Organic Rapeseed Oil Powder
While the Romans already knew rapeseed, its history as a resource for healthy oils has been rather short. It has only been since the mid 1970s that the breeding of new rapeseed varieties has made the oil of the tiny rapeseed enjoyable. The bitter erucic acid and the toxic constituents of the gulcosinolates had previous made it impossible to serve the oil as a cooking oil. Therefore, it was mostly used as fuel, for example for oil lamps, before. Meanwhile, many studies have proven that the rape we grow today produces seeds that make a valuable nutritional product in the form of a cooking oil. It contains many valuable ingredients and its ratio of fatty acids is extremely good from a nutritional physiologist perspective. We at BERTRAND use high-quality cold-pressed organic rapeseed oil without hydrogenated fats. As we cannot add liquid oils to our BERTRAND food powders, of course, we make pulverize the rapeseed oil before we add it to our products.
Where does the rapeseed for our oil come from?
Today, rapeseed is Germany’s most important oil-bearing plant. Seventy different varieties of rapeseed have been approved for cultivation in Germany, allowing each farmer to choose the breed that fits the ground and climate conditions of the region best. BERTRAND gets the rapeseed oil for its rapeseed oil powder from organic farmers. It comes mostly from Germany and France, thus entirely from within the European Union (EU). The seeds are genetically unchanged, that is without GMO (genetically modified organisms). Our rapeseed oil is cold-pressed and thus a “virgin” oil. Since it is a very delicate product, we make sure that even while at our suppliers’, it is protected from oxygen and other influences that would depreciate it in the best possible ways. The meticulous processing steps from oil to powder guarantee this quality.
How rapeseed oil is made into rapeseed oil powder
All ingredients of a sip feed must be powdered. They must have a stable taste and smell and be non-perishable. We make sure our ingredients meet the highest standards from cultivation to mixing the end products.
THE SOIL MUST BE RIGHT
Our European farmers use their fields for organic farming exclusively. In springtime you can see the rapeseed fields in vibrant yellow. Since rapeseed has many different varieties it can be grown on various soils and under various climate conditions. Acid soils and waterlogging are bad conditions for cultivating rapeseed. Before harvesting, farmers check the ripeness every day to define the perfect harvesting time.
FROM THE FIELD TO THE OIL MILL
The yellow blossom of the rape has turned into brownish pods by July which contain the spherical seeds of only 15 to 18 millimeters. The time period for harvesting is rather short and the weather has to be dry. That is why you can see harvesters late at night sometimes when it is time to crop. The transporters wait next to the fields to minimize environmental influences before the cargo arrives at the oil mill.
COLD-PRESSED WITH AN EXTRUDER
The seeds get cleaned at the oil mill. A particularly gentle pressing method utilizing a so-called extruder is used for virgin organic rape oil. This oil press has been developed for cold-pressing specifically and radiates very little heat. A golden oil with a slightly nutty taste is the result.
PROTECTED FROM OXYGEN AND LIGHT
Time is money after pressing: The very delicate oil gets filled into airtight containers immediately to avoid oxidation. Our organic rapeseed oil goes to intermediate bulk containers (IBC). These are robust containers used in food industries for transport and stocking of fluids. These space-saving IBCs can be used again which makes them meet our ecological guidelines.
WE PROTECT OIL IN THE FORM OF POWDER
We plan processing steps meticulously to make storage times at our facilities as short as possible. We thus get to the last step from oil to powder soon after the rapeseed oil has been delivered. This last step is called “microencapsulation” We use maltodextrin as a carrier substance, “malto” signifying maltose, the malt sugar, and “dextrin” signifying dextrose. We spray our rapeseed oil on a film of maltodextrin and thus “encapsulate” it. This produces the oil powder and a kind of protective shell that avoids its oxidation at the same time. The powder is then immediately filled into sachets of the BERTRAND sip feeds.
Why rapeseed oil though?
Mildly aromatic rapeseed oil is a high-quality oil. Compared to other vegetable oils it has the highest proportion of unsaturated fatty acids and the smallest proportion of saturated fatty acids. The German Nutrition Society (DGE), whose guidelines we follow in producing BERTRAND sip feeds, recommends rapeseed oil and spreadable fats produced from it in its 10 rules for a balanced wholefood diet. First and foremost, it is the perfect ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that makes rapeseed oil so highly valuable and makes us utilize it. Modern diets in Central Europe rarely allow for the perfect ratio of 5:1. Rapeseed oil makes it easier to take in the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, ensuring a better ratio of omega fatty acids. One table spoon of rapeseed oil (15 grams) covers 38 percent of the human need of linoleic acids and 87 percent of alpha-linolenic acids. Rapeseed oil can do even more though. It contains many minerals and phytochemicals as well as vitamin A, E, and K. Fat-soluble vitamin E (tocopherol) is a well-known antioxidant. As it is photosensitive, you should always pack and store groceries with vitamin E in dark places. Vitamin E can be produced artificially. BERTRAND never uses chemically manufactured ingredients though. Consequently, the vitamin E in our products is 100 percent natural, and organic rapeseed oil powder is a good part of it. Finally, the slightly nutty but mild flavor of rapeseed oil helps to achieve the pleasant round taste of our sip feeds. Rapeseed oil powder is highly water soluble. It is thus easily dissolved in liquids without graining up. Therefore, it is perfectly suited for BERTRAND sip feeds. Its organoleptic properties (mouthfeel, creaminess) are good.
Reservations towards rapeseed oil?
Reservations towards rapeseed oil can be found in the USA and Canada most notably. They use genetically modified seeds, heat up oils heavily during pressing and sometimes treat them chemically. We don’t use that kind of oils. Our rapeseed oil comes from European organic farming. It is a virgin, cold-pressed oil and we guarantee that it is free of GMO (genetic engineering) and not chemically treated. There are also reservations on the erucic acid contained in rapeseed. Erucic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It is seen as a “naturally occuring contamination” of vegetable oils, that can evoke so-called lipidosis (fatty degeneration), of the heart in particular, if you consume too much of it. Rapeseed that is cultivated for food production usually has a concentration of less than 0.5 percent. In 1976, the EU established maximum values for erucic acids in vegetable fats. The rapeseed oil we use has an erucic acid concentration of less than 0.1 percent. The concentration of glucosinolates could also be reduced by more than 90 percent in the meantime. The result was the so-called “00-rapeseed” (canola) Our organic rapeseed oil powder has 00-quality.
Reservations towards maltodextrin?
Sometimes you also hear of reservations towards maltodextrin in food. The disaccharide (maltose = malt sugar and dextrose = corn sugar or glucose) passes through the intestines quickly and gets into the blood, making the blood sugar level rise fast. It is not good for diabetics, but the Federal Nutrition Center (BzfE) classified it as uncritical on the whole. Maltodextrin provides carbohydrates and many calories (380 kcal in 100 grams). It should be consumed with caution. Maltodextrin is being used to treat underweight conditions. As we utilize maltodextrin as a carrier substance for the organic rapeseed oil only, only a very small amount makes it into BERTRAND sip feeds. The glycaemic index of our products is low, meaning when you drink our sip feeds, your blood sugar level will rise slowly and smoothly. Maltodextrin is gluten-free.
- Picture of the rape field in the upper part of the page: Maxim Weise via Shutterstock
- Map of Europe: teka12 via Shutterstock
- Post image, Rapeseed on white background: M. Schuppich via Shutterstock