Rapeseed is a bright yellow flowering member of the mustard or cabbage family. It is a mustard crop grown primarily for its seed which yields about forty percent oil and a high-protein animal feed.
Since 2000, virtually all rapeseed production in the European Union has shifted to rapeseed 00 (double zero), with low content of erucic acid and low content of glucosinolates. The production of rapeseed in the European Union is still “conventional”, that is does not contain GMO.
Rapeseed Production, Trade and Use
Rapeseed is normally processed in two steps:
Physical pressing of the rapeseed and
Subsequent hexane extraction of the remaining oil in the press-cake
Traditional and other uses have been for lamp oils, soap making, high-temperature and lubricating oils, and plastics manufacturing. The shift to rapeseed 00 in the European Union, the low erucic acid content of the resulting rapeseed oil, and its specific fatty acid composition all make it a highly appreciated edible oil. As the European rapeseed production is “conventional” (that is non-GMO), the preference of the European food customer goes to rapeseed oil produced in Europe over oils of other origins that might be produced from GMO.
Rapeseed oil has also become the primary feedstock for biodiesel in Europe.