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Colza oil: Wikis


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Colza oil is a non-drying oil obtained from the seeds of Brassica campestris, var. oleifera, a variety of the plant that produces Swedish turnips. Colza is extensively cultivated in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. In France, especially, the extraction of the oil is an important industry. In commerce, colza is classed with rapeseed oil, to which it is very closely allied in both source and properties. It is a comparatively in-odorous oil of a yellow colour, having a specific gravity varying between 0.912 to 0.920. The cake left after extraction of the oil is a valuable feeding substance for cattle.


In France Colza oil is used also as a substitute for fine oil in restaurants, as the oil part in a carpaccio, or as the high temperature boiling oil in beef bourguignon. Its taste is different from olive oil. Colza oil, with added colour and flavour, has also been fraudulently labelled and sold as olive oil by unscrupulous Italian companies.[citation needed]

Colza oil is extensively used as a lubricant for machinery.

Colza oil was the preferred oil for train pot lamps, used for lighting railway coaches in the United Kingdom before gas lighting, and later electric lighting, were adopted. Burned in a Carcel burner, it was part of the definition of the French standard measure for illumination , the carcel , for most of the nineteenth century. In lighthouses, for example in early Canada, colza oil was used before the introduction of mineral oil. The colza oil was used with the Argand burner because it was cheaper[1] than whale oil.

Colza oil was used in Gombault's Caustic Balsam,[2] a popular horse and human linament at the turn of the 20th century. (Note that the ingredients listed in this link are similar to, but not the same as, the list on the actual bottle).

Among the more unusual applications of colza oil is the calming of choppy seas, where the oil modifies the surface tension of the water and rapidly smooths the surface. Rescue and recovery operations have been made far less risky in this way.[3]

More recently, colza has been cultivated in Europe as an ingredient for biodiesel fuels.


This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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