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Mustard Oil vs. Canola Oil: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 20, 2024
Mustard oil is a pungent, strong-flavored oil made from mustard seeds, while canola oil is a mild, neutral-flavored oil derived from rapeseed.

Key Differences

Mustard oil, extracted from mustard seeds, is known for its strong, pungent aroma and spicy taste, widely used in Indian and Bengali cuisines. Canola oil, made from crushed seeds of the canola plant, offers a milder, more neutral flavor, making it versatile in various culinary applications.
Both oils have health benefits; mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and has antibacterial properties. In contrast, canola oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, beneficial for heart health.
Mustard oil is often used for sautéing, stir-frying, and pickling in South Asian cooking, imparting a distinctive flavor to dishes. Canola oil's high smoke point and mild taste make it suitable for baking, frying, and salad dressings.
Mustard oil contains erucic acid and must be consumed in moderation. Canola oil is low in saturated fat and is often considered a healthier option for regular cooking.
In many South Asian cultures, mustard oil is integral to traditional cooking and even in medicinal and therapeutic uses. Canola oil, being a relatively recent invention, is more commonly used in Western and global cuisines due to its adaptability and health benefits.

Comparison Chart

Origin of the Word

Derived from the mustard plant and its seeds.
Comes from "Canadian Oil, Low Acid" (canola).

Usage in Sentences

Often used in specific culinary contexts.
Used more generically in various cooking contexts.


Pronounced as /ˈmʌstərd ɔɪl/.
Pronounced as /ˈkænələ ɔɪl/.

Syllable Count

Consists of three syllables.
Consists of four syllables.

Linguistic Associations

Strongly associated with South Asian cuisines.
Broadly associated with Western and health-focused cuisines.

Mustard Oil and Canola Oil Definitions

Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is often used for its strong aroma in traditional dishes.
The aroma of mustard oil filled the kitchen as she prepared the curry.

Canola Oil

A popular choice in Western cooking for its low saturated fat content.
Canola oil is often used in baking for its light texture.

Mustard Oil

A culinary oil popular in South Asian cuisine.
Mustard oil is a staple in Bengali fish recipes.

Canola Oil

A mild, versatile oil made from rapeseed, suitable for various cooking methods.
She used canola oil for frying due to its high smoke point.

Mustard Oil

An oil with a distinctive flavor, used in pickling and sautéing.
She sautéed the spices in mustard oil for the dish.

Canola Oil

Frequently used in salad dressings due to its mild flavor.
She mixed canola oil with vinegar for a simple dressing.

Mustard Oil

Used topically in some cultures for its supposed health benefits.
He applied mustard oil to his joints for relief.

Canola Oil

An oil often recommended for heart health due to its fatty acid composition.
His doctor recommended using canola oil for better heart health.

Mustard Oil

A pungent oil from mustard seeds, used in cooking.
She flavored the pickle with mustard oil for an authentic taste.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is known for its neutral taste and health benefits.
For a healthier option, he substituted butter with canola oil in the recipe.


Can mustard oil be used for deep frying?

Yes, but it imparts a strong flavor to the food.

What is mustard oil?

Mustard oil is a strong-flavored oil made from the seeds of the mustard plant.

Is canola oil good for baking?

Yes, its neutral flavor makes it ideal for baking.

What is canola oil?

Canola oil is a mild-tasting oil derived from the seeds of the canola plant.

Is canola oil heart-healthy?

Yes, due to its low saturated fat and high omega-3 content.

What is the smoke point of canola oil?

It has a high smoke point, around 400°F (204°C).

Does mustard oil contain erucic acid?

Yes, and it should be consumed in moderation.

Are mustard oil and canola oil interchangeable in recipes?

Not usually, due to their distinct flavors and smoke points.

Can mustard oil be used topically?

Yes, it's used in some cultures for its supposed health benefits.

What are the health benefits of mustard oil?

It's high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and has antibacterial properties.

Can mustard oil be used in Western cuisine?

It can be, but its strong flavor may not suit all dishes.

How is mustard oil used in Indian cuisine?

It's used for frying, pickling, and adding a distinct flavor to dishes.

Is mustard oil good for skin?

Some believe it helps improve skin health, but evidence is anecdotal.

How long does canola oil last once opened?

Approximately one year if stored properly.

Is canola oil GMO?

Many commercially available canola oils are GMO, but non-GMO options exist.

What are the environmental impacts of canola oil production?

It has some environmental concerns, including land use and pesticide use.

Are there any allergies associated with mustard oil?

Some individuals may be allergic to mustard and should avoid the oil.

What is the best way to store mustard oil?

In a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight.

Can canola oil be used for salad dressings?

Yes, its mild taste is suitable for dressings.

What dishes is canola oil commonly used in?

It's versatile and used in frying, baking, and grilling.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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