"Tea oil" redirects here. For oil from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia
, see Tea tree oil
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Tea seed oil (also known as Tea Oil Camellia or oil-seed Camellia) is an edible, pale amber-green fixed oil with a sweet, herbal aroma. It is cold-pressed mainly from the seeds of Camellia sinensis.
Tea seed oil should not be mistaken for tea tree oil (melaleuca oil), an inedible essential oil extracted from the leaves of the paperbark, Melaleuca alternifolia, and used for medicinal purposes. It should also not be mistaken for Camellia oil pressed from seeds of Camellia japonica, also known as Tsubaki oil.
With its high smoke point (252°C, 485°F), tea seed oil is the main cooking oil in some of the southern provinces of China, such as Hunan—roughly one-seventh of the country's population.
Tea seed oil resembles olive oil and grape seed oil in its excellent storage qualities and low content of saturated fat. Monounsaturated oleic acid may comprise up to 88 percent of the fatty acids. It is high in vitamin E and other antioxidants and contains no natural trans fats.
Tea seed oil is used in salad dressings, dips, marinades and sauces, for sautéing, stir frying and frying and in margarine production.
Tea seed oil is also used as an ingredient in the Chinese medicated oil Po Sum On.
Research by the Institute of Preventative Medicine of Sun Yat-Sen University has found camellia extract to be used in washing and laundry powders.