Avocado oil

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Avocado oil.

Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). As a food oil, it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, and as a cooking oil. It is also used for lubrication and in cosmetics, where it is valued for its supposed regenerative and moisturizing properties.[1]

It has an unusually high smoke point, both unrefined and especially when refined. The smoke point of the unrefined form is 400 °F (204 °C) and the refined form can reach 520 °F (271 °C).[2] The exact smoke point depends heavily on the quality of refinement and the way the oil has been handled up until reaching store shelves and subsequent kitchens.

Uses[edit]

Avocado oil functions well as a carrier oil for other flavors. It is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Avocado oil also enhances the absorption of carotenoids and other nutrients.[3]

Because the avocado is a year-round crop, some olive oil processing facilities, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, process olive oil during the olive season, and avocado oil during the rest of the year.

Avocado oil was originally, and still is, extracted for cosmetic use because of its very high skin penetration and rapid absorption. Following pre-drying of the avocado flesh to remove as much water as possible (≈65% water in avocado flesh), avocado oil for cosmetics is traditionally extracted with solvents at elevated temperatures. After extraction, the oil for application in skin care products is usually refined, bleached, and deodorized, resulting in an odorless yellow oil.[4] Like extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed avocado oil is unrefined and so retains the flavor and color characteristics of the fruit flesh.[5]

Properties[edit]

Extra virgin avocado oil from the Hass cultivar has a characteristic flavor, is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and has a high smoke point (≥250 °C or 482 °F), making it a good oil for frying. ‘Hass' cold-pressed avocado oil is a brilliant emerald green when extracted; the color is attributed to high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids extracted into the oil. Cold-pressed ‘Hass' avocado oil has been described as having an avocado flavor, with grassy and butter/mushroom-like flavors. Other varieties may produce oils of slightly different flavor profile as has been seen with ‘Fuerte,' which has been described as having more mushroom and less avocado flavor.[5] As a culinary oil, avocado oil compares well with olive oil. It has a similar monounsaturated fat profile which helps to protect the oil from breakdown during heating. Avocado oil is naturally low acidic, helping to increase smoke point. A virgin avocado oil, characterized by a deep emerald green color (from avocado's chlorophyll content) can safely be heated to degree of 375 °F (191 °C)—similar to a high quality virgin olive oil. A refined avocado oil, with a higher than 500 °F (260 °C) smoke point can safely be used to conduct almost any high heat cooking application including baking, stir-fry, deep-fry, sear, barbecue, roast and saute. Avocado oil is relatively new to the culinary world and is often mislabeled in regards to smoke point. It is important to note that like all oils, the more refined, the higher the smoke point. Virgin avocado oil does not have a significantly higher smoke point than virgin olive oil.

Avocado oil is one of few edible oils not derived from seeds; it is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Why Is Avocado Oil Good For The Skin?". Livestrong Foundation. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  2. ^ "What is unrefined, extra virgin, cold pressed avocado oil?". 
  3. ^ Unlu, Nuray Z.; Bohn, Torsten; Clinton, Steven K.; Schwartz, Steven J. (1 March 2005). "Carotenoid Absorption from Salad and Salsa by Humans Is Enhanced by the Addition of Avocado or Avocado Oil". Journal of Nutrition (The American Society for Nutritional Sciences) 135 (3): 431–436. 
  4. ^ "Easy Avocado Oil Uses for Natural Skincare and Healthy Cooking". OilyOily. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "What is unrefined, extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil?". American Oil Chemists' Society. April 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  6. ^ "Avocado oil". Perdue University Center for New Crops and Plants Products. 1999-02-18. Retrieved 2013-07-13.