AskDefine | Define colza

Dictionary Definition

colza n : Eurasian plant cultivated for its seed and as a forage crop [syn: rape, Brassica napus]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A variety of cabbage (Brassica oleracea), cultivated for its seeds, which yield an oil valued for illuminating and lubricating purposes.


cabbage variety

Extensive Definition

Colza oil is a non-drying oil obtained from the seeds of Brassica campestris, var. oleifera, a variety of the plant that produces Swedish turnips. Colza is extensively cultivated in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany; and, especially in France, the expression of the oil is an important industry. In commerce, colza is classed with rape oil, to which it is very closely allied in both source and properties. It is a comparatively inodorous oil of a yellow color, having a specific gravity varying between 0.912 to 0.920. The cake left after expression of the oil is a valuable feeding substance for cattle. Colza oil is extensively used as a lubricant for machinery, and for burning in lamps.
In France it is used also as a substitute for fine oil in restaurants, as the oil part in a carpaccio, or as the high temperature boiling oil in beef bourguignon. Its taste is different from olive oil. Colza oil, with added color and flavor, has also been fraudulently labeled and sold as olive oil by unscrupulous Italian companies.
Colza oil was also used in Gombault's Caustic Balsam; a popular horse and human liniment at the turn of the 20th century. [Note that the ingredients listed in this link are similar but not the same as the list on the actual bottle.]
Among the more unusual applications of colza oil is the calming of choppy seas, where the oil modifies the surface tension of the water and rapidly smooths the surface. Rescue and recovery operations have been made far less risky in this way.
More recently, colza has been cultivated in France as an ingredient for biodiesel fuels.


colza in Danish: Rapsolie
colza in German: Rapsöl
colza in Spanish: Aceite de colza
colza in French: Huile de colza
colza in Italian: Olio di colza
colza in Japanese: 菜種油
colza in Dutch: Koolzaadolie
colza in Norwegian: Rapsolje
colza in Swedish: Rapsolja
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