Quality of western Canadian canola 2013

Free fatty acids content

The average free fatty acid content of oil was 0.13%, comparable to what was observed in 2012 (0.14%) (Tables 1 and 4b, Figure 11). This level is also similar to the five-year average of 0.13 (Table 1).

We have observed that free fatty acid in canola can be high if temperatures are high during the growing season, causing field heat stress; cool growing temperatures associated with no frost or precipitation in September are likely responsible for low free fatty acid levels in the 2013 canola harvest. Average free fatty acid levels in Canola, No. 1 Canada samples from Manitoba (0.19%) and Alberta (0.16%) were slightly higher than in Saskatchewan (0.09%) (Tables 4b, 7, 8 and 9). Free fatty acid levels may change after harvest if seeds are subjected to improper storage conditions.

In November, the average free fatty acid level for commercially clean Canola, No. 1 Canada exports was 0.25% (0.27% for the August to October 2013 exports). These averages are similar to the averages for not commercially clean exports (0.22% for the August to October 2013 exports). Last year’s average (0.31%) was also similar (Table 6). Little to no weather-related damage was observed in canola samples from the 2013 harvest survey (example: sprouting and water damage), resulting in low free fatty acid levels in the seeds.

Table 4b - Free fatty acids content – 2013 Harvest survey
Canola quality data by grade and province
  Number of samples Free fatty acids (%)
Mean
Canola, No. 1 Canada
Manitoba 321 0.19
Saskatchewan 757 0.09
AlbertaFootnote 1 491 0.16
Western CanadaFootnote 2 1569 0.13
Canola, No. 2 Canada
Manitoba 17 0.23
Saskatchewan 7 0.15
AlbertaFootnote 1 42 0.39
Western CanadaFootnote 2 66 0.33
Canola, No. 3 Canada
Western CanadaFootnote 2 22 0.27
Canola, Sample Canada
Western CanadaFootnote 2 19 0.38

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Includes part of the Peace River area that is in British Columbia.

Return to first footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Values are weighted averages based on production by province as estimated by Statistics Canada.

Return to first footnote 2 referrer

Figure 11 - Free fatty acids content of harvest survey samples, 1988-2013 - Canola, No. 1 Canada
Graph of canola free fatty acids content from samples 1988-2013. Details in table below.
Table: Free fatty acids content of harvest survey samples, 1988-2013 - Canola, No. 1 Canada
Year Free Fatty Acid Content
of the oil %
1988 0.20
1989 0.70
1990 0.40
1991 0.30
1992 0.30
1993 0.30
1994 0.28
1995 0.20
1996 0.21
1997 0.30
1998 0.23
1999 0.23
2000 0.24
2001 0.35
2002 0.35
2003 0.23
2004 0.19
2005 0.11
2006 0.17
2007 0.18
2008 0.10
2009 0.15
2010 0.16
2011 0.12
2012 0.14
2013 0.13