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Rapeseed (Canola) Lecithin

Although rapeseeds contain only half as much lecithin as soybeans, rapeseed lecithin has grown tremendously popular over the past decade. Interest in non-soy lecithin has grown because of GMO issues in soybeans and possible food allergic reactions caused by soy as mentioned above.

Rapeseed is an annual oil crop in the Brassica family, and is related to mustard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and turnip. The name is derived through Old English from a term for turnip, rapum. Rapeseed plants grow from three to five feet tall and have yellow flowers with four petals.

Traditionally, rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel, especially in Europe.

There is often confusion between the use of the terms “rapeseed” and “canola”.
Rapeseed is the traditional name for the group of oilseed crops in the Brassicaceae family.

It can be divided into two types — natural rapeseed or canola. Visually, the seeds of the two types are identical. The distinguishing difference between the two types is their individual chemical or fatty acid profiles. Generally, canola refers to the edible oil crop that is characterized by low erucic acid (less than 2 percent).
“Natural rapeseed” refers to any rapeseed with a high content (min. 45 percent) of erucic acid in the oil.

Canola, originally a syncopated form of the abbreviation "Can.O., L-A." (Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid) that was used by the Manitoba government to label the seed during its experimental stages, is now a tradename for low erucic acid rapeseed.
The lecithin offered by Austrade Inc. is made from rapeseed oil of non-genetically engineered seeds of European origin.
The performance of rapeseed lecithin is similar to that of soy lecithin:

Fatty Acid Composition

C16 Palmitic Acid: Soy:17


C18 Stearic Acid: Soy:5


C18:1 Oleic Acid: Soy:19


C18:2 Linoleic Acid: Soy:53


C18:3 Linolenic Acid: Soy:6


The fatty acid composition of rapeseed lecithin is rather different: it has a higher value of oleic acid (C18:1) and a lower value of linoleic acid (C18:2) compared to soy and sunflower lecithin.

Phospholipic Composition

PE Phosphatidylethanolamine: Soy:8


PC Phosphatidylcholine: Soy:12


PA Phosphatidic Acid: Soy:3.5


PI Phosphatidylinositol: Soy:10


There are only minor differences in the phospholipic profiles of soy and rapeseed lecithin.
Applications for rapeseed lecithin include chocolate, baked goods and pastry, biscuits,

margarine and confectionery.


Rapeseed lecithin has a significant content in C18:3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), hence provides generous amounts of this essential omega-3 fat (up to 3.6%). ALA is said to benefit cardiovascular health.

We offer three types of liquid rapeseed lecithin:

- Standard
- Hydrolyzed
- Premium Grade RB

Purchase Rapeseed Lecithin