Is Rapeseed Oil Vegan?
Cooking oil is a vital ingredient in so many traditional and contemporary dishes. It can be used as a dressing, marinade or sauce, or as an alternative to normal cooking fats, such as butter or lard.
The most commonly used cooking oils are olive oil and sunflower oil, but many home cooks and professional chefs are now making the switch to rapeseed oil because of its many benefits.
No matter the recipe or type of cuisine; if you run a vegan eatery, or even just offer a few vegan dishes, and you’re thinking of making the switch to rapeseed oil, the most important consideration for you is: Is Rapeseed Oil vegan?
As a vegan, or a vegan chef, any ingredient that is not vegan friendly should not be used. All the other great benefits of rapseed oil, it’s great taste, health benefits, low smoke point and versatility are irrelevant!
However, the great news is, the answer you’re looking for is, yes, rapeseed oil is vegan!
A Great British Product
Rapeseed oil is becoming more and more popular, thanks in part to its many benefits, but also because it is a great British product – the perfect alternative to olive oil or sunflower oil, if you prefer to buy from UK producers. This also means it has a lower carbon footprint, as it hasn’t made an extensive overseas journey to get to our shelves.
Rapeseed oil is also produced in the US, where it is called canola oil.
The History of Rapeseed Oil
Rapeseed oil is made from the seeds of the rapeseed plant, or the Brassica Napus, which is part of the brassica family along with cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
Farming rapeseed for its oil-rich seeds has been around for a long time, and although comparatively new to British farming, some say that rapeseed, or canola, has been grown in India for more as much as 10,000 years! It was first introduced to Britain by the Romans who used the oil as fuel for torches and lanterns.
The plant itself has bright yellow flowers, and whilst many people associate flowering rapeseed with hayfever symptoms, huge fields filled with beautiful rapeseed flowers are a staple of the British countryside in the springtime.
The Production of Rapeseed Oil
Rapeseed oil is made by both small, independent and large-scale producers.
Generally smaller producers create a more artisan, cold-pressed product where the oil is simply squeezed out of the seeds. This way it retains more of it’s natural flavour. The impurities are then filtered out and it is bottled and sold.
Larger producers are more likely to heat treat the seed in order to extract the most oil. It is then cleaned and refined to create a more delicate flavour. Refined rapeseed oil has a higher smoke point, so is more versatile and ideal for use in a restaurant, cafe or catering kitchen to produce lots of different vegan dishes. It is much lighter in flavour, so many chefs prefer it as it allows other flavours and spices to really steal the show!
So if you’re looking for a vegan cooking oil with low food miles for your cafe, restaurant, pub, bar or other catering kitchen, contact the team at Cater Oils today.
We can also help you operate in a more environmentally friendly way by collecting your used cooking oil, and recycling it for use as a green biodiesel!