Project to hunt for more benefits from canola

“Lesser known” benefits of canola oil are the target of a new research project that will extract antioxidants from canola for use in functional foods.

The project at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg will be funded by a Collaborative Research and Development grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canola Council of Canada and Syngenta Crop Protection Canada.

NSERC’s contribution of $480,000 over three years is being matched by Syngenta and the Canola Council, for a total of almost $1 million, the Canola Council said in a release Wednesday.

Dr. Usha Thiyam’s team will look at the nutraceutical and functional properties of antioxidants such as sinapic acid and tocopherols in canola seed, oil and meal.

By applying novel extraction techniques, they hope to optimize the extracts for use in a number of value-added applications such as oils with greater stability and enhanced nutrition, the council said.

“Dr. Thiyam’s work complements some of the work that is already being done on the effects of canola oil on heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” said Dave Hickling, the Canola Council’s vice-president for utilization, in a release. “We are looking forward to what she and her team can discover.”

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