Rapeseed, part of the mustard family of cabbage, turnips, and radishes, is a top source of feed meal, edible oil, and biodiesel. Through cross-pollination, a variety of the rapeseed plant was bred for consumption and renamed canola—an abbreviation for Canadian oil, where it was developed in the 1970s.
Today, the oilseed is considered a major source of high-quality protein in both meal and oil for food and agricultural applications. With Western Europe and Canada as the top producers, Canada accounts for 70 percent of global exports. Europe uses 70 percent of its production for biodiesel. With alternative fuels challenging its use as a biofuel, rapeseed could be transformed to a substitute for petrochemical products.