Canola is the North American name for the enhanced variation of rapeseed first developed and introduced in 1974 when a Canadian researcher bred a "double low" variety of rapeseed with reduced levels of the two negative factors naturally occurring in rapeseed: erucic acid and glucosinolates. This type of rapeseed is known in Europe and parts of Asia as rapeseed or oilseed rape and has become the world’s second largest oilseed crop. The growth of rapeseed as an international crop can be attributed to three factors: the ability to grow rapeseed in temperate climates; favourable production costs; and a beneficial fatty acid profile for the oil, which is high in monounsaturates. Canola has since become the major production and export crop and often regarded as the most valuable crop in Canada, adding $13.8 billion in economic activity to the Canadian economy.
Each Canola plant produces yellow flowers, which, in turn, produce pods similar in shape to pea pods but about one-fifth the size. Within the pods are tiny round seeds that are crushed to obtain Canola oil. Each seed is approximately 40% oil. The remainder of the seed is processed into Canola meal, which until now has been used primarily as a high-protein livestock feed.
The Canola variety of rapeseed is grown primarily in Europe, Western Canada, the north central and Southeastern United States, and Australia. Since its development in Canada, Canola has become a truly worldwide crop, and today Canadian-grown Canola accounts for 20% of world rapeseed production. The rest of the world's Canola is produced in China, Europe and India, where the crop continues to be known by its traditional name of oilseed rape or rapeseed.
Burcon extracts and purifies two types of canola protein isolate from canola meal, a co-product (together with canola oil) of the canola seed crushing industry. Burcon has branded these protein isolates under the trade names "Puratein®" and "Supertein™".
Burcon’s goal is to develop its patented process to utilize inexpensive oilseed meals for the production of purified plant proteins that exhibit valuable nutritional, functional or nutraceutical properties. Burcon expects that Puratein® and Supertein™ canola protein isolates will participate and compete with dairy, and egg proteins in the expanding multi-billion dollar global protein ingredient market, with potential uses in prepared foods, nutritional supplements and personal care products.
- Valuable Crop
Canola has since become the major production and export crop and often regarded as the most valuable crop in Canada.