Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Rapeseed


If you happen to pass by Britain this summer, probably you'll see this view almost at every corner of its country side. This beautiful yellow bloom is no wild flowers (even when my tag said so), but rather a kind of crop planted by local farmers.

Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel; leading producers include the European Union, Canada, the United States, Australia, China and India. In India, it is grown on 13% of cropped land. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, rapeseed was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000, after soybean and oil palm, and also the world's second leading source of protein meal, although only one-fifth of the production of the leading soybean meal.


And then, I came to know why it's called Canola oil!
Natural rapeseed oil contains erucic acid, which is mildly toxic to humans in large doses but is used as a food additive in smaller doses.

Canola, originally a syncopated form of the abbreviation "Can.O., L-A." (Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid) that was used by the Manitoba government to label the seed during its experimental stages, is now a tradename for low erucic acid rapeseed.


Rapeseed oil is used in the manufacture of biodiesel for powering motor vehicles. Biodiesel may be used in pure form in newer engines without engine damage, and is frequently combined with fossil-fuel diesel in ratios varying from 2% to 20% biodiesel.
Formerly, due to the costs of growing, crushing, and refining rapeseed biodiesel, rapeseed derived biodiesel cost more to produce than standard diesel fuel. Prices of rapeseed oil are at very high levels presently (start November 05) due to increased demand on rapeseed oil for this purpose. Rapeseed oil is the preferred oil stock for biodiesel production in most of Europe, partly because rapeseed produces more oil per unit of land area as compared to other oil sources, such as soy beans.


We had a fun day out and get to know more about this yellow creature. And Josiah knew he LOVES yellow!

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