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© 1992, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Canola, which produces a vegetable oil low in saturated fat, has potential for becoming an alternative crop for Nebraska agriculture. Canola produces an oil that has the lowest saturated fat content of any vegetable oil. Today, there is an increasing demand for this oil by diet-conscious consumers. In 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized rapeseed and canola as two different species, based on their content and uses. Rapeseed oil is used in industry, while canola oil is used for human consumption. High erucic acid rapeseed (HEAR) oil contains 22-60 percent erucic acid, while low erucic acid rapeseed (LEAR) oil has less than 2 percent erucic acid. Meal with less than 30 µmol/g glucosinolates is from canola. Livestock can safely eat canola meal, but high glucosinolate rapeseed meal should only be fed to cattle because it may cause thyroid problems in monogastric livestock.