Thursday, 18 December 2014

Canola Bloggers Meet: To Understand Canola Better

Canola, the premium priced cooking oil being market by Canada is slowly and steadily making inroads into the Indian market. While the leading chefs and decision makers from the food industry are gradually acknowledging and promoting the health benefits of this oil, average Indian family still seems sceptical about Canola's relevance in their kitchen shelves. And this is why representatives of Canola Council of Canada are travelling across potential markets to spread awareness about Canola oil and promote its exposure in different types of cooking. To this effect, they recently organised a bloggers meet where health benefits of Canola oil were discussed in great detail.

If you remember, last year Canola had tied up with renowned chef Kunal Kapoor for a Cook for Cause event, where I got to be a part of the team of bloggers who cooked for the lively kids from the NGO Katha, an NGO that works in the field of community development, child welfare, education and literature. This year, besides the informative session of Canola facts, it was popular chef Surjan Singh (aka Chef Jolly) and his interesting recipes that added the fun element to the otherwise focussed-on-facts event.

Now before delving into the finer details about health benefits of Canola oil, here's a recall of the canola oil trivia I have shared before.
  • Canola Oil comes from the crushed seeds of canola plant. These seeds are tiny and resemble poppy seeds, though they are brownish-black in colour.
  • Canola and rapeseed plants look similar but their oils are very different. Canadians researchers used traditional plant breeding to eliminate the undesirable components of rapeseed and created 'canola' - a contraction of Canadian and ola.
  • Researchers say canola is very stable oil that doesn't break down at high temperatures, so it's ideal for sautéing, stir-frying, deep-frying and other high-heat applications.
  • Its smoke point - the temperature at which it begins to smoke and degrade - is one of the highest of all cooking oils at 242 degree centigrade.
As mentioned above, the focus of this meet was spreading awareness about the health benefits of Canola oil, and Canola panel, represented by Mr. Bruce Jowett, Vice President of Marketing Development, Canola Council of Canada, Ms. Ritika Samaddar, Registered Dietician and Nutritionist and Chef Jolly.  While Mr. Jowett shared interesting insights on the latest consumer research on edible oil consumption patterns, Ms Samaddar talked about the various health and nutritional benefits of canola oil and how it helps you get fitter.

Here are some pointers that will help with a better a understanding of how canola oil works is good for health - 

  • Low is saturated fats - Canola oil is slow in saturated fat. Saturated fat raises the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood and has been linked to increased risk of coronary heart diseases.
  • A source of omaega-6 fat - Omega-6 must be consumed in diet and is important for the brain and for the growth and development of infants.
  • High in omega-3 fat - Omega-3 fat must also be consumed in our diet, as it helps protect against heart attacks and strokes.
  • High in mono-unsaturated fat - Mono-unsaturated fat may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering bad LDL cholesterol in the blood and helping control blood glucose.
  • Cholesterol and trans fat free - Trans fat raises bad LDL cholesterol and lowers good HDL cholesterol.

While Mr. Jowett and Ms Samaddar emphasized the health benefits of the oil, Chef jolly explained about the texture and taste of the oil, explaining how the oil adapts to most Indian cuisines and leaves no lingering smell. He also prepared two interesting snack items,which were cooked in canola oil, and also shared the recipe of the same (sharing the recipe in the next post). The event was rounded off with high tea, with a sumptuous spread of delicacies cooked in canola oil.

Chef Jolly cooking with canola oil
High tea spread cooked in Canola oil
The Canola Bloggers Meet was organised by Canola Oil in association with Blogadda. For more information about Canola, you can check this website.


  1. Looks you've enjoyed as well as learned new things from the meet..:-)

    1. Yes Maniparna, it was informative. Got a lot more clarity about canola oil now.

  2. Nice information, you could do a photo blog too, on this one.. :)

    1. Thanks Uttpal. Yes, wanted to do a photo blog post but unfortunately the photos were not good enough to merit that.

  3. Thanks for sharing.But I have tried canola oil before and it didn't suit me.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ankita. I am been using the oil for a week now, and as yet have a neutral opinion.