THE LATEST FROM THREE FARMERS
Camelina Oil and Its Unique Heat Stability
We are often questioned about the heat stability of our camelina oil. Given that it is a high polyunsaturated oil, many believe that it could not possibly retain its nutritional benefits when exposed to high temperatures of heat. We thought the same thing, until we started working with this amazing oil and testing it to see what it really can withstand. Our findings were amazing….
We began by speaking to food scientists and lab technicians about the properties of camelina oil. We all knew it was high in Omega-3, ranging from 34% to 38%, but we were told that the level of polyunsaturated was not the only factor that determined heat stability. The tocopherol levels of an oil plays a significant role in determining how stable an oil will be. We were told that because of the extremely high levels of gamma-tocopherols in camelina oil, it had a very stable composition, unique compared to other Omega-3 oils on the market. So we decided we needed to put this to the test to ensure our claims of heat stability were valid.
We began by testing the smoke point. To our delight, we found that it has a 475 degree F smoke point! This is extremely high compared to even most refined oils! However, even though it has a high smoke point this does not necessarily say it does not damage the polyunsaturated fats and create bad fats in the process. So we were told to heat it to fry temperature and send it back for testing. So we did this. Attached are our findings. The “Lab Results-Heat Trials” attachment shows the results for Lot #8 after heating. The target for peroxide values is <8 and as you can see we are well below this. Peroxide values are the common measurement used to measure when an oil has oxidized. FFA is a measure of the quality of the oil and any value less than .5 is excellent. We are at 0.47 after heating. And the fatty acid profile has remained the same! There has been no change in the composition of fats.
So we did another heat test to ensure these results would be replicated – this time we actually fried foods in the oil to see what the addition of moisture would do to the fatty acid profile of the oil. Again, Lot #8A results came back with no change in the fatty acid composition!
There are tests that companies use to measure the length of time that it takes for an oil that is heated to breakdown and how many times an oil can be reheated before breaking down, but we do not recommend this oil for a fry oil or for re-use. Camelina Oil has proven to be able to withstand heat at moderate temperatures for a period of time that is sufficient for sautéing, roasting, and even searing.
We have attached several research papers that also back these claims.
Many people choose to keep their oils in raw form, avoiding exposing them to heat of any kind. We respect this as most foods are at their optimal nutrition in raw form. However for those that use oil for cooking, camelina is a fantastic option – an option that avoids the use of chemically extracted and refined oils that typically line the shelves of grocery stores today.