The OpenFields library holds resources about oilseed crops, which are those grown primarily for the oil contained in the seeds. Typical sources of edible seed oils are soybeans, sunflowers, and rapeseed, whilst seed oils from flax (linseed) and castor beans are used for industrial purposes. Edible vegetable oils are used as directly as salad or cooking oils, or may be solidified (by the process of 'hydrogenation') to make margarine and shortening. These products often supplement or replace animal products such as butter and lard.

Industrial applications are based on the properties of particular fatty-acid components of these oils. Flaxseed oil, rich in linolenic acid, (an unsaturated fatty acid,) is a drying oil used in protective coatings (e.g. in paints and varnishes). Vegetable oils are used in putty, printing inks, erasers, coating or core oils, greases, plastics, etc.

The residue remaining after the oil has been extracted from oilseeds is an important source of nutrients for livestock. Oilseed meals from soybeans, peanuts, rapeseed and flaxseed are rich in protein; mixed with other ingredients (e.g., cereal grains,) they provide nutritionally balanced animal feeds.

A sample of Items held in the Oilseeds category

There are currently no subcategories in the Oilseeds section.

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The OpenFields Library is a free online library contains items of interest to practitioners and researchers in the agricultural and landbased industries.