Historical Cultivation And Usage

The original wild-type oil of B. napus was formerly used as lamp oil and as a lubricant for steam engines. It had an unpleasant bitter taste, and was rich in erucic acid (about 50%; assumed to be toxic) and in glucosinolates.

The success story of rapeseed oil came in the 1960s and 1970s. Breeding efforts resulted in the development of B. napus strains low in erucic acid. In Canada in particular, breeders succeeded

FIGURE 114.1

Blooming rapeseed field in the northern part of Germany. The worldwide production of rapeseed amounts to about 50 million tonnes, of which about one-fifth is produced in China. ©UFOP e.V.

FIGURE 114.1

Blooming rapeseed field in the northern part of Germany. The worldwide production of rapeseed amounts to about 50 million tonnes, of which about one-fifth is produced in China. ©UFOP e.V.

in reducing the content of erucic acid and glucosinolates. This improved rapeseed was provisionally labelled "Can. O., L.-A". (Canadian oilseed, low acid). From this abbreviation the artificial name "Canola" was created.

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