from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As oilseed or oil seeds are plant seeds referred to for the production of vegetable oil can be used. When it comes to use, the production of food ( edible oil ) and animal feed (feed oil ) plays an important role, as does the production of biofuels and technical oils ( oleochemicals ). A small part of the seeds is used whole or as oil meal in the food or feed trade. In this context, plants such as flax , poppy seeds (Magsamen), rape , soy and sunflowers can often be found.



In addition to the plants that produce oil seeds, there are oil plants such as olives and oil palms , in which the oil is obtained from the fruits. Among the oil-bearing crops in the agricultural sense, however, all harvested products are counted with economic impact for vegetable oil extraction, so both oilseeds and oil supplying fruits and other plant parts.

Oilseed products

A number of oil seeds are also processed directly by the food industry, such as poppy seeds ( poppy seed cake ), sesame , almonds ( marzipan ) and pine nuts .

Types and meaning

There are a variety of oil plants whose seeds are suitable for oil production. The fat content is used by the seeds as the plant's reproductive organs and as an energy store during germination . The world's most important oilseed is soy , which accounts for over 50% of total oilseed production (2007: 57%). Around 12% of production is accounted for by rapeseed , which is the most important oilseed in Central Europe. The most important producing countries and regions for oilseeds are the USA, Brazil, China and Argentina. Other oilseeds of mainly regional importance are sunflower seeds (especially in Argentina, EU, CIS), peanuts (especially in China, India) and cottonseed (especially in China, India, USA). The oil yield differs greatly depending on the type of plant and the growing conditions. The annual oil yield from rapeseed is around 1,600 l / ha, the oil yield from soybeans around 640 l / ha.

Many oilseeds also serve as protein sources for animal nutrition , since by- products from vegetable oil production ( press cake , extraction meal ) are used as protein-rich animal feed .

Trade in oilseeds and vegetable fats and oils

The trade in oil fruits takes place worldwide and is of considerable importance in the world economy. In 2012, the EU imported 11.3 million tons of oil fruits, with its own production of 26.6 million tons.

Most of the trade is carried out according to formal contracts between various corporations . In Germany, the standard conditions in the German grain trade are an implicit part of every trade . In Austria, preference is given to the customs of the stock exchange for agricultural products in Vienna, and in Switzerland the customs of the Swiss grain exchange . In overseas trade, these contracts are largely meaningless. The contracts of the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA) and, in rarer cases, the contracts of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) are preferred for oil seeds . The customs of the most important importing countries also play a role; d. H. For example, the practices of VERNOF ( Vereniging van Nederlandse Fabrikanten van Eetbare Oliën en Vetten ) play a special role in imports via the Dutch ports.


The fat content of the seeds is, among other things, species and variety-specific and averages around 30–45 percent. In addition to the oil content, the lowest possible proportion of free fatty acids in the oil obtained from the seeds is decisive for the quality. As a rule, the content of free fatty acids in commercially available crude oils is below 3%. There are clear differences between the oilseeds in the chain length and the bond ratios (number of double bonds , degree of saturation ) of the fatty acids bound in the oils ( triglycerides ) they contain , as well as the presence of functional groups . These determine the properties of the vegetable oils (consistency, melting point, shelf life, drying behavior, nutritional value) and thus also the possible uses of the seeds. When stored and processed, the seeds only contain around 9% water, which is around 14% lower than grain.


Oil seeds are processed in oil mills . Its central facility is the oil press , in which the oil seeds are pressed in order to separate the liquid phase (vegetable oil) from the solid phase (press residue, press cake). Before pressing, the oilseeds are cleaned and, depending on the process, peeled, conditioned or chopped if necessary. In decentralized oil mills , the lees emerging from the press are only filtered; in industrial plants, an extraction follows in order to increase the oil yield.

Web links

supporting documents

  1. ^ Agricultural markets 2007: Oilseeds . (pdf; 345 kB) Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture, accessed on July 17, 2009
  2. ^ Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR) eV, 2009: Biofuels - A Comparative Analysis . ( pdf )
  3. United States Department of Agriculture Statistics Online , accessed December 10, 2013
  4. ^ Website of the German Farmers' Association , accessed on December 10, 2013, online .
  5. Brochure offered by the Federal Association of Agricultural Industry e. V., accessed on August 9, 2013
  6. ^ Regulations for business dealings on the stock exchange for agricultural products in Vienna (Usages) - Part B: Special regulations for trading in individual goods.
  7. Usages of the Swiss Grain Exchange ( Memento of December 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 281 kB) in Lucerne, accessed on August 9, 2013
  8. Tristan Wegner (2013) Overseas Purchase in Agricultural Trade - The Contract Practice According to GAFTA and Standard Conditions, A Comparative Legal Presentation ; International law studies; Vol. 66; PL Acad. Research, Frankfurt am Main;
  9. Oilseeds (on schrotundkorn.de)
  10. KU Heyland, H. Hanus, ER Keller: Oil fruits, fiber plants, medicinal plants and special crops . In: Handbuch des Pflanzenbaues , Vol. 4, pp. 19-20, ISBN 3800132036