Rapeseed (Brassica rapa ssp Oleifera), is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed. It is the third-largest source of vegetable oil in the world. Visually, the rapeseed plant makes for a lovely landscape surface during the summer when it sprouts vibrant yellow flowers. Its beauty however is much more than just visual, as this plant has some wonderful benefits as oil.
Finland is located between the 60th and 70th parallels of latitude, making it the northernmost country with viable agriculture in Europe. From south to north Finland is more than 1,000 km long, which means the conditions vary a great deal in the different parts of the country, which can present challenges and opportunities for the Finnish farm sector.
Finland is characterised by cold winters with a lot of snow and short summers with daylight in abundance. In southern Finland, the growing season is only 180 days long, which is around two months shorter than in Central Europe. The average effective temperature sum is 1450 °C in southern Finland and 880 °C in the north. The annual precipitation is 550 – 650 mm.
Of the surface area, 70% is covered by forest and 10% is lakes. About 8% of the total surface area is agricultural land. The vast majority of farms are owned by families, most of them engaged in both farming and farm forestry. An average Finnish farm has 47 ha arable land.
Spring fieldwork and sowings in Finland generally begin in May, with harvest generally beginning at the start of August and continuing until September. Growing conditions are beneficial to production, because the cold winter reduces the number of plant diseases and pests. But due to the climatic conditions, the crops need to be dried after harvest, practically without exception.
The high quality of Finnish rape seed oil has been known for years. Nordic Beauty Brassica Finlandia is the highest quality cold pressed oil which means that apart from the beneficial fatty acid composition and high levels of Omega-3, the oil also contains all the vitamins, notably vitamin E, enzymes and lecithin which are lost in refined oil. Oil refining destroys the valuable protective substances in the oil. Lecithin for example is an extremely valuable component in rape seed oil which is totally lost in refining.
Brassica Finlandia is rich in phytosterols and it has no transfats. It is also absolutely GMO-free, as there are no GMO varieties of rapeseed grown in Finland.
The rape seed that is grown in Finland and used in Nordic Beauty Brassica Finlandia is the spring turnip rapeseed Brassica rapa ssp Oleifera. This is not the same species as is grown elsewhere in Europe (Brassica napus) and has a better fatty acid composition – the content of saturated fatty acids is lower.