Also called canola or colza, the rape plant (from the Latin word ‘rapa’ which means ‘turnip’) comes from the same family of mustard and cabbage and, indeed, the oil pressed from its seeds has a slightly tangy taste before refinement. It has been cultivated in Europe and Asia since antiquity, painting beautiful, bright yellow landscapes in the fields during the flowering period.
Wax can be obtained by hydrogenation of rapeseed oil. Hydrogenation is a process that is frequently used in the vegetable oil industry, improving textures and shelf-life. In the case of rapeseed, it solidifies the oil into a wax that is extensively used in candle making but has also found its way in cosmetics.