What is camelina oil ? Camelina oil is made from a plant named Camelina sativa. Camelina oil has a desirable 2:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid content, it also has high level of natural anti-oxidants in the form of Vitamin E, which helps it with a long shelf life.
Introduction of Camelina oil
Camelina oil is a oil that is extracted from the Camelina sativa oilseed. Camelina sativa is an ancient oilseed crop that is a member of the Brassicaceae family and is native to Northern Europe and Central Asia. Camelina can be planted in the area of 1200~1800 Meters Plateau with good sun-light and dry. Currently, it is cultivated in Canada, the United States, Slovenia, China,and Italy and few other places worldwide.
Camelina oil can be used as a cooking oil, in salad dressings, and in spreads and margarines. While it is able to withstand frying temperatures, is it not recommended that camelina oil be heated for prolonged periods of time. The oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, as well as vitamin E. Thus, it is ideal for salad and margarine oils.
Nutrition of Camelina Oil
Camelina oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids (> 90%) and it is high in omega-3 and omega-6. The total amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the oil is approximately 39% (with 38% alpha-linolenic acid). The total amount of omega-6 fatty acids in camelina oil is approximately 18% (with 17% linoleic acid). The levels of erucic acid in camelina oil are below the maximum level (5%) of erucic acid permitted in cooking oils, salad oils, margarines, and shortening or foods that resemble margarine or shortening.
Camelina has a high level of natural anti-oxidants in the form of Vitamin E. Vitamin E can be broken down into its chemical components called tocopherols. The following is the breakdown of Camelina Oil into its different tocopherol components:
- Alpha-tocopherol: 30 – 40 mg/kg
- Gamma –tocopherol: 720 – 740 mg/kg
- Delta-tocopherol: 10 – 20 mg/kg
Of these tocopherols, gamma has the strongest anti-oxidant effects in polyunsaturated oils such as Camelina Oil. Typically, the more unsaturated the oil, the more prone it is to oxidation, hence a shorter shelf life. However, the high concentration of the gamma-tocopherol in camelina improves the oil’s stability in comparison to other oils with similar levels of unsaturated fatty acids, improving its shelf life.