Rapeseed oil is a rich source of tocopherols and phytosterols, which are high value compounds with a growing range of uses. Researchers are unravelling the genetic basis of tocopherol and phytosterol biosynthesis in rapeseed so that gene sequences can be used for marker-assisted selection of lines with better content and composition of these compounds.
How it Works
Tocopherols and phytosterols are rapeseed oil components with health benefits. Tocopherols are dietary antioxidants, and phytosterols are used in food production for lowering harmful Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) responsible for cholesterol build up. They also have emerging applications as mechanical lubricants in food production. Around a fifth of phytosterol production is presently used in pharmaceutical production of steroid-based drugs and personal care products.
Farmer / Agronomist Benefits
Produce of new oilseed rape varieties that can be grown successfully in the UK, which will command a significant premium because of their enhanced oil profile.
Key Researchers / Stakeholders
CNAP (Centre for Novel Agricultural Products) University of York. Huazhong Agricultural University