The EU commission are currently reviewing proposals to reduce the legal limit of erucic acid in low erucic acid oilseed rape (OSR).
Currently, for rapeseed oil to be used in food products, by law erucic acid levels must not exceed 5 per cent, and therefore the contractual maximum in most contracts is set at 2 per cent, which allows some margin for error.
The latest proposals being debated in Brussels would mean dropping the legal limit to 2 per cent, effectively mirroring the specifications of most OSR contracts.
Tori Morgan, NFU crops advisor, says the new legislation is likely to come into fruition towards the end of next year. The changes would require farmers to be more vigilant regarding erucic acid contamination.
She says: “There are a lot of deliveries going into crushers and central stores currently, which are testing at above 2 per cent.
“It is really difficult to pinpoint where contamination is coming from, there is no easy answer, which is why the NFU have put together a document, which highlights the key control points throughout the growing season, which growers should be aware of.
“Because we don’t know where the source of contamination is coming from we are keen to tackle every potential source, to try and minimise the risk across the board.”
1) Field choice