Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa,
Rapaseed and Canola, is a bright yellow flowering member of the family
a mustard crop grown primarily for its seed which yields about forty
percent oil and a high-protein animal feed.
Growth and Cultivation
fall and spring seeded types of canola are available.
growth is characterized by six main growth stages. Much of the
management of this crop is related to the length of time and plant
characteristics within each of these stages.
is widely adapted, particularly to the cool extremes of the temperate
zones. Minimum temperatures for growth have been reported to be near
does best on medium textured, well drained soils. The crop is tolerant
of a soil pH as low as 5.5 and saline conditions.
Extraction and Processing
main types of processes are used to separate oil from an oilseed. The
first process is mechanical extrusion, in which the
seed is mechanically pressed, allowing the oil to be separated from the
meal. The second process is solvent extraction, which is often used in
conjunction with some form of mechanical extrusion.
solvent extraction process applies a solvent solution to material that
has been prepressed. The solvent bonds to oil in the pre-pressed
material and an oil laden solvent solution is then separated and further
processed to separate the oil from the solvent.
Mechanical extrusion typically recovers between 65% and 80% of the oil
contained in a seed. Solvent extraction recovers over 95% of the oil
contained in a seed.
Rapeseed oil generally contains a high level of erucic acid, which is
mildly toxic to humans in large doses.
Traditional and other uses have been for lamp oils, soap making,
high-temperature and tenacious high-erucic acid lubricating oils, and
prices have resulted from a good demand for rapeseed oil for food and
for biodiesel in the European Union. EU oilseed farmers will therefore
be stimulated to increase rapeseed surface.
Worldwide production of rapeseed/canola rose to 47 million metric tons,
of which the total EU-25 production accounts for 16 million metric tons.
production has grown substantially in Australia over the last decade due
to improved varieties and agronomic practices, and the development of
export markets to secure demand for the increasing production.
latest forecast for global canola and rapeseed trade, is that export
trade will be 8.7 million tonnes with Canada representing 44 per cent
and Australia accounting for 14 per cent.
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