High Erucic Acid Rapeseed (HEAR) has been grown commercially for many years and
contracts are available throughout the UK.
HEAR is the same plant species (Brassica napus) as conventional double low
oilseed rape, but the oil profile of the seed is different. The early varieties
of oilseed rape contained high levels of erucic acid but this was considered to
have deleterious effects on human health. Breeding programmes produced
varieties with low levels of erucic acid in rapeseed oil and glucosinolates in
rapeseed meal, the so-called "double low" types which typically contain less
than 2% erucic acid. In contrast, HEAR varieties contain up to 50 - 55% erucic
acid in the oil.