Saturday, October 21, 2006

The oil review



No - this is not a review on the current rising oil prices. This is a blog about food and topics should be kept within food! You might had guessed - we are gonna talk about cooking oils. When talking about oil, there are so many types available. We got the usual palm oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and we also got the more exotic ones like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, sesame seed oil, grapeseed oil etc.

I am constantly searching for different kinds of oils for different foods. I use extra virgin olive oil for my salads, sesame seed oil and chili oil to add the extra flavour and canola oil for deep frying since it's not too costly. One day, I was walking around Soon Lee and I found "Rice Bran Oil".



"Rice Bran Oil is truly "The World's Healthiest" edible oil, containing vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and trans fat free. It's not just delicate and flavorful, it can help lower cholesterol, fight diseases, enhance the immune system, fight free radicals and more. Rice Bran Oil is extremely light, versatile and delicious. Use it to fry, sauté, in salad dressings, baking, dipping oils and where ever you use cooking oil. Once you use it you will be amazed cooking light and healthy is also the best tasting. Rice bran oil is vastly superior to traditional cooking oils and can be considered a nutraceutical (food as medicine) oil that is perfect for all your healthy cooking needs. Rice Bran Oil is quickly becoming a favorite in commercial frying to replace hydrogenated oils that contain trans fat. This is due to rice bran oils health, flavor and performance benefits." -Whats Cooking America

Some of the benefits of Rice Bran Oil are:

  • A source of vitamin E complex, antioxidants and other micronutrients to help fight free radicals and combat the effects of aging. Rice bran oil has more of these components than other cooking oils. The components of rice bran oil give it an outstanding shelf life.
  • Rice Bran Oil has the best balance of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as recommended by such organizations as the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization. It's the oil of choice for improving serum cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
  • The viscosity of our oil is very light and the flavor delicate. Foods cooked with Rice Bran Oil absorb up to 20% less oil! Less oil absorbed results in reduced calories, better, lighter tasting food and enhanced flavor and palatability. Less oil absorbed also makes it more economical.
  • Rice Bran Oil is hypoallergenic. For those who have an intolerance to other cooking oils this is an excellent alternative.
  • The actual cost of Rice Bran Oil to the consumer is not significantly different than other high-grade vegetable oils on the market.
  • Rice bran oil is a naturally occurring source of many antioxidants such as Tocopherols, Tocotrienols, Gamma Oryzanol, Phytosterols, Polyphenols and Squalene.
  • Rice bran oil has a very high smoke (burn) point, making it perfect for deep frying, pan or stir frying and is a premium choice for the replacement of hydrogenated oil containing trans fat now being used in deep fryers.
  • Rice bran oil creates less polymers than other oils meaning better flavor and easier clean-up.
Rice bran oil definitely looks like a good oil. There's even scientific research to back it up.


Can Rice Bran Oil Melt Away Cholesterol?
Sources: University of Rochester Medical Center and the Science Daily web site:

A natural component of rice bran oil lowers cholesterol in rats, and ongoing research also shows it may have potential as an anti-cancer and anti-infection agent in humans, according to a University of Rochester scientist who has studied the antioxidant since 1996. To read the full article, check out the Science Daily web site


Anti-cancer and anti-infection huh? Sounds good to me. Now let's compare rice bran oil to other popular oils in the market. Furthermore, the fatty acid composition of rice bran oil and peanut oil are similar and either oil works well at a high temperature, however, while peanut oil has an earthy flavor, rice bran oil is nutty, enhancing the flavor of fried foods. In addition, rice bran oil gives an ideal color and desirable texture to all types of fried foods.



Compare Rice Bran Oil

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the average intake of fat should be 30% of your total caloric intake. This fat intake should consist of balanced fat, which provides nutrients that are essential to sustain life. A Balanced fat intake should contain approximately 30% saturated fat, 33% poly-unsaturated fat, (containing Essential Fatty Acids) and 37% mono-unsaturated fat.

Comparison of smoke point and balance of fats in some commonly used oils

OIL TYPE
SMOKE POINT

MONO-
UNSATURATED FAT

POLY-
UNSATURATED FAT
SATURATED FAT
Rice Bran Oil

490º

47%

33%

20%

Olive

360º

77%

9%

14%

Canola

450º

61%

33%

7%

Peanut

460º

48%

34%

18%

Soybean

440º

24%

61%

15%

Grape seed

485º

14%

77%

9%

Rice Bran Oil: The most balanced and versatile oil on the market and closest to the AHA recommendations. Rice bran oil is a superior salad, cooking, and frying oil which leaves no lingering after taste. The high smoke point prevents fatty acid breakdown at high temperatures. Its light viscosity, allows less oil to be absorbed in cooking, reducing overall calories. It mixes better in salad dressings and improves the taste of baked goods, providing cholesterol reduction, nutritional and anti-oxidant value.

Olive Oil: High mono fat, able to lower cholesterol but deficient in poly fat, which contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). EFA’s are truly essential to life as every metabolic process in your body depends on them. A low smoke point makes it a poor choice for frying, and its heavy taste makes it undesirable in many baked goods. Traditionally a good salad oil.

Canola Oil: High mono fat with cholesterol lowering ability but there are concerns about the origin. “Canola oil” is a term coined by Canada to change the name of “rapeseed oil”. The rapeseed plant contains erucic acid making it toxic and is used as an industrial lubricant. It has been genetically modified and hybrid to produce a low erucic acid version. Commonly hydrogenated, it is extensively used in the food industry because of its low price. The hybrid plant would be the best choice.

Peanut Oil: A good balanced oil. This oil has good cholesterol lowering ability and a high smoke point, making it a good frying oil. It imparts a slightly earthy, nutty flavor. It lacks the anti-oxidants and micronutrients of Rice Bran Oil. A small percentage of people are allergic to nut oils.

Soybean Oil: This oil is a high poly fat. As recommended by the AHA your poly fat intake should be around 33% of your total fat intake. A high poly percentage is, an aid to tumors and cancer and should be carefully watched. Up to 80% of the oil consumed in the U.S.A. today comes from soybeans. Soybean oil is commonly hydrogenated and used in many processed foods.

Grape Seed Oil: A good frying and salad oil, but again high in poly fat. It does lower cholesterol because of the high unsaturated fat content but is way over the recommended 33% poly-unsaturated fat.


Comparison of natural antioxidants in edible oils

Oil Type
VITAMIN E TOCOPHEROL (ppm*)
VITAMIN E TOCOTRIENOL (ppm*)

ORYZANOL (ppm*)
TOTAL NATURAL ANTIOXIDANTS (ppm*)
Rice Bran Oil

81

336

2,000

2,417

Olive

51

0

0

51

Canola

650

0

0

650

Sunflower Oil

487

0

0

487

Soybean Oil

1,000

0

0

1,000

Palm Oil

256

149

0

405

* ppm. stands for parts per million

Now my friends, you read the charts and you see the benefits of rice bran oil. It's not as expensive as walnut or avocado oils, it's even cheaper than olive oil! So the next time you are thinking of a healthy oil for cooking, think of rice bran oil. I hope this article has enlightened you and taught you something useful. Now I'm off to try out my stir fries with my rice bran oil.




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