Quality of western Canadian canola 2011

Fatty acid composition

The average level of erucic acid in the 2011 crop was 0.01%, which was very similar to what was observed for the last two yeas (0.01%), lower than the five-year average of 0.04% and well below the ten-year average of 0.08%. These low values are a direct result of the breeding efforts of the Canadian canola industry.

For Canola, No. 1 Canada samples the mean α-linolenic acid (C18:3) was 9.9% similar to the means observed in 2010 and 2009 (10.0%) and the five year average. The α-linolenic acid mean in Alberta (10.4%) was higher than the Saskatchewan (9.8%) and the Manitoba (9.4%) averages.

For Canola, No. 1 Canada samples the mean oleic acid (C18:1) content of the 2010 crop was 62.1%, similar to the averages observed in 2010 and 2009 (62.2%). On average, oleic acid content was slightly higher in Manitoba (62.5%) than in Saskatchewan (62.1%), and much higher than in Alberta (61.7%).

In 2011, there was a similar average for linoleic acid (C18:2) when compared to 2010 (19.1 versus 18.9%). The similarity in average results for oleic acid, linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid resulted in a similar iodine value when compared to 2010 (113.6 in 2011 versus 113.8 in 2010).

The mean level of saturated fatty acids was 6.8% in 2011, similar to 2010 (6.9%) and 2009 (6.8%). The mean saturated fatty acid levels were similar for the three provinces in 2011 (6.8, 6.8 and 6.7% for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, respectively). Variations between the three provinces were expected since samples from the southern prairies have significantly higher saturated fatty acids than samples from the northern regions due to the higher temperatures in the south compared to the north, however, it was not really the case this year.

For the first couples of months of the 2011-2012 shipping seasons, the α-linolenic acid averages (for clean and non clean samples) ranged from 10.0 to 10.3%, similar to what was observed for the last shipping season (10.4%). When compared to last year's average, the iodine value averages were lower this year (113.9 to 114.2 in 2011 versus 114.6 last year). The level of saturated fatty acids in the December 2011 canola exports remained very similar to the 2010-11 means (6.84-6.94% versus 6.78%). As last year, it is expected that the levels of erucic acid will remain low for the new shipping season (below 0.1%) since erucic acid contents were very low in the 2011 harvest survey.

No important variations are expected for the fatty acid averages in the 2011-2012 shipping season.

Canola quality data by grade and province – fatty acid composition, total saturate content and iodine value of the oil
  Relative fatty acid composition of the oil (%) Total saturates³ (%) Iodine value4 (Units)
C18:0 C18:1 C18:2 C18:3 C22:1
¹ Includes part of the Peace River area that is in British Columbia.
² Values are weighted averages based on production by province as estimated by Statistics Canada.
³ Total saturated fatty acids are the sum of palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), arachidic (C20:0), behenic (C22:0), and lignoceric (C24:0).
4 Calculated from fatty acid composition.
Canola, No. 1 Canada
Manitoba 1.8 62.5 19.1 9.4 0.00 6.85 112.7
Saskatchewan 1.8 62.1 19.1 9.8 0.01 6.82 113.5
Alberta¹ 1.8 61.6 18.9 10.4 0.01 6.73 114.4
Western Canada² 1.8 62.1 19.1 9.9 0.01 6.80 113.6
Canola, No. 2 Canada
Manitoba 1.9 62.3 18.9 9.3 0.01 6.92 112.3
Saskatchewan 1.8 61.7 19.2 9.9 0.01 6.85 113.6
Alberta¹ 1.7 61.1 19.2 10.4 0.00 6.83 114.6
Western Canada² 1.8 62.1 19.1 9.8 0.01 6.82 113.5
Canola, No. 3 Canada
Western Canada² 1.8 60.9 19.3 10.2 0.02 7.04 113.9
Canola, Sample Canada
Western Canada² 1.8 60.7 19.4 9.9 0.20 7.01 113.6