-47% fat.

It takes about 2.5 -3 kg of rapeseed to produce a liter bottle of oil.

Seed fat is obtained mainly by pressing pre-crushed cold or heated seeds in screws or roller presses or by extraction with various solvents.

In industry, single or double pressing is used, depending on the needs.

The oil obtained by pressing is dark yellow, turning light yellow when refined.

Oil intended for consumption must be deodorized.

The edible oil obtained from the seeds is intended for the production of margarine and other cooking fats.
In industry, rapeseed oil is used to produce varnish.

It is also used to produce diesel fuel, and biodiesel.

After the oil is pressed from the seeds, what remains is a so-called post-extraction meal, which is a valuable animal feed that contains a high amount of protein.
Rapeseed straw is not suitable for either animal feed or bedding.

It is used as fuel or for making fiberboard.

Rapeseed is very important in beekeeping.

It is a melliferous crop, and thanks to its large areas of cultivation, it is a rich source of raw material for bees.

Rapeseed oil is called the "oil of the North" and is the primary vegetable oil in many European countries.

In the kitchen it is used for almost everything: frying, stewing, baking, salads, and dressings.

Canola oil used to be notorious for its high content of erucic acid.

This acid has toxic effects on the body. It makes up as much as 50% of the fatty acids in this oil.

Nowadays, the oil is pressed from erucic-free rapeseed varieties, also known as double-improved, which contain less than 2% of this fatty acid.
90% of rapeseed oil's content is unsaturated fatty acids.

The majority of these are oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids, or essential fatty acids (EFAs), which play an important role in many metabolic processes.

Canola oil is characterized by an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (2:1).

At the same time, it contains only 7% saturated fatty acids, half as much as olive oil.

It is a valuable source of fat-soluble vitamins, especially provitamin A, as well as vitamins K and E.

It also contains plant sterols and phytosterols which are one of the basic building blocks of plant cell walls. They can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine while helping to lower the level of the LDL fraction of cholesterol.

Rapeseed oil also has applications in cosmetics.

Thanks to its high content of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, it can be used for skin and hair care, as an ingredient in homemade masks, makeup removers, or homemade scrubs.

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