Facts and Food Sources of Erucic acid


Erucic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid marked as 22:1ω9, is found in the oil-rich seeds of the Brassicaceae family of plants notably rapeseed and mustard. It has formula CH3(CH2)7CH=CH(CH2)11COOH. The name is derived from Latin word eruca which means arucola or garden rocket. It is common in wallflower seed with a content of 20 to 54% in high erucic acid rapeseed oil, and 42% in mustard oil. This acid is also known as cis-13-docosenoic acid and trans isomer is called brassidic acid.  Though natural forms of mustard and rapeseed contain high erucic acid levels (over 40% of total fatty acids) and levels in rapeseed for food use are below 0.5%.

Erucic acid has similar uses as mineral oils but with a benefit that it is more bio-degradable. It is highly tolerable to temperature which makes it suitable for oil transmission. It is able to polymerize and dry means it can be – and is – used as a binder for oil paints. Erucic acid is broken down long-chain acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) dehydrogenase, which is formed in the liver. This enzyme breaks long chain fatty acid into shorter-chain fatty acids.

Food Sources

Food name Weight (g) Erucic acid (g)
Herring fish 140 7.232
Mustard oil 14 5.764
Halibut fish 85 2.145
Mackerel fish 112 1.576
Bluefish 117 0.737
Sablefish 28.35 0.486
Macadamia 132 0.313
Kielbasa 370 0.244
Lupins 180 0.167
Quinoa 170 0.141
Mustard greens 150 0.106
Swordfish 85 0.109
Sesame seeds 150 0.098
Garden cress 50 0.045
Lotus seeds 32 0.037
Cowpeas 160 0.037
Peanut Butter 32 0.036
Shiitake mushroom 145 0.023
Orange roughy 85 0.021
Buckwheat 170 0.020



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