Processing of edible oils, including canola oil, is designed to produce the purest extract of triacylglycerols possible. This necessitates removing minor components, naturally present in the oil, that are detrimental to the quality of the finished product (52).

Cleaning Seeds

Before processing, canola seeds undergo cleaning to reduce the presence of any foreign materials. This material, referred to as dockage, was shown to consist mainly of damaged canola seed together with weed seeds (53). A number of operations are involved, including fanning and sieving mills to remove pods and weed seeds; indent machines to remove any large noncanola seeds; destoners to remove dirt and small stones; and finally gravity tables to eliminate anything not removed in the previous processes. Removal of foreign material is designed to ensure less than 2.5% remains in the seed. The presence of damaged canola seed has been shown to be detrimental to the quality of the extracted oil and should be reduced as much as possible before oil extraction (54).

Oil Extraction

Extracting oil from canola seeds is carried out with as little chemical alteration to the oil or meal as possible (55). Once cleaned, canola seeds are rolled or flaked to fracture the seed coat and rupture the oil cells. The production of thin flakes, 0.2- to 0.3-mm thick, is extremely important as a high surface-to-volume ratio is critical during oilseed processing. To facilitate good oil release, the flakes are cooked at 77 to 100°C for 15 to 20 min, to rupture any intact oil cells remaining (56). Flaked and cooked canola seeds gen-

Table 3. Mineral and Vitamin Content of Canola and Soybean Meals
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