Quality of western Canadian canola 2015
Western Canadian canola quality
Tables 3 to 5 show detailed information on the quality of western Canadian canola harvested in 2015 whereas Table 6 compares the quality of 2015 harvest to the quality of recent canola exports. It is important to note that the numbers of samples in each grade or province may not be representative of the total production or grade distribution. However, there were sufficient samples to provide good quality information for each province and each grade. Provincial and western Canadian averages were calculated from results for each crop district, weighted by a combination of production by crop district using the 2014 total production (Statistics Canada production estimate) combined with an estimate of grade distribution per crop district using data presented in Figure 5.
All oil and protein content values discussed below are presented using the Canadian Grain Commission’s historical 8.5% moisture basis in order to permit annual and regional comparisons. Protein and glucosinolate contents of the oil-free meal are also presented at 12% moisture to reflect meal trading rules established by the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA).
Exports of commercially cleaned canola contained up to 2.5% dockage, which will affect quality factors such as oil content, chlorophyll and free fatty acids. Canola exports containing over 2.5% dockage are considered not commercially clean (NCC) and will have even greater reductions in measured quality components.
For Canola, No. 1 Canada, the 2015 mean oil content (44.2%) was identical to the 2014 average (44.2%) (Table 1). This average is much lower than the record average observed in 2011 (45.2%) (Figure 6). However, this average is close to the 5-year average (2010-2014) of 44.4% (Table 1, Figure 6). The oil content mean in Manitoba (43.4%) was lower than in Alberta-Peace River (43.8%) and Saskatchewan (44.6%) (Table 3). The oil content of individual Canola, No. 1 Canada samples harvested in 2015 by producers across western Canada ranged from 39.1% to 49.0% in Manitoba, 39.1% to 49.7% in Saskatchewan and 36.1% to 50.5% in Alberta (Table 3).
Oil content for Canola, No. 2 Canada (42.5%) was lower than for Canola, No. 1 Canada (44.2%). Oil content for Canola, No. 2 Canada samples from western Canada ranged from 35.3% to 48.6% (Table 3).
Oil content is influenced by both genetics and environment. For any known canola variety cool growing conditions will give higher oil content when compared to hot growing conditions.
Mean oil content of commercially clean canola exports of Canola, No. 1 Canada was 43.0% in December 2015 and averaged 43.2% for the August-November 2015 exports (Table 6). Oil content average of the non-commercially clean exports was 43.1% for both August-November 2015 exports and December 2015 exports.
When compared to oil content of the harvest samples, the commercially clean and the non-commercially clean exports of Canola, No. 1 Canada had lower oil content averages due to the dilution of the dockage. Harvest samples are completely cleaned (0.00% dockage) whereas the dockage averages for the August-November 2015 exports and December 2015 exports were 2.73 and 2.74% respectively, compared to 1.98% and 2.15% for the commercially clean exports for the same period.
It is expected that the mean oil content of Canadian exports will be in the 43.0% range for most of the 2015-16 shipping season.
|Year||Oil content of the seed
(%, 8.5% moisture)
Crude protein content averages were 20.7% for Canola, No. 1 Canada, 18.6% for Canola, No. 2 Canada, 21.6% for Canola, No. 3 Canada and 20.9% for Sample. Average protein content for Canola, No. 1 Canada was higher in 2015 (20.7%) than in 2014 (20.2%). This is slightly higher than the 5-year average (20.2%) (Table 1). Protein content of individual producer samples ranged from 17.2 to 27.5% for Canola, No. 1 Canada samples and from 17.5 to 25.8% for Canola, No. 2 Canada samples (Table 3).
Average protein of Canola, No. 1 Canada commercially clean exports was 21.1% in December 2015. Average protein was 20.8% for commercially clean Canola. No. 1 Canada exports from August to November 2015 (Table 6). Protein content averages (Tables 6) for the actual shipping season are slightly higher to what was observed for last shipping season (20.3% for August 2014 to July 2015).
2015 protein content calculated to an oil-free meal at 12% moisture basis was 38.6%, which is significantly higher than what was observed in 2014 (37.5%) and higher than 37.7% calculated for the 5 year average (Table 1). The calculated protein content of the oil-free meal (100% defatted at 12% moisture) was much higher in Alberta-Peace River (39.5%) than in Manitoba (38.4%) and in Saskatchewan (38.1%). Trading rules for the North American sale of canola meal requires that calculations for protein claims must be reported on a 12% moisture basis. To enable comparison according to the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association’s meal trading rules, this year, the Canadian Grain Commission only reported the protein of oil-free meal at 12% moisture (Table 1, Figure 8). It is to be understood that the reported value is only an indication since this is the maximum meal protein content that could be obtained when a crushing plant is able to extract 100% of the oil from the seeds.
The calculated protein content average of oil-free meal was 38.0% at 12.0% moisture for December 2015 commercially clean exports of Canola, No. 1 Canada. The meal protein content average for the August-November 2015 exports was also 38.0% at 12% moisture. This result is about +0.8% higher than last shipping season average, the average being 37.2% for commercially clean exports of Canola, No. 1 from August 2014 to July 2015 at 12% moisture (Table 6).
It is expected that the protein content of Canadian exports will be similar, or slightly higher, than what was observed during last year shipping season.
|Year||Protein content of the seed
(%, 8.5% moisture)
|Year||Protein content of oil-free meal
(%, 12% moisture)
Chlorophyll content averages of producer samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada were 11, 11 and 14 milligrams per kilogram in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta-Peace River, respectively (Table 3). The overall average for Canola, No. 1 Canada was 12 milligrams per kilogram, similar to what what was observed for the 2014 and the 2013 harvests (13 and 12 milligrams per kilogram, respectively) (Figure 9). Individual producer samples of Canola, No. 1 Canada from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta-Peace River had chlorophyll levels ranging from 4 to 33 milligrams per kilogram, 4 to 32 milligrams per kilogram and 4 to 40 milligrams per kilogram, respectively (Table 3). The mean chlorophyll content varies greatly from year to year (Figure 9) due to environmental conditions. Once again, location had an important effect on chlorophyll levels in the analyzed samples. Crop District 5 from Alberta and Crop district 7 from Alberta-Peace River had the highest chlorophyll content averages for samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (16 milligrams per kilogram).
Chlorophyll levels (Table 3) for Canola, No. 2 Canada samples averaged 31 milligrams per kilogram, slightly lower than what was observed for the 2014 harvest (33 milligrams per kilogram). Samples graded Canola, No. 3 Canada showed an average chlorophyll content of 45 milligrams per kilogram, lower than what was observed in 2014 (68 milligrams per kilogram).
|Year||Chlorophyll content of the seed
(milligrams per kilogram)
To be graded Canola, No. 1 Canada, samples must contain no more than 2.00% distinctly green seeds. Distinctly green seed averages were 0.56, 0.45 and 0.57% in Manitoba (0.56% in 2014), Saskatchewan (0.55% in 2014) and Alberta-Peace River (0.68% in 2014) for Canola, No. 1 Canada samples, respectively.
The chlorophyll content of Canadian canola exports is affected by distinctly green seeds and dockage content (no more than 2.5% for commercially clean exports). Dockage averages for Canola, No. 1 Canada was 1.98 and 2.15% for commercially clean cargoes for December and August-to-December 2015 exports, respectively, whereas the dockage average for for the not-commercially clean August to December 2015 exports was 2.73%. Since August 1st, 2015, the distinctly green seed contents for individual cargoes of Canola, No. 1 Canada ranged from 0.2 to 1.7% and the chlorophyll content averages ranged from 12 to 24 milligrams per kilogram (Table 6). These chlorophyll content variations reflected the distinctly green seed variations within the exports (0.2 to 1.5%) and the variations between the exports (0.87%) and the harvest DGR averages (0.50%) (Table 6); the higher distinctly green seeds content and the higher chlorophyll content in exports (Table 6).
It is expected that chlorophyll data for the 2015-16 exports might be lower than chlorophyll average reported for the 2014-2015 shipping season with few cargoes of Canola, No. 1 Canada with chlorophyll contents higher than 25 milligrams per kilogram.
The 2015 total glucosinolate content averaged 11 µmoles/gram, similar to what was observed in 2014 (10 µmoles/gram). Since 2009, total glucosinolate content averages remained in the 10 µmoles/gram range (Table 1, Figure 10). There was no real difference in total glucosinolates content between various crop districts or provinces. This is a direct result of breeding efforts from various breeding programs to aintain low glucosinolate contents and linked to the Canadian canola registration program (Western Canadian Canola Rapeseed Registration Committee).
The average level of total seed glucosinolates in the December 2015 canola exports was 13 µmoles/gram of seed, similar to what was observed in the 2015 harvest survey (Table 6). Glucosinolate contents of canola exports for the 2014-15 shipping season will remain similar to the averages observed during the 2013-14 shipping season (Table 6).
|Year||Total glucosinolate content of the seed
(µmoles/gram, 8.5% moisture)
|Year||Total glucosinolate content of oil-free meal
(µmoles/gram, dry basis)
In 2015, 11 µmoles/gram of total glucosinolates in the seed corresponded to 23 µmoles/gram in oil-free meal on dry basis, very slightly higher than the 5-year average (21 µmoles/gram dry basis) or the 2014 harvest average (22 µmoles/gram dry basis) (Figure 11). This calculated value agrees to the canola definition (less than 30 µmoles of total glucosinolates per gram of oil-free meal on dry basis) but gives an overestimation of total glucosinolate in canola meal obtained from Canadian conventional crushing plants (expeller press followed by solvent extraction) since it assumes that 100% of the oil was recovered from the seed during crushing and that no glucosinolate was destroyed during processing, which is not the case.
Free fatty acids content
The average free fatty acids content of the oil for the 2015 canola was 0.18%, identical to what was observed in 2014 (0.18%) (Tables 1 and 4, Figure 11). This level was also similar to the 5-year average of 0.14% (Table 1). Average free fatty acids levels in Canola, No. 1 Canada samples from Manitoba (0.33%) were higher than what was found in Saskatchewan (0.13%) and Alberta-Peace River (0.19%) (Table 4). The 2015 Manitoba average was much higher than what was observed in Manitoba last year (0.23%). Some Manitoba crop districts showed free fatty acid content averages well above what was normally observed, e.g. Manitoba crop district number 7 and number 11 had free fatty acids levels averaging 0.62 and 0.71%, respectively.
We have observed that free fatty acids in canola can be high due to field heat stress (high temperatures during the growing season) or to high seed moisture and sprouting because of precipitations at harvest. Both were observed this year (Figure 2a and 2b). Precipitations in September delayed and sometimes even prohibited the 2015 harvest to proceed normally (Figure 2b). This excess of moisture at harvest could further lead to an increase in free fatty acids content in the seed during storage and shipping. It also has shown that high moisture seeds at harvest could lead to bin heating/burning if seeds are improperly stored.
|Year||Free fatty acid content
(% in oil)
In December, free fatty acids level of commercially clean Canola, No. 1 Canada exports averaged 0.32% (0.39% for the 2015 August to November exports). The free fatty acids level of individual commercially clean Canola, No. 1 Canada exports ranged from 0.18 to 0.73%. These averages were similar to not commercially clean exports, 0.34% in December and 0.42% for the 2015 August to October exports, with individual cargoes ranging from 0.29 to 0.73%.
Free fatty acid content might be a problem with canola exports this year, it is expected that the free fatty acid levelst will remained higher this year that they were during last year shipping season (0.36%). As it was observed in theAugust-December exports, it is likely that large variations will be observed with shipments showing high free fatty acid levels.
Fatty acid composition
The average level of erucic acid in the 2015 crop was 0.01%, which is identical to what was observed for the last 4 years (0.01%) and to the 5-year average of 0.01% (Tables 1, 5, Figure 12). Similar to total glucosinolate content, these low values are a direct result of breeding efforts of the Canadian canola industry.
For Canola, No. 1 Canada samples, mean α-linolenic acid (C18:3) was 9.7%, slightly higher than what was observed in 2014 (9.2%) and similar to the 5 year average (9.6%) (Table 1, Figure 13). This year, the α-linolenic acid averages were lower in Manitoba (9.2%) than in Saskatchewan (9.6%). Alberta-Peace River had the highest average (10.1%) (Table 5). This result agreed with the environment growing conditions that we had. For a given genetic, warmer growing conditions usually lead to higher oil saturation. The growing conditions and the September temperatures were very different in the Prairies (Figure 2a). The total content of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was 28.5, 28.6 and 28.6% in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta-Peace River, for a Wesern Canada average of 28.6%. For canola, the poly-unsaturated fatty acid contents are directly realted to the contents α-linolenic acid (C18:3) and linoleic acid (C18:2). This year, the ratio omega-6/omega-3 (linoleic acid/α-linolenic acid) was 1.94 compared to 2.03 in 2014.
For Canola, No. 1 Canada samples, mean oleic acid (C18:1) content of the 2015 crop was 62.6%, lower than what was observed in 2014 (63.2%) and similar to the 5-year mean (62.7%) (Table 1, Figure 14). Oleic acid contents were similar in Manitoba (62.4%), Saskatchewan (62.6%) and Alberta-Peace River (62.6%) (Table 5). The total content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) was 64.1, 64.2 and 64.3% in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta-Peace River, for a Wesern Canada average of 64.2%.
The fatty acid composition (oleic acid, linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid) of the 2015 crop presented some differences when compared to the 2014 fatty acid composition (-0.6%, +0.1% and +0.5% for oleic, linoleic and linolenic fatty acid contents). This led to a change in the iodine value average. The 2015 iodine value average was higher than the 2013 iodine value average by 0.9 units (112.2 units in 2014 versus 113.1 units in 2015) (Table 1, Figure 15). For Canola, No. 1 Canada, the iodine value averages were 112.4, 113.1 and 113.6 units for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta-Peace River, respectively, reflecting the α-linolenic acid (C18:3) differences. The iodine value of individual samples ranged from 107.4 to 120.1, 105.4 to 121.0 and 107.1 to 120.6 units, in Manitoba, Sasktachewan and Alberta-Peace River, respectively (Table 5).
Samples graded Canola, No. 2 Canada showed higher iodine value averages, with higher linoleic and α-linolenic acid contents and lower oleic acid contents that the samples Canola, No. 1 Canada (Table 5).
Average of saturated fatty acid content was 6.7% in 2015 as in 2014 (Tables 1 and 5). Since 2009, the saturated fatty acid content averages varied from 6.6 to 6.9% (Table 1, Figure 16). In 2015, the saturated fatty acid content averages were similar for the 3 provinces, (6.9, 6.7 and 6.6% for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta-Peace River, respectively). Total saturated fatty acids are usually affected by temperature, high temperatures lead to higher oil saturation.
For the first 5 months of the 2015-16 shipping season, α-linolenic acid averages for clean samples ranged from 8.7 to 10.5%, averaging 9.2 and 9.5% in December and in August-November respectively for commercially clean exports (Table 6). This is similar to what was observed during last shipping season (9.3%). When compared to last year’s average, iodine value averages ranged from 111.3 to 114.8 units (until December 2015) similar to what was observed during the last shipping season (110.4 to 114.0 units). It is likely that the iodine value will remain similar to what was observed last year. The level of saturated fatty acids in the November 2015 canola exports remained very similar to 2014-15 means (6.7%). It is expected that levels of erucic acid will remain very low for the new shipping season (below 0.1%) since erucic acid contents were very low in the 2015 harvest.
Detailed information on the quality of western Canadian canola
|Number of samples||Oil contentFootnote1, %||Protein contentFootnote2, %||Chlorophyll content, milligrams per kilogram|
|Canola, No. 1 Canada|
|Canola, No. 2 Canada|
|Canola, No. 3 Canada|
|Canola, Sample Canada|
|Number of samples||GlucosinolatesFootnote1, µmoles/gram||Free fatty acids, %|
|Canola, No. 1 Canada|
|Canola, No. 2 Canada|
|Canola, No. 3 Canada|
|Canola, Sample Canada|
|Relative fatty acid composition of the oil, %||Total saturatesFootnote5, %||Iodine valueFootnote6, units|
|Canola, No. 1 Canada|
|Canola, No. 2 Canada|
|Canola, No. 3 Canada|
|Canola, Sample Canada|
|Canola, No. 1 Canada, only||2015 Harvest Sample Program||Exports|
|December 2015||August to November 2015||August to December 2015||Previous year, 2014-15|
|commernically clean||commernically clean||not commercially clean||commernically clean|
|Oil contentFootnote1, %||44.2||43.0||43.2||43.1||43.5|
|Protein contentFootnote7, %||20.7||21.0||20.8||20.3|
|Oil-free protein contentFootnote7, % (at 12% moisture, %)||38.6||38.0||38.0||37.2|
|Chlorophyl, milligrams per kilogram seed||12||18||17||16.9||19|
|Total glucosinolates of the seed, µmoles/gram seed||11||13||13||14||12|
|Free fatty acids, %||0.18||0.31||0.39||0.39||0.36|
|Erucic acid, % in oil||0.01||0.02||0.03||0.01||0.03|
|Oleic acid, % in oil||62.6||62.1||62.8||62.4||63.1|
|α-linolenic acid, % in oil||9.7||9.3||9.5||9.8||9.3|
|Total saturated fatty acidsFootnote5, % in oil||6.7||6.6||6.6||6.6||6.7|
|Mono-unsaturated fatty acids||64.2||63.8||64.4||62.8||64.8|
|Poly-unsaturated fatty acids||28.6||29.0||28.3||28.7||28.0|
|Distinctly green seed, %||0.5||0.98||0.87||0.8||1.1|
|Loading moisture, %||non-applicable||8.4||8.0||8.2||7.4|
|Number of export samples||non-applicable||15||78||13||211|
- Footnote 1
8.5% moisture basis
- Footnote 2
N x 6.25; 8.5% moisture basis
- Footnote 3
Includes part of the Peace River area that is in British Columbia
- Footnote 4
Values are weighted averages based on production by province as estimated by Statistics Canada
- Footnote 5
Total saturated fatty acids are the sum of palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), arachidic (C20:0), behenic (C22:0), and lignoceric (C24:0)
- Footnote 6
Calculated from fatty acid composition
- Footnote 7
Calculated using N x 6.25
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