Agri Business

Canola oil imports on the rise

| | Updated on: Oct 09, 2012

The use of canola oil in the country seems to be catching up with about 56,000 tonnes being imported in the last nine months. Canola oil, claimed to be good for the heart, is extracted from canola seeds that are grown largely in Canada.

Cory McArthur, Vice-President, Canola Council of Canada, said that the demand for canola oil in India has witnessed a steady growth since it was introduced in 2007.

Since 2010, at least 500-700 tonnes of canola oil have been imported regularly. Early 2012, import reports indicated that 56,000 tonnes of canola oil moved in the Indian marketplace, he said.

“Experts estimate that the demand could be as high as 1,00,000 tonnes. This growth will primarily be driven by the demand for heart-healthy cooking oil,” he said.

Apart from demand from health-conscious youngsters, the demand for canola oil is driven by the rise in living standards of people in rural India.

“As the world capital of diabetes where heart disease is the leading cause of death, India can benefit from the availability of heart-healthy canola oil. When used in the place of saturated fat, canola oil can reduce the risk of heart disease,” said McArthur. Canola oil has the least saturated fat amongst all common edible oils and is a good source of omega-3 fat and vitamin E.

Canola oil is also extremely versatile with its neutral flavour, light texture and high heat tolerance.

However, canola has a long way to go in India before it can topple the most popular sunflower oil. India is the world’s second largest edible oil consumer and importer.

It consumes about 15 million tonnes of oil a year, but produces only 6.5 million tonnes.

Vegetable oil consumption in India has witnessed an annual growth of four per cent or about 4,00,000 tonnes.

> suresh.iyengar@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 10, 2012

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