The plant bears yellow flowers. Rapeseed is popular for the oil that can be produced from it. The most popular brand is the canola oil, which is a refined form of rapeseed oil. Until a few years ago, Rapeseed oil was used as an efficient lubricant for steam engines. Currently, the oil is used as biofuel and human edible oil and the by-product is used as animal food (USDA, 2010). The oil has high levels of erucic acid and glucosinolate because of which it tastes bitter. Canola oil has lesser amount of acid and glucosinolate and hence is palatable. It has higher quantities of omega fatty acids which reduce LDL cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels (USDA, 2010). Canola oil has low saturated fat and high levels of monounsaturated oil. Infact, when compared to other vegetable edible oils like sunflower oil, corn oil and peanut oil, canola oil has very low ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats. The main omega fatty acid present in the oil is alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. 1.3 grams of this fatty acid is present in one serving of the oil. 1ml of the oil yields 12 calories and 1.4 grams of fat. Only 10 percent of the fat is saturated. The oil has no cholesterol, protein, carbohydrate or sodium. The oil is rich in vitamin E which is a valuable anti-oxidant (Ingle, 2010).
Despite the popularity of the rapeseed oil as safe and beneficial edible oil, many experts have condemned the nutritional benefits of the oil. Some researchers are of the opinion that the useful ingredients of the oil are destroyed in industrial manufacturing and that during such a process, trans-fatty acids develop which are not only harmful to the body but also are detrimental to the beneficial actions of the useful ingredients of the oil. Some experts opine that Canola oil or the irradiated rapeseed oil can cause certain problems of the central nervous system like tremors, palsy, shaking, uncoordination of movements, slurring of speech, blurring