What Is Rapeseed Oil?
Here we explain where rapeseed oil comes from as simply as we can
Grown and bottled in the UK
Rapeseed oil is from the third most important crop grown here in the UK after wheat and barley, and is the only extensively-used culinary oil that can be widely found both grown and bottled here. Other vegetable oils, such as olive or sunflower, are primarily imported from mainland Europe or further afield.
What plant does it come from?
It comes from the black seeds of the oilseed rape plant, Brassica napus, from the same Brassica family as the health enhancing vegetables broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. The plant produces sunny, yellow flowers around springtime, so look out for golden fields brightening our beautiful landscapes during these months.
How it’s made
Rapeseed oil is made by both small and large-scale producers and comes in two forms: artisan cold-pressed and refined. Cold-pressing simply involves using a press to squeeze the oil out of the seeds, retaining all its natural flavour, before being simply filtered and bottled. Refined oil on the other hand, is extracted from the seeds under high temperatures, before being cleaned to create a flavourless oil with a high smoke point.
The many names for rapeseed oil:
- Vegetable oil
- Refined rapeseed oil
- Cold-pressed rapeseed oil
- Extra-virgin rapeseed oil
- Premium rapeseed oil
- Canola oil
3 tips to ensure you're getting the real deal
- Always check the ingredients list, as even though a product may look the part, it might not contain whole grains.
- Choose products rich in whole grain by picking those that have whole grains at the top of the ingredients list, as ingredients are listed in weight order.
- Small changes make a big difference, so even choosing more foods containing smaller amounts of whole grain can make a significant contribution to improving your total whole grain intake.
The DNA of Whole Grain
The fibre-rich outer layer (that protects what’s inside the grain)
The starchy middle that provides energy
The nutrient-packed inner (and the part of the grain that sprouts into a new plant)