Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil is a versatile and healthy vegetable oil that is popular in kitchens around the world. It is extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant and is known for its health benefits and versatile uses in cooking, frying, and baking. This article sheds light on various aspects of rapeseed oil and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil has an interesting history. Originally, rapeseed was primarily bred for technical purposes and only later discovered for human consumption. With the development of so-called "double-zero" varieties, which contain low levels of erucic acid and mustard oil glycosides, rapeseed oil became more palatable and safer for health.


Rapeseed oil is produced in two ways: cold-pressed and warm-pressed. Cold-pressed rapeseed oil is extracted without high temperatures and solvents, preserving the natural nutrients and flavour. This makes it particularly valuable for cold dishes, where it is not heated and thus retains its healthy fatty acids and vitamins. Warm-pressed rapeseed oil, on the other hand, is extracted at high temperatures and often refined to remove unwanted flavours. This makes it less susceptible to oxidation and better suited for frying and cooking, although some nutrients may be lost.


Rapeseed oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and contains a favourable mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This makes it a healthy choice for daily diet. It also has a high content of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that can prevent cell damage from free radicals. The monounsaturated fatty acids and the favourable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids can lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


Despite the many benefits, there are also some critical voices regarding the use of rapeseed oil. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has pointed out that erucic acid in high doses can be harmful to health, especially for children. Although modern "double-zero" varieties contain only small amounts of this fatty acid, cautious use is advised. Moreover, cold-pressed rapeseed oil, due to its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, is prone to oxidation and should therefore be stored cool and dark. It is not suitable for frying, as the valuable omega fatty acids can be destroyed.

Comparison of Rapeseed Oil with Other Oils

Rapeseed Oil & Sunflower Oil

Rapeseed oil contains a higher proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, making it healthier. It also has a higher smoke point, making it more stable at high temperatures and thus better suited for frying and deep-frying. Sunflower oil can oxidize more quickly and should therefore not be heated in large quantities.

Rapeseed oil also has a more neutral flavour, making it versatile. Sunflower oil is often preferred for its mild flavour, but rapeseed oil offers more health benefits and a wider range of uses.

Rapeseed Oil & Olive Oil for Frying

For frying, rapeseed oil is often the better choice, as it has a higher smoke point than olive oil. This makes it more stable at high temperatures and prevents it from smoking or burning. Olive oil is better suited for cold dishes and low temperatures.

Rapeseed oil has a neutral flavour, making it more versatile. It can be used in a variety of dishes without dominating the flavour, while olive oil is valued in Mediterranean cuisine but may not always suit every dish.


Rapeseed oil is often the preferred choice for baking, as it has a neutral flavour that does not overpower the flavours of other ingredients. It also has good emulsifying properties, which promote a uniform texture in baked goods.

Sunflower oil also has a mild flavour and can be used, but rapeseed oil offers additional health benefits. It contains more omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are health-promoting. Moreover, rapeseed oil is less likely to become rancid when stored.

Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil is extracted at low temperatures, preserving the natural nutrients and flavours. It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as vitamin E, making it a very healthy choice for cold cuisine. However, cold-pressed rapeseed oil is not suitable for frying.

Frying with Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil

At high temperatures, the unsaturated fatty acids begin to oxidize, which can produce harmful compounds and an unpleasant taste. Moreover, cold-pressed rapeseed oil has a lower smoke point and begins to smoke and burn quickly.

For frying and deep-frying, refined rapeseed oil is the better choice. It has a higher smoke point and remains stable at high temperatures. Cold-pressed rapeseed oil should be used for cold applications such as dressings and marinades.

Use in the Kitchen

Rapeseed oil has a mild, slightly nutty flavour, making it versatile for use. It is excellent for salad dressings, marinades, and dips. Due to its high smoke point, refined rapeseed oil can also be used for frying, deep-frying, and baking.

Cold Applications

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil is particularly good for cold cuisine. It can be used in salad dressings, marinades, and dips to emphasize the natural flavour of the ingredients without overpowering them.

Salad Dressing Recipe with Rapeseed Oil

  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour over the salad.

Warm Applications

Refined rapeseed oil is ideal for frying, deep-frying, and baking. It has a high smoke point and remains stable at high temperatures, making it perfect for preparing dishes that require high heat.

Rapeseed oil can also be used in baking. Its neutral flavour makes it an excellent choice for cakes, muffins, and bread. It contributes to a uniform texture and supports the emulsification of ingredients.

Rapeseed Oil Mayonnaise Recipe:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 200 ml rapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the egg, mustard, and lemon juice in a tall vessel. Blend with an immersion blender while slowly adding the rapeseed oil until the mayonnaise emulsifies and becomes creamy.

Cultivation in Germany

Rapeseed oil also has significant economic importance. In Germany, rapeseed is grown over a large area, particularly in states like Hesse. The rapeseed fields are not only an important raw material supplier for cooking oil but also for biodiesel production. This leads to a conflict of interest between the use of rapeseed for food or as biofuel.

Market prices for rapeseed fluctuate greatly and are influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine. Farmers face the challenge of adapting their production and marketing to changing market conditions.


Rapeseed oil has evolved from a purely technical product to a valuable cooking oil that is appreciated for its health benefits and versatile use in the kitchen. Despite some concerns about erucic acid, rapeseed oil, primarily in its cold-pressed form, remains a healthy choice for daily diet. It offers numerous health benefits and is an essential part of many culinary creations. With proper storage and use guidelines, rapeseed oil can optimally release its valuable nutrients and contribute to a balanced diet.