Grapeseed Oil


Grape oil (also grapeseed oil) is a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of various varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes, an abundant by-product of wine making. Grape seed oil is used for: salad dressings, marinades, deep frying, flavored oils, baking, massage oil, sunburn repair lotion, hair products, body hygiene creams, lip balm and hand creams. Most grapeseed oil is produced in Italy, with other producing nations including France, Spain, and Switzerland. Although known to Europeans for centuries, grape seed oil was not produced or used on a large scale until the 20th century, largely due to the fact that grape seeds contain a lower percentage of oil as compared to other oil-producing seeds, nuts, or beans.
Culinary uses


Grape seed oil is extracted from grape seeds and has a relatively high smoke point, approximately 420 °F (216 °C), so it can be safely used to cook at high temperatures. Grape seed oil can be used for stir-fries, sautéing and fondue. In addition to its high smoking point, grape seed oil has other positive attributes in relation to cooking. It has a clean, light taste that has been described as ‘nutty’. Because of its ‘neutral’ taste, grape seed oil is often used as an ingredient in salad dressings or as a base for infusing or flavoring with garlic, rosemary, or other herbs or spices. It is also used as an ingredient in homemade mayonnaise. One is able to use less grape seed oil for precisely the same reasons that the cosmetics industry likes it, the emollient and film-forming virtues.

The metabolic energy density of grape seed oil is comparable to that of other oils, about 120 kcal per tablespoon (34 kJ/ml). However, the fact that less oil is needed for cooking may be useful when observing a low-fat diet. One should remember, though, that when using proper frying techniques (using enough oil, not overcrowding the pan, having the oil at the correct temperature), very little oil is absorbed.

Cosmetics

In all products grape seed oil is a preferred cosmetic ingredient for damaged and stressed tissues, possessing regenerative and restructuring qualities which allow a better control of skin moisturization. It can help skin retain the normal structure of epithelium cells and nerve cells via supporting the cell membranes. It is noted to be especially effective for repair of the skin around the eyes. Used as an all-over skin moisturizer, grape seed oil is known to reduce the look of stretch marks. A light, thin oil, grapeseed oil leaves a glossy film over the skin when used as a carrier oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils. Grapeseed oil is also usable as a lubricant for shaving your face.

Current medical information

Grape seed oil is reputed to contain plentiful antioxidants, as well as to lower cholesterol levels. In a large survey published in 1993 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Nash showed in a sample group of 56 men and women using up to 1.5 ounces (43 g) per day, an amount that one can cook with, grape seed oil had the ability to raise HDL levels by 13% and reduce LDL levels by 7% in just three weeks. The total cholesterol/HDL ratio was reduced 15.6% and the total LDL/HDL ratio was reduced by 15.3%, which could be significant for those at risk of heart attack.

Vitamins in grape seed oil

Vitamin E (0.8 to 1.2 g/kg), Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene.
There is unconfirmed information that grape seed oil also contains Vitamin D.
Average composition of Grape Seed Oil fatty acids
Common Name Acid Name Average Percentage Range
Omega-6 Linoleic acid 69 to 78%
Omega-9 Oleic acid 15 to 20%
Palmitic acid Hexadecanoic acid 5 to 11%
Stearic acid Octadecanoic acid 3 to 6%
Omega-3 A-Linolenic Acid 0.3 to 1%
Palmitoleic acid 9-Hexadecenoic acid 0.5 to 0.70%
Grape seed oil also contains 0.8 to 1.5% unsaponifiables rich in phenols (tocopherols) and steroids (campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol).
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins

Some sources claim that grape seed oil is also high in procyanidolic oligomers (also known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins, OPCs or PCOs), which are also the main constituent of pycnogenol. However other sources dispute this. Because proanthocyanidins are polar molecules which are insoluble in nonpolar liquids such as oils, grape seed oil is unlikely to contain as much PCO as other grape products like fresh grapes, grape juice or red wine. Some published independent analyses show that grape seed oil typically contains almost no PCO at all . It has been claimed that many distributors of pycnogenol and related products are involved in pyramid schemes. This in no way impacts its possible health benefits, of course.

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