Long live the camelina! The roasted oil winner of the SIRHA Innovation Award 2023

What is camelina?

Written by Chantal Van Winden

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Posted on December 12 2023

Camelina is an ancestral plant, over 3000 years old, belonging to the cruciferous family.  Ranging in height from 45 to 65 cm, it produces tiny yellow flowers that give way to silicas, the husks in which we find the tiny camelina seeds. Once ripe, these camelina seeds are harvested with a combine harvester, dry-cleaned via screening and optical sorting. They are then mechanically cold-pressed using an endless screw. The resulting oil is then filtered before bottling.

Abundant in omega-3

Camelina oil naturally contains an abundance of omega-3s (35%). Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, meaning that the body cannot create them. They must be supplied by the diet.

According to the Health Organization, the body needs between 1.1 g and 1.6 g of omega-3 per day. You only need 5 ml of camelina oil or 1 teaspoon a day to get all your omega-3s.

Because it's so versatile, it's easy to take 5 ml of camelina oil a day. You can pour it on your salad, in the pan to cook your vegetables, or on your rice or pasta dish.

Camelina oil, perfect for cooking

In addition to its abundance of omega-3s, camelina naturally contains several antioxidants. A richness not found in all camelina oils.

Camelina oil tolerates temperatures up to 475°F or 246°C. This heat stability is due to the many antioxidants found in camelina oil, notably tocopherols. From the same family as vitamin E, gamma tocopherols are powerful antioxidants found in camelina oil. Camelina oil contains 114 mg tocopherols/100g, 8 times more than olive oil (15mg/100g) and 3 times more than canola oil (41mg/100g).

 

References:

Interventions in Innovation and Food Health Potential for nutritional or functional valorization of camelina products, INAF, 2019

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