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Rapeseed oil


Possible application of GM technology Labelling
Raw material GM rapeseed yes



In Germany rapeseed oil is one of the most popular cooking oils. On the market one will find refined and cold-pressed rapeseed oils.

The refined rapeseed oil intensifies the natural flavour of food and has a high smoke point of 200 degree Celsius. During the production process the rapeseeds are crushed between large rollers and then pressed. After the extraction of the press cake the oil is cleansed.

By contrast, the cold-pressed rapeseed oil improves, with a fresh and nutty note, in particular cold dishes. During the pressing the temperature does not exceed the 40 degree Celsius mark. Afterwards, in order to maintain the flavour the oil is merely filtered.

In the past, rapeseed oil was hardly edible because the existing rapeseed varieties contained the bitter tasting erucic acid. Only when it was accomplished to breed varieties "poor in" or "free of" erucic acid, rapeseed oil was ready to be used as an aliment. Today, almost only special varieties of rapeseeds (00- rapeseed) are planted. They were, apart from the erucic acid, "freed of" other substances (glucosinolates) during the breeding. In North America this 00- rapeseed is called canola.

  • Due to its high proportion in monounsaturated fatty acids (60 - 70 %) rapeseed is meant to be beneficial to health. It is believed to lower the cholesterol level and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore it is rich in vitamin E, provitamin A and vitamin K.


Rapeseed oil is used in margarine, as frying fat and shortening as well as in vegetable oils and fats.

Gene technology

  • Raw material rapeseed:
    in Canada genetically modified rapeseed are cultivated on large areas. In the EU different genetically modified rapeseed plants (mainly herbicide resistant) are also permitted. With the exception of some test fields no genetically modified variety of rapeseeds are currently commercially cultivated in the EU.

Permission: in the EU oils from several genetically modified rapeseed plants are permitted. There are no restrictions to import these rapeseed oils (or to their production from rapeseeds).

Labelling: rapeseed oil from genetically modified rapeseed plants is liable to be labelled.


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