Healthier Oils, Healthier Business

How Seed Becomes Oil


Omega-9 Oils began with researchers at Dow AgroSciences, who applied their expertise in plant breeding to develop better canola seed. The resulting NexeraTM brand Canola seeds were introduced in 1996 and today are grown on more than 1.5 million acres across North America. These seeds, when crushed, become Omega-9 Canola Oil.

Canola plants, which are recognizable by their small yellow flowers, grow 3-feet to 5-feet tall and produce pods with seeds that are similar in size and color to poppy seeds. Each canola seed is approximately 44% oil — among the highest in oilseed crops and twice as much as a soybean!

The more than 1 billion pounds of Omega-9 Canola Oil that are produced annually start as canola seeds planted by farmers, primarily in Western Canada and the Northern United States. Omega-9 Canola seeds are grown under an “identity preservation” (IP) program that segregates and protects the quality of the crop and its oil. As a result, Omega-9 Canola can be followed from the region where farmers grow it to the facilities where harvested seeds become oil — delivering transparency to consumers who are increasingly requesting it from their food providers.

The journey from these farms to the consumer’s fork is a complex one and requires strong partnerships between Dow AgroSciences, farmers and oil processors, as well as food manufacturers and foodservice companies.