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Canola Oil Q&A

Cold pressed vs. refined? Is there a difference?

Cold pressed oils are subjected to a different processing technique compared to refined oils. However, there is no difference in their fatty acid profiles so whichever you use, you are likely to get the cardiovascular benefit. The refining process is merely to remove any odours and impurities such as, free fatty acids and phospholipids, mucilaginous gums, colour pigments and fine meal particles. The only major nutritional difference evident from the two different techniques is that during the refining process; some of the vitamin E content is removed.

How can canola oil be used for cooking?

Canola oil can be used for cooking at high temperatures as it has a high smoking point (the point at which an oil is heated producing an unpleasant smell and taste as well as compromising nutritional quality). Oils that have a low smoking point are for example olive oil and hence these should be used preferably in foods that require cooking at low temperatures or in foods that can be eaten cold (salad dressings)

Did you know…when a recipe calls for the use of a hard brick margarine, you can replace it with canola oil? Here’s how:

Hard fat                            Canola oil

¼ cup (50ml)                      3½ tablespoons (42ml)

½ cup (125ml)                    7 tablespoons (100ml)

¾ cup (175ml)                    10 tablespoons (140ml)

1 cup (250ml)                     13 ½ tablespoons (200ml)

How should it be stored?

Preferably in a cool, dark place or the fridge when not in use, as exposure to light can tend to accelerate the degeneration process of the oil.

Interesting Canola oil facts at a glance:

  • Has a high amount of unsaturated fats (approximately 93%)
  • Has a low content of saturated fats (approximately 7%)
  • Can be used in cooking, due to its high smoking point as well as in ‘cold’ foods (dressings and dips)
  • Contains omega 3 fats (approximately 11%)
  • Healthy omega 6: omega 3 ratio of 2 to 1
  • Approved by the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA (holds the Heart Mark)
  • Approved by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)