What is so unique

about camelina oil?

10 things that make camelina oil so unique:

 

100% natural and cold-pressed

Camelina oil can be extracted from Camelina sativa using two different methods – solvent extraction to obtain refined oil and cold pressing extraction to obtained unrefined or cold-pressed oil. Since unrefined oil employs cold press techniques with no heat or chemicals used in the extraction process, the oil occurs exactly as they do in the plant: natural aroma and rich in nutrients. Hence, unrefined or cold-pressed camelina oil should be chosen over refined alternative. 

A superior vegetarian source of omega-3s with healthy omega-6/omega-3 ratio

The modern diet tends to have excessive amounts of omega-6s, but deficient in omega-3s (e.g. DHA and EPA). This diet typically contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6s than omega-3s, while the optimal omega-6s to omega-3s ratio should be 1 : 2 to 1 : 4. Excessive consumption of omega-6s may lead to chronic inflammation, which potentially increases the risk of various diseases, including heart disease, stroke, obesity, dementia and cancer. Many cooking oils, such as canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, as well as mayonnaise and many salad dressings contain excessive amounts of omega-6s compared to omega-3s. 

Since the proper omega-6s to omega-3s ratio is crucial for optimal health, it is recommended to use cooking oils that contains more omega-3s and less omega-6s. Camelina oil has twice as much omega-3s as omega-6s, with amount of omega-3s as high as 38%. One tablespoon of camelina oil provides approximately 742mg of EPA and 132.5mg of DHA, which is sufficient to meet the daily needs of omega-3s. Hence, it is a particularly great source of omega-3s for vegetarians, or people who do not eat a lot of fatty dish or dislike fish or fish oil. 

Majority of people believe that high temperature generated from cooking could degrade and reduce the omega-3s content in the cooking oil. Given that camelina oil is high in omega-3s, some people doubt it could not possibly retain its nutritional quality when exposed to high-heat cooking. Nevertheless, the research shows that heating camelina oil at 200°C (deep-frying temperature) for 60 minutes did not cause a significant change to fatty acid composition in it1. Hence, you can still harness the benefits of omega-3s from camelina oil, despite cooking at high temperatures. Omega-3s have many powerful health benefits, including promote brain and eye health, reduce risk of heart disease, fight inflammation, depression and joint pain. 

Exceptionally high in vitamin E

Camelina oil is rich in vitamin E (70mg/100g), which is an antioxidant. This helps protect the oil from oxidation and rancidity. Hence, it can be stored fresh up to 2 years. In comparison, flaxseed oil, which is also high in omega-3s, has relatively low amount of vitamin E (17mg/100g). Hence, flaxseed oil becomes rancid very quickly and is best consumed within one month.

In addition to storage stability, the high amount of vitamin E in camelina oil renders it to be more heat stable compared to other cooking oils in the market. If an oil is not stable to heat, heating can cause the oil to produce many free radicals and oxidative products which can harm the body. 

Furthermore, the antioxidant effects of vitamin E are also vital for our health. Vitamin E helps prevent free radical damage, which in turn could enhance immune system and prevent many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. 

Provide a natural way to lower cholesterol

Camelina oil is abundant in plant sterols (566mg/100g), which is higher than other common oils in the market, such as flaxseed oil (403mg/100g) and camellia oil (35mg/100g). Plant sterols have been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in humans by suppressing cholesterol absorption from the intestine2

Besides, the cholesterol-lowering effects of camelina oil can be attributed to its high omega-3s content. In a clinical trial, individuals with impaired fasting glucose concentrations were instructed to eat either fatty (like salmon, mackerel) or lean fish (like bass, cod) 4 times a week, or to take a daily 30ml dose of camelina oil for a period of 12 weeks. Camelina oil was found to have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels (i.e. decreased total and LDL cholesterol), but no similar effects were observed for fatty or lean fish3

In another clinical trial, individuals with high blood cholesterol consumed around 33ml of camelina oil, rapeseed oil or olive oil for a period of 6 weeks. Results showed that those consuming camelina oil had significantly higher levels of omega-3s (including DHA and EPA) in blood than those consuming rapeseed or olive oils. Besides, blood LDL cholesterol level decreased more in camelina oil group, compared to the other two groups4. If you are concerned about high cholesterol level, camelina oil will be a good option for you. You can use it for cold applications (like salad dressings), cooking or drinking it on an empty stomach. 

Provide a natural way to lower cholesterol

Camelina oil is abundant in plant sterols (566mg/100g), which is higher than other common oils in the market, such as flaxseed oil (403mg/100g) and camellia oil (35mg/100g). Plant sterols have been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in humans by suppressing cholesterol absorption from the intestine2

Besides vitamin E, the cholesterol-lowering effects of camelina oil can be attributed to its high omega-3s content. In a clinical trial, individuals with impaired fasting glucose concentrations were instructed to eat either fatty (like salmon, mackerel) or lean fish (like bass, cod) 4 times a week, or to take a daily 30ml dose of camelina oil for a period of 12 weeks. Camelina oil was found to have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels (i.e. decreased total and LDL cholesterol), but no similar effects were observed for fatty or lean fish3

In another clinical trial, individuals with high blood cholesterol consumed around 33ml of camelina oil, rapeseed oil or olive oil for a period of 6 weeks. Results showed that those consuming camelina oil had significantly higher levels of omega-3s (including DHA and EPA) in blood than those consuming rapeseed or olive oils. Besides, blood LDL cholesterol level decreased more in camelina oil group, compared to the other two groups4. If you are concerned about high cholesterol level, camelina oil will be a good option for you. You can use it for cold applications (like salad dressings), cooking or drinking it on an empty stomach. 

Ideal for all types of cooking

Unrefined, cold-pressed camelina oil has a high smoke point of 245°C (473°F), which is higher than most cooking oils in the market. This makes camelina oil the perfect oil for all types of cooking, including cold applications (e.g. salad dressings), lower temperature cooking (e.g. sautéing) and high-heat cooking (e.g. deep frying, barbecuing). 

Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn, which produces smoke and harmful free radicals. The higher the smoke point, the more cooking methods you can use it for. Unrefined or cold-pressed oils tend to have lower smoke points and best used for very low heat cooking or cold applications. For example, the smoke points of extra-virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil are 160°C (320°F) and 107 °C (225°F) respectively, making them not suitable for high temperature cooking, including stir-frying and deep frying. Nonetheless, camelina oil is different from the rest: it is cold pressed and yet, has a high smoke point!

Non-GMO, no pesticide, no herbicide

 

To date, the Camelina sativa that grown commercially are in its native form without genetic modification. Additionally, Camelina sativa is a very promising crop that does not require synthetic fertilisers, chemical-synthetic herbicides and pesticides in the organic farming. Camelina is highly sensitive to most herbicides as well as herbicide carryover. Hence, soils with applied chemicals may result in damage to the camelina crop. Furthermore, camelina oil has recently received a Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) status by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States (GRN642, 2016). Camelina oil is GRAS, through scientific procedures, for use as a replacement for other edible oils in baked goods and baking mixes, beverages and beverage bases, breakfast cereals, dairy replacements, fats and oils, grain products and pasta, milk and milk products, processed fruits and fruit juices, processed vegetables and vegetable juices, snack foods, soft candy, and soups and soup mixes at 3g per serving.  Hence, it is a safe, one go-to bottle of culinary oil for all your cooking needs. 

No trans-fat

Most of the fats in camelina oil are polyunsaturated, which are needed for healthy cell function in the body. Unlike some vegetable oils that contain trans-fat, camelina oil is completely trans-fat-free. Trans fat is hazardous to the health as it raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduces HDL (good) cholesterol levels, leading to an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Mild & pleasant smell

Camelina oil has a mild, fresh and pleasant small and taste, making it suitable for all types of cooking, without affecting the taste of food. When used for cold applications (e.g. salad dressing or bread dipping), camelina oil can add savory, palate-enhancing flavour to your food. Besides, its characteristic flavour makes it suitable for use with raw vegetarian food.

 

Suitable for all ages & vegetarians

 

Camelina oil has high nutritional value, especially omega-3s, a nutrient that 98% of people is lacking. Hence, this oil is well suited for the entire family as well as vegetarian. For those who cannot eat fish or dislike the texture or taste of fish, it could be a good option to replenish your daily need of this essential nutrient. 

 

Suitable for topical applications & oil pulling

 

Camelina oil is not only a good cooking oil, but is also a good skin moisturizer. It is rich in omega-3s and vitamin E, which help protect against damaging effects of sunlight and provide anti-ageing effects. The mild scent and lightweight texture make it a nice massage oil. 

Besides skin, camelina oil also benefit the hair. It can be used for a hot oil scalp massage. It moisturises the scalp, provides nutrients to the scalp, and get rid of excess dandruff and flakiness. Additionally, it helps keep the hair soft and moisturised. The antioxidative property of camelina oil also protect the hair shafts from free radical damage. 

Oil pulling is an ancient, Indian folk remedy that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for approximately 20 minutes. This action is claimed to whiten your teeth, freshen your breath and improve your oral and overall health. Camelina oil is one of the oils that can be used for oil pulling. Do not swallow the oil while you are swishing, as the oil is full of the toxins that you are trying to expel. 

References:

1. Supplement to AgroFood industry hi-tech – July/August 2009 – vol 20 n 4.

2. Biomed Pharmacother. 2003 Oct; 57(8): 321–325.

3. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (MNF). 2018. 62(4): 1700503

4. Metabolism.2002 Oct;51(10):1253-60.