chapter  16
18 Pages

Nutritional Impact of Fatty Acid Composition of Canola Oil and Its Effect on the Oxidative Deterioration

Canola oil is rich in oleic acid (18:1n-9, OA; >60%). It also contains a considerable amount of linoleic acid (18:2n-6, LA; ~22%) and α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3, LN; ~10%) (Dolde et al., 1999; Vlahakis and Hazebroek, 2000). The omega-3/omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ratio of canola oil is considered to be favourable for human health (Gunstone et al., 2007). This is based on the fact that people are taking too much LA from the diet in today’s society. Simopoulos (2008) found that, in Western societies, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio is about 16/1 due to the high intake of oil soyabean, corn, sunower and safower oils, which are high in LA. Indeed, the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 PUFA in the food chain in Europe (Sanders, 2000) and in the United States (Kris-Etherton et al., 2000) is still much higher than that recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Although, it is difcult to tell the favourable ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 in the dietary lipids, it is apparent that the adequate intake of LN is higher than that found in Western diet (Russo, 2010). Therefore, canola oil should be regarded as a healthy oil because of its relatively higher level of LN.