Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil is one of the oldest known vegetable oils. There are both edible and industrial forms produced from rapeseed, the seed of several cultivars of the plant family Brassicaceae. Historically, it was eaten in limited quantities due to high levels of erucic acid, which is damaging to the cardiac muscle of animals and imparts a bitter taste, and glucosinolates, which made it less nutritious in animal feed. Rapeseed oil can contain up to 54% erucic acid.Canola oil is a food-grade version derived from rapeseed cultivars bred for low erucic acid content. Also known as low erucic acid rapeseed (LEAR) oil, it has been generally recognized as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Canola oil is limited by government regulation to a maximum of 2% erucic acid by weight in the US and the EU, with special regulations for infant food. These low levels of erucic acid do not cause harm in humans.In commerce, non-food varieties are typically called colza oil.Rapeseed is extensively cultivated in Canada, France, Belgium, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Poland. In France and Denmark, especially, the extraction of the oil is an important industry.