Each summer, the Canadian Prairies are carpeted as far as the eye can see with the yellow blooms of canola plants. Canadian plant scientists developed the crop in the 1960s and by the 1970s, farmers were busily planting it in Canada's fertile soil. Today, canola has become one of Canada's most valuable crops. The plants produce a rich harvest of canola seed in the autumn, which is then crushed to produce canola oil. Most Canadian canola comes from the Prairies, where a cool climate and fertile soils provide an ideal place for growing the crop. but canola is planted across the country and it is harvested in vast quantities. Today, Canadian farmers are producing record amounts of canola to meet the growing demand for this crop.
Canadian canola products are in high demand around the world because modern technology and exacting standards guarantee that they will meet the expectations of buyers everywhere. The United States is our largest importer of canola oil and meal and Japan is our largest importer of seed, where it is crushed for oil. Mexico and China also import Canadian seed and canola meal is shipped to Indonesia, South Korea and other Pacific Rim countries.
Healthy and nutritious
Canola oil is the cooking oil of choice for many consumers because it is so healthy. It has the least saturated fat of any culinary oil – half that of olive oil – and contains no trans fat or cholesterol. In fact, research shows that canola oil may help protect the heart when used in place of saturated fat.
Canola oil has other advantages, too. Its light texture and neutral flavour allow other ingredients to shine, such as in salad dressings, dips and marinades. Canola oil gives baked goods like cakes and breads a soft, moist texture, and its high smoke point makes it ideal for frying and sautéing. Canola oil is suited to all kinds of recipes and cuisines.
Beyond the kitchen
While canola oil is excellent for the kitchen, its uses go far beyond cooking, includingcosmetics, printing inks, suntan oils, oiled fabrics and lubricants. Canola oil is also used to make a renewable, clean-burning and biodegradable alternative to diesel fuel called biodiesel. The nutritious meal that remains after canola seed is crushed for oil makes a high-protein feed for livestock.
Quality and consistency
To make certain that Canada provides its customers with canola of the very highest quality, we rely on the work of the Government of Canada's world-renowned Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), which has been operating for nearly a century. The CGC defines grading standards for all Canadian oilseed crops and ensures that these standards are rigorously applied to the annual canola harvest. Every canola grade is also analyzed in the CGC's Grain Research Laboratory to verify that it has the processing qualities our customers desire. And to make certain that all Canadian canola-based products are safe, they're closely monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The results are products of excellent quality and consistency, which means our customers always know exactly how Canadian canola products will perform.
Taste the Canadian difference
Grown, harvested and processed to the highest standards, Canadian canola offers the best in quality and nutrition. For further information about our canola industry, please visit:
- Agri-Food Trade Service: www.ats-sea.agr.gc.ca
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency: www.inspection.gc.ca
- Canola Council: www.canolacouncil.org
- CanolaInfo.org: www.canolainfo.org
- Canada Grains Council: www.canadagrainscouncil.ca
- Canadian International Grains Institute: www.cigi.ca
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