Canola oil is one of the most popular cooking oils on the planet. This versatile oil can be used in many cooking situations; from deep frying to baking a cake. However, it is also used in many non-food applications and is used in products such as; cosmetics, candles, inks, lubricants and biofuels. Canola oil is a popular choice in cooking because it is low in saturated fat and contains beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains a toxic substance known as erucic acid, but the levels in canola oil are well below the safety threshold. You might be wondering how this versatile cooking oil is made? Read on to find out.
How is canola oil made?
Canola oil is made from a hybrid variety of the rapeseed plant that was first bred in Canada (that is how Canola oil got its name). This strain of rapeseed, today known as canola, has much less of the toxic erucic acid than wild rapeseed, which made it suitable for commercial sale. The process of making the oil is as simple as; harvesting the canola plant, separating the seed from the plant, crushing the seed and then pressing the canola seed to get the oil. This can be done with a variety of methods, but the centrifuge, solvent extractor and the screw press are most commonly used. These can also be used together for the best level of oil extraction and some of the larger canola oil producers also use chemical extraction methods to extract almost all of the oil from the seeds.
Watch this video of canola oil being made: