University expertise is being used to position Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil as a significant contender in the healthy food market.
For the first time, a group of Scottish rapeseed oil producers and growers such as LOUISE ELDER (pictured) of Black & Gold, Stevenson Mains Farm, East Lothian, are working with university food experts to promote the unique health benefits of locally grown rapeseed oils.
The Scottish Rapeseed Oil Group (SRO) is stepping up its campaign to raise awareness and encourage more consumers to buy into this oil category. Food scientists from Queen Margaret University (QMU) are helping the group more clearly communicate the nutritional benefits of Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil.
QMU’s latest research suggests that Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil has an exceptional fatty acid profile compared with its rivals and is a valuable source of antioxidants which remain active following domestic cooking. Research also shows that rapeseed oil contains six per cent of saturated fat, less than half that found in most olive oils and a more favourable ratio of omega 3:6 fatty acids than other vegetable oils. With a higher burning point than most other oils, cold-pressed rapeseed oil retains its health benefits when used for roasting or frying.
DR JANE MCKENZIE, Academic Lead for Food & Drink Knowledge Exchange at QMU, discussed the findings: “Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil can contribute a valuable source of antioxidants to our diets. Antioxidants play a valuable role in maintaining good health. They can help protect cells from damage and are important in the fight against disease.”
According to retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, sales of cold-pressed rapeseed oil in Scotland were £0.7 million last year, growing 18 per cent year on year. Kantar also says that 4.3 per cent of Scottish shoppers bought cold-pressed rapeseed oil over the last 12 months and 33,000 shoppers bought the product for the first time.