Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz is an oleaginous plant belonging to the Brassicaceae family. The common name of camelina is Dorella (Italian), Leindotter (German), False flax and Gold of Pleasure (English). Camelina is native to northern Europe and Southwest Asia. It is a very ancient plant, in fact, camelina seeds were found in Scandinavia archaeological excavations dating back to the Bronze Age. Camelina has been widely cultivated in Eastern Europe until the early 1940s, but later on was abandoned and replaced by rapeseed. In Italy, wild camelina plants, have been reported in different regions (Pignatti, 1982 of Italian Flora) .
Recently, the interest around this oilseed crop has increased notevely due to its suitable use for biofuel production. Camelina is able to grow in a variety of climatic and soil conditions and it has many agronomic advantages. Camelina can be sown in the autumn-winter (255-230 days from sowing to harvest) or spring-summer (110-115 days), It is capable of producing a good amount of seed per hectare (12- 20 q/ha, in some areas 30q/ha), with a high oil content (30-40%) and protein (20-25%). The crop is resistant to low temperatures and lack of water, grows in little fertile land and not require high amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.
Camelina sativa is, at present, grown mainly in Canada, USA and north-east Europe to produce oil to be transformed into biofuels or jet fuel but given the high quality of the oil (rich in omega-3) and the good protein quality is also entering in several products for human consumption and feed formulation for animal feeding.