What Is Rapeseed Oil?

Here we explain where rapeseed oil comes from

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 commonly 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