Canadian Mustard Seed
A dash of seasoning
What would the world's cuisine be without mustard? One of the oldest condiments, mustard's aromatic savour has made it a favourite of cooks and diners for thousands of years. It adds zest and verve to bland foods and is an essential ingredient in products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, soups and prepared meats. Crushed, it produces an oil that is used in food processing and has potential use in industrial products such as biodiesel and lubricants.
The vast appetite for this versatile seed and its products has helped make Canada the world's largest mustard exporter.
A piquant product
Mustard is related to canola, but is more tolerant of drought, heat and frost than its famous cousin. Canada's northern climate is perfect for mustard, since it's an annual, cool-season crop adapted to a short growing season.
Canada produces three kinds of mustard: yellow, brown and oriental. The familiar yellow mustard is the mildest of the three and has the lowest oil content. Brown mustard is used in Dijon-style mustards and is blended with the yellow variety to make English mustard, while Oriental mustard provides the spicy cooking oils that are favoured in the cuisines of Asia and Japan.
Mustard can serve as a nutritious addition to many foods. It's extremely flavourful but is low in calories and cholesterol-free. It's also high in protein and contains healthy amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and niacin.
Both the mustard seed industry and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are involved in mustard seed research and have released a stream of improved varieties during the last fifteen years. Among these are strains of yellow and oriental mustard seed that are customized to specific segments of the marketplace.
More improvements are on the horizon, too. Among these are mustard varieties that are better adapted to semi-arid environments, produce increased yields and provide higher oil and protein content. Canadian researchers are also working to increase the health and nutritional benefits of mustard, and on finding new food and non-food uses for this versatile crop.
Taste the Canadian difference
Canadian mustard seed adds zest to a myriad of food products, and Canadian researchers are improving the crop steadily as demand increases. For further information on Canada's mustard seed industry, please visit:
- Agri-Food Trade Service
- Canadian Special Crops Association
- Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission
- Mustard 21 Canada Inc.
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