For a long time rapeseed oil was only used for industrial purposes as its relatively high levels of the toxin erucic acid made it suitable for human or animal consumption. But then, in the 1970's, varieties were developed with low erucic acid levels and human-grade rapeseed oil (often branded as 'canola') began to make its way into both human and animal food industries.
Nowadays, human-grade rapeseed oil is everywhere. It is most often sold as 'vegetable oil' in supermarkets and is also used widely in pet foods. On the label, it can be listed as rapeseed oil, canola, vegetable oil or simply under the umbrella term 'oils and fats'.
Although rapeseed oil can still contain some erucic acid (currently up to 5% in the UK and Europe), the levels are reportedly far too low to cause any health problems.
Compared with other vegetable oils, rapeseed oil measures up well. It is low in saturated fats and has a high content of linolenic acid (omega-3 oils). It also tolerates high temperatures well which is especially important for oils used in extruded biscuits (which account for most dry pet foods).
Find foods containing Rapeseed oil See the full Ingredient Glossary