The letters in O & L Sels stand for the founding fathers of the company, who established its roots in Neuss, Germany, in 1890. Today, the business is led by fourth-generation family members. Their traditions are combined with a modern skill set and the desire to always put customer requirements first, while ensuring quality products.
The company consists of an oilseed crushing plant, lecithin production unit, vegetable oil refinery and a bottling operation. It is located near the Rhine River, and only 50km from the Dutch border. Its location provides good access to seeds from Germany, France, Central Europe via the Danube, and other European origins via seagoing ports in the Netherlands and Belgium. Customers for Sels' oil and meal products are based relatively close to its operations.
Over the past decade, almost all its processing equipment has been renewed, with production and storage capacity being greatly expanded. This was done to be able to meet the increasing food and feed safety standards of customers, in addition to ensuring an operation that can act competitively. The company is certified according to the highest standards in food and feed safety.
For many years, Sels' operational has focused on processing non-genetically modified rapeseed into oil and meal products. It has made a strong shift towards the food industry with its product and service offering, and intends to diversify this further in the years to come.
At the business's bottling operation - which is at a stand-alone location near the refinery - the company not only packs refined rapeseed oil, but also other vegetable oils and oil blends.
Sels is convinced rapeseed oil has a bright future ahead of it. Health-consciousness and sustainable sourcing are becoming key criteria in selecting food for a fast-growing audience. The awareness of this development is noticeable across the food industry, which is following this trend. In this respect, more people are discovering the benefits rapeseed oil has to offer.
The vast majority of seeds that are processed in Europe - and Sels' operation - have been grown in the continent as well.
In an operation like the company's, roughly half the amount of oil is taken out by presses, while the other half is extracted by washing it out of the cake with hexane. During the refining process, fatty acids and other undesired substances are removed. At the same time, its chemical structure remains largely the same, ensuring the quality and stability of the product.
The nutritional benefits and characteristics of rapeseed oil are excellent. It is a great carrier of flavour and has a very neutral one of its own after refining; a high smoking point when used for baking; is low in saturated fats and high in unsaturated fats; and has an extremely low trans fatty acid level. In addition to this, it's rich in omega-3 and 6.
In the years ahead, the biodiesel segment will still act as a taker of the rapeseed oil as well. The product's technical characteristics are quite perfect for this application, actually. Political agendas, however, may introduce a gradual reduction in use within this area of the market.