Title Info
Common name Canola
Scientific name Brassica napus
Taxonomic group Brassicaceae
Source Dan L. Perlman
Economic botany Food plants; Industrial products
Food plants Oils
Keywords Cruciferae

Canola. The seed of this plant contains highly unsaturated oil, which is used in margarine and cooking. It can also be made into motor oil. Originally, the oil had significant quantities of erucic acid (which causes heart problems) and glucosinolates (which can cause goiter); intensive selection on this species has produced varieties extremely low in both compounds. Today, the oil is marketed under the name "canola" instead of the original "rapeseed." Canola oil is also extracted from seeds of the closely related species Brassica rapa, the turnip.