Camelina Oil

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Camelina Oil

Camelina oil is an edible oil from Camelina Sativa seedscommonly known as false flax. Camelina oil has been used in Europe and North America for a few centuries as an oilseed and lighting lamps. However, it has never been a prominent oilseed crop. Presently, there is a lot of research into the industrial applications of camelina oil, especially as biofuel. Camelina oil has been found to contain high amounts of omega – 3 fatty acids, like flaxseed oil, which make it suitable for use as a nutritional supplement and a general-purpose oil.

Source

Camelina oil is obtained by extracting oil from seeds of Camelina sativa. This is a hardy crop that grows well in a cold and arid climate, even in very cold environments like Canada. Although it has not been as popular as other common edible oils, however, archaeological studies confirm that it was a major oilseed crop in ancient times in Europe. Historic settlements in some places in Switzerland and Greece show signs of cultivation of this crop. Today, it is grown mainly in Canada for commercial oil extraction.

Just like other oils, Camelina oil, too, can be extracted in a few ways.

  • Cold-pressed oil – It retains most of the original nutrients in the oil.
  • Solvent extraction – It yields better extraction, but it contains harmful solvents.
  • Supercritical fluid extraction.

Cold-pressed Camelina oil is quite healthy and exerts a few health benefits.

Properties

Camelina oil has specific therapeutic and healing properties. [1]

  • Antioxidant – Camelina oil is a strong antioxidant because of the high Vitamin E content.
  • Emollient – It moisturizes the skin.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – It strongly inhibits inflammation both topically and when used internally.
  • Anti-arthritic – Because of its high omega – 3 content, it can alleviate pain in arthritis.
  • Hair Conditioner – It can be used as a hot oil treatment for hair.
  • Immune booster – Because of the high Vitamin E content, it boosts the immune system.

Colour, Taste and Aroma

Camelina oil has a golden, somewhat olive oil like colour. Surprisingly, it tastes like almond oil. Its aroma is herbaceous with some nutty tones.

Health Benefits

Camelina oil offers brilliant nutrition. Along with this, its healing properties make it useful for a number of conditions.

Camelina Oil for Skin

Camelina oil can be used as a massage oil for the skin. Because it has a nice mild aroma, it feels good during the massage. It provides an ample amount of Vitamin E and omega fatty acids directly to the skin. These moisturize the skin and prevent it from free radical damage. One can perform this massage regularly to get healthier, smooth and well-moisturized skin.

Camelina Oil for Hair

Camelina oil can be used just like olive oil for a hot oil scalp massage. This provides nutrition to the scalp and gets rid of dry skin, dandruff and flakiness. It can help to keep the hair looking soft and moisturized. Its antioxidants protect the hair shafts from free radical damage.

Omega – 3

Camelina oil provides about 4 gm of omega – 3 in a single tablespoon. It can be used as a substitute for flaxseed oil for getting omega-3 in the diet. One can get the omega-3 by using camelina oil as salad oil. It has got a nice taste and goes well with foods.

Heart Health

Camelina oil lowers blood triglyceride levels. This is good for cardiovascular health as it reduces the risk of heart diseases.

Arthritis

Camelina oil can be applied topically to reduce inflammation in arthritis. When taken internally, it provides large amounts of omega – 3 fatty acids. Regular intake of omega- reduces overall inflammation. One can experience a reduction in pain, inflammation and swelling over the joint. It also boosts mobility in the joint. Camelina oil can be used as a carrier oil. It goes well with rosemary essential oil, and this combination can be massaged on the inflamed joint.

Camelina Oil

Uses

Camelina oil has some more interesting uses.

  • As a cooking oil – There is growing interest in camelina oil as cooking oil, especially for deep frying. It has the highest smoke point of 475 ° F, much higher than olive, coconut, canola, grapeseed and most other cooking oils. That is why one can use it for stir-frying, deep-frying and sauteing. Camelina oil has a nutty flavour, which makes it excellent for fried food and other delicacies. Camelina oil is a popular ingredient in paleo recipes.
  • As biofuel – Camelina oil is also a source of fuel. It is being studied for its viability as an alternate fuel. It has been used as jet fuel on a number of occasions. In Japan, it is being studied for its potential to generate electricity.
  • Camelina oil is also used as a nutritional supplement for dogs.

Side effects, Safe Dosage and Toxicity Issues

There are no known side effects of camelina oil.

Nutritional and Medicinal Information

Camelina oil provides unique nutritional benefits. Its nutrition facts are quite different from other common edible oils, which makes its nutrition unique. Most of the fatty acids in camelina oil are polyunsaturated (PUFA) in nature. As a result, it is a heart-healthy oil with little saturated fat.

Fatty Acid nutritional value of Camelina Oil

Camelina sativa seed oil contains a nicely balanced proportion of omega-3, omega – 6 and omega – 9 fatty acids.

  • Omega-3 ( Alpha-Linolenic Acid ) is 35 %
  • Omega- 6 ( Linoleic Acid ) is 17 %
  • Omega-9 ( Oleic Acid ) is 17 %

Camelina oil contains a rare fatty acid called gondoic acid in significant amount, about 15 %. This fatty acid possesses the ability to improve lipid profile.

NutrientPercentageProperty
Gamma Linoleic Acid (18:3)PUFA
Stearic Acid (18:0)2.57 %Saturated fat
Palmitic Acid (16:0)6.43 %Saturated fat
Palmitoleic Acid (16:1)1.5 %MUFA
Oleic Acid (18:1)17.4 %MUFA
Linoleic Acid (18:2)16.9 %PUFA
Alpha Linolenic Acid(18:3)35.23 %PUFA
Erucic Acid (22:1)1.62 %MUFA
Gondoic Acid (20:1)14.9 %MUFA
Behenic Acid (22:0)Saturated fat
Arachidic Acid (20:0)1.24 %Saturated fat

Source: 1

Camelina oil also contains many phytosterols [2]. These are compounds that have powerful health benefits. These are the sterols found in camelina oil.

  • Cholesterol – It is used for a number of very important body functions at the cellular level.
  • Brassicasterol – Sterol, which is found in mustard and rapeseed.
  • Campesterol – Prevents inflammation-induced damage of the cartilage. Helpful in arthritis.
  • Stigmasterol – Strong antioxidant. It reduces cholesterol and blood glucose.
  • Sitosterol – It lowers blood cholesterol.
  • Δ 5 – Avenasterol – Commonly seen in many foods.

Vitamin E in Camelina Oil

It is known that camelina oil contains high amounts of Vitamin E. Camelina oil contains almost the entire spectrum of Vitamin E, which is brilliant from a nutritional point of view. It contains about 110 mg / 100 gm of Vitamin E. Since the RDI of Vitamin E is about 10 mg, this is about ten times the RDI.

Chemical properties of Camelina Oil

NutrientPercentageProperty
Density 0.920  g/mlgreat for massage oil
Storage temperature –Ideal temperature for storage
Comedogenicity –Pore clogging potential ( 0 – 5 )
ORAC –Antioxidant Power
pH – Measure of Acidity
Peroxide Value – Measure of Initial Rancidity
Saponification Value 187.8 Measure of the average carbon chain length
Iodine Value 104.7 Measure of unsaturation of oil
Free Fatty Acids 2.52 % Percentage of volatile oils

Source : 3

Buying and Storage

Camelina oil is very resistant to both rancidity and oxidation. It has an amazing shelf life of about 18 months and even upto 24 months. So, it goes for a long time. One can easily get cold-pressed camelina oil which is purely organic, although it is slightly pricey.

References

1. Physico-Chemical Properties, Composition and Oxidative Stability of Camelina sativa Oil. Helena Abramovi and Veronika Abram

2. Camelina oil and its unusual cholesterol content V. K. S. Shukla, P. C. Dutta, W. E. Artz. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society

3. Some compositional properties of camelina (camelina sativa L. Crantz) seeds and oils. John T. Budin, William M. Breene, Daniel H. Putnam

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