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On 20/8/2020 10:51am, Jane posted:

It is not legal to sell Mustard Oil in the US for food use because it contains 20 to 40% Erucic Acid, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit is about 3% (Erucic Acid has been shown to cause cancer in rats); The FDA isn’t happy either about its levels of allyl isothiocyanate, derivatives of which can be used for chemical weapons. It has to be labelled in the US as being “for external use only.”

Rapeseed oil had the same problem until the Erucic Acid was bred out of the crop to become Canola seed.

Mustard Oil is very popular in Northern India. All Indians heat it till it smokes to improve the flavour. This, though, also neutralizes the risk from the allyl isothiocyanate in it, which is destroyed during cooking. Every housewife knows this procedure: heat it until it starts to smoke, then lower heat down to the temperature you actually want to cook at. For this reason, it shouldn’t be used raw in salads. Nevertheless, some Bengalis say they will use small amounts of it raw for flavouring.

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