In temperate latitudes, rapeseed has been cultivated since ancient times. It is not known in what country it originated, but it is thought that it may have been somewhere in Eurasia, where the plant was already mentioned in the 2nd millennium BC. The German term Rüb Oil does not come from the term Rübe (= rapeseed), but from the medieval term Rübse (= rapeseed). In addition to Europe, the following countries also grow rapeseed: India, China, North America and Canada.
Originally, rapeseed oil was known for centuries for its high content of erucic acid (45-52.5%). The oils rich in erucic acid can not be used in human food or animal feed because of the pathological changes that they cause to the myocardium and in the human heart lipids and also because of the damage they cause to the health of the animals ( decreased appetite, reduced weight, increased thyroid gland). However, the ‘old’ rapeseed oil, with its high content of erucic acid, is an excellent and, above all, inexhaustible source of C20 and C22 fatty acids. This explains the resurgence of interest in the cultivation of this variety, since the plastics processing industries and detergent industries are increasingly dependent on this source of fatty acids.