Culinary Qualities of Canola Oil

Light, clear and mild in flavour - canola oil lets the taste of other ingredients shine through!

Spices and herbs come to the fore in vinaigrettes. The delicate taste of baked goods is enhanced. Marinade flavours are sealed in and delivered.

These qualities, combined with its nutritional advantages and high smoke point, make canola oil the first choice of many food professionals and processors. It's becoming even more valuable as new high-oleic varieties reduce the need for hydrogenation.

For recipes, visit canolainfo.org.

Canola oil can take the heat!

 What happens when this healthy oil hits the pan? Does it stand up to stove-stress or does it break down intotransfats?

To find out, the Canola Council challenged food chemists at the University of Lethbridge to assess the effects of common cooking practices on the stability of canola oil that consumers buy at the grocery store. They used canola for baking, stir-frying and deep-frying. Here's what they found:

Baking

Cookies with a recommended 15-minute cook time and a quick bread with a 50-minute cook time were baked at normal temperatures and high temperatures. Both cookies and quick bread turned out perfectly at normal moderate oven temperatures and burned at high temperatures. Then the scientists looked inside.

Conclusion

  • Baking temperatures do not affect the unsaturated fatty acids in canola or result in the development oftransfatty acids.

Stir-frying

A typical chicken and vegetable stir-fry was prepared using two different methods. To represent typical consumer-kitchen stir-frying, canola oil was placed in a wok, heated to 195°C and allowed to sit for 5 minutes. To represent extreme conditions, canola oil was placed in a wok, heated to the point where it was smoking (250°C) and held for 5 minutes.

Conclusion

  • For both stir-frying methods, there was no significant development oftransfatty acids.
  • However, researchers found that heating canola oil to its smoke point can reduce the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids) due to oxidative degradation. Cooking in smoking oil is certainly not recommended, nor is it a common cooking practice in North America.

Deep-frying

Researchers replicated commercial deep-frying methods, where oils are used for much longer periods of time than stir-frying and baking.  They tested a standard frying temperature of 185°C and an extreme temperature of 225° C.

Conclusion

At the standard deep-frying temperature:

  • There was negligible development oftransfatty acids and only slight loss of linolenic acid.
  • There was negligible loss in linolenic acid or increase intransfatty acids even after the oil reached the point at which it would be discarded due to loss of quality.

At the extreme temperature:

  • After 8 hours a day for 7 days,transfatty acid levels rose slightly. At this point, the oil was significantly degraded. In common commercial practice, it would have been discarded well before this time.

In the home kitchen, deep-frying oil would be used for short periods at standard temperatures, no more than two or three times. Given the results of the University of Lethbridge research, consumers can be confident that filtering, storing and reusing canola oil for deep-frying at home is a safe practice.

Canola oil performs

Overall, canola oil performs very well in all types of cooking practices, even those which use high heat for long periods of time. The University of Lethbridge trials clearly show that canola oil is a healthy choice anytime.

Learn more about:

Canola oil technical specifications


Food Oil Smoke Points

Oil

Smoke Point (0C)1

Smoke Point (°F)

 

 

 

Canola

242

468

Canola High Oleic

246

475

Canola Organic Expeller Press

240

464

Corn

234

453

Grapeseed

224

435

Olive Processed

220

428

Extra Virgin Olive

166

331

Peanut

244

471

Safflower

230

446

Safflower High Oleic

242

468

Safflower Cold Press

168

334

Soybean

234

453

Sunflower

240

464

Sunflower High Oleic

248

478

Sunflower High Oleic Cold Press

198

388

 

1 - Smoke points were analyzed according to AOCS Method Cc 9a-48. Presented results are averages of triplicate runs, where error of estimation was within 3.5% of measured value. University of Lethbridge.