Canola oil nutrition facts
Canola oil comes from pressed canola seeds also known as oil rapeseeds. Both canola seeds and rapeseeds are belong to the same genus, however the name canola (Canadian oilseed- low acid) is label for modified plant developed by Canadian scientists using traditional plant breeding methods to get rid of rapeseed’s undesirable qualities – erucic acid and glucosinolates. Both rapeseed and canola plants are, therefore, belongs to the same genus of the crucifer family called Brassica, the large family of plants which also includes turnip, mustard, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli ...etc.
European Union produces rapeseeds, which are then pressed and processed to get erucic acid free oil. Altogether, edible oil pressed from seeds of rapeseed plant in general are known as canola oil, rapeseed 00 oil, low erucic acid rapeseed oil, LEAR oil, and rapeseed canola-equivalent oil…etc. Preset day edible rapeseed oil is limited by government regulation to a maximum of 2% erucic acid by weight in the USA and 5% in the EU.
Brassica napus or rapeseed plant is a cool season small annual flowering herb with deep taproots. It grows to about 4-6 feet in height and bears beautiful flowers, which eventually develop in to seedpods measuring about 5 c cm in length. Each seedpod contains 20 to 35 tiny, round mustard like seeds. The seeds contain about 40% of oil.
Physical characteristics of canola oil
Canola oil is light yellow in color and has neutral taste. In general, canola seeds are pressed either by traditional cold pressing method or in large scale, by hexane extraction method. Cold pressed oil has its color, taste, and odor that is much more pronounced than those of refined oils are. Its specific gravity @ 25 °C is 0.916-0.921, Iodine value-110–120, and saponification value-188 –198.
Canola oil nutrition facts
Canola oil is high in energy; 100 g of oil provides 884 calories.
It is one of the cooking oils with high smoke point; 450 °F. This property can be employed in setting oil temperature while deep-frying food items. Canola oil has very good lipid profile. It has saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (SFA: MUFA: PUFA= 8: 61: 31) fats in healthy proportions. Cold pressed oil is one of the stable cooking oil that has very long shelf life.
It is high in energy; 100 g oil provides 884 calories. However, its high ratio of more mono-unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids makes it healthy oil for consumption.
Health benefits of canola oil
Canola oil has distinct health benefits than many other vegetable edible oils. It is fast emerging as healthiest oils in tandem with olive oil. distinct flavor and unlike many other oils which are derived from nuts and seeds, olive oil is obtained from fruits and hence contains large amounts of plant derived anti-oxidants, phyto-sterols and vitamins.
Like olive oil, it is very low in saturated fats. It contains linoleic (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) essential fatty acids at 2:1 making it as one of the healthiest cooking oils at a ratio even better than olive oil.
It has highest levels of plant sterols, especially ?-sitosterol and campesterols. The FDA has approved the following claim for phytosterols: "Foods containing at least 0.4 gram per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 gram, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Phyto-sterols competitively inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut and thereby can reduce cholesterol levels by 10% to 15%.
Canola oil is high in calories. However, its high calorie content comes from better fats. It is especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic acid (18:1) which constitutes about 61% of total fats that help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
The oil contains valuable amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin E, particularly gamma-tocopherol. 100 g fresh oil has 27.34 mcg of a-tocopherol and 17.46 mcg of alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
Being a vegetable source, it has very high levels of plant sterols, especially ?-sitosterol. The FDA has approved the following claim for phytosterols: "Foods containing at least 0.4 gram per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8 gram, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Phyto-sterols competitively inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut and thereby can reduce cholesterol levels by 10% to 15%.
Canola oil has highest smoke point oil is also an ideal choice for deep frying because it can be heated to a higher temperature (smoke point -450 °F). This results in lower oil retention in the fried foods.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||100 g||500%|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g||0%|
|Pantothenic acid||0 mg||0%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin E-gamma||27.34 mg||182%|
|Vitamin K||71.3 mcg||59%|
|Iron||0 mg||7 %|
Selection and storage
Food canola oil put for sale in the markets with different names, labels and specifications like rapeseed 00 oil, low erucic acid rapeseed oil, LEAR oil, and rapeseed canola-equivalent oil…etc. Look carefully for the manufacture date and Buy recently pressed oil from authentic brands.
Cold pressed oil has good level of antioxidants and has longer shelf life. Its price tends to be slightly higher because of the lower recovery of oil.
Like any other vegetable oils canola can undergo rancid if kept exposed to heat, moisture and sunlight. Always store oil in tightly sealed containers and place in a cool, dark place away from heat or light.
Besides being used commercially in cooking oil, canola is one of the preferred oil that is used liberally in salad dressings, margarines, shortening, deep frying, baking, spreads, and creamers.
Canola is clear light yellow in color with neutral flavor. It blends with added herbs and spices and allows the flavor of herbs and spices to dominate.
Here are some serving tips
Traditional Burgundian fondue where in canola is used to deep fry meat, chicken or sea-food and enjoyed with sauces like sour cream mustard sauce, Béarnaise sauce, and hollandaise sauce.
Like peanut oil, canola is also preferred oil used to deep fry turkey.
Wide research studies shown that canola oil can be used safely as edible oil. However, look carefully for the label to make sure it is free from erucic acid and glycosinolates.Erucic acid is a omega-9 fatty acid which occurs in brassica family of plants such as rapeseed, mustard, kale... etc.
Unrefined rapeseed oil contains up to 45% erucic acid. However, canola plant is genetically free of erucic acid and glycosinolate producing proteins. It is therefore food grade rapeseed oil (also known as canola oil, rapeseed 00 oil, low erucic acid rapeseed oil (LEAR oil) and rapeseed canola-equivalent oil which are free from these toxins is safe for human consumption.
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