Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil or flax oil, is obtained from ripened flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum). Cold-pressed flaxseed oil has a distinctive flavor that is crisp, clean, and mildly nutty. It is golden yellow in color.
From Wikipedia: Of all the natural sources of alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseed oil is one of the few in which the percentage of omega-3 fatty acids exceeds that of omega-6 fatty acids.1 The ratio of linoleic acid to alpha-linolenic acid is between 1:3 and 1:4.
Flaxseed oil is a great addition to salads or muesli but can be used with almost any type of cold dish. However, flaxseed oil should never be heated because heat destroys its valuable fatty acids. As flaxseed oil oxidizes so quickly, it is sometimes better to use whole flaxseeds rather than the oil. A great way to use whole flaxseeds is in the recipe for Erb Muesli.
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Flaxseed oil is very sensitive to light. The polyunsaturated fatty acids in the oil oxidize after a short time and cause it to taste bitter. This can be because of exposure to oxygen, light, or moisture. Once opened, flaxseed oil should be stored in a cool, dark place.
Flaxseed oil can even turn bitter after being stored in the refrigerator (at 4 °C / 39.2 °F) for a few days. It therefore makes more sense to buy small bottles of flaxseed oil and use it quickly. Another option is to buy larger bottles of the oil and distribute it between smaller bottles that have a good seal.
If the oil isn’t going to be used for several days, it can be stored in the freezer and defrosted in the refrigerator when needed. Flaxseed oil returns to its liquid form between –16 to –20 °C (3.2 to –4 °F). And since the oil doesn’t expand when frozen, there is no danger of the bottle cracking in the freezer. When stored in this solid form, it stays fresh longer and keeps for up 3 to 4 months.
Wikipedia: Most of the triglycerides (90 % or more) found in flaxseed oil are polyunsaturated fatty acids. In particular, this oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), with a percentage between 45 % and 71 % (it also contains between 17 % and 23.5 % oleic acid and between 12 % and 24 % linoleic acid). The body converts a small part (1–10 %) of alpha-linolenic acid into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two very valuable omega-3 fatty acids.1
The vitamin E found in flaxseed oil comes in the form of approximately 1.2 mg/100 g alpha-tocopherol and 52 mg/100 g gamma-tocopherol. It is also relatively rich in plastochromanol-8 (17 to 30 mg/100 g), which is similar to tocotrienols that protect against lipid peroxidation.1
Flaxseed oil also contains polyphenols and phytohormones (lignans), which are phytonutrients that have positive effects on our health.
Cold-pressed flaxseed oil is obtained by running the flaxseed through a screw press to extract the oil. A roller is used to apply a little pressure to the seeds and feed them through a pressing cylinder. During cold-pressing, the oil reaches temperatures of max. 40 °C / 104 °F. Any remaining solids are then removed.
As oxygen used during the cold-pressing process causes the flaxseed oil to oxidize rapidly, several oxygen-free pressing methods have been developed that are intended to prevent oxidation. This is achieved by pressing the flaxseeds in a protected atmosphere of pure nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which prevents oxygen from coming into contact with the flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is also protected from light during the prooduction process. As a result of these additional precautionary steps, flaxseed oil is considered a high-quality oil and often costs more than other oils.
The pressing process produces a firm flaxseed meal. This meal is sold as a high-quality animal feed that is used primarily in the winter months.
Given the high levels of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, flaxseed oil is very adhesive and therefore serves as an effective binder for pigments in the production of oil paints.
Flaxseed is also used in cosmetics and as a preservative in wood and paints. It is said to have regenerative effects on the skin. Some natural soaps also contain flaxseed oil. When combined with clove oil and lemongrass, flaxseed soap has stimulating and refreshing effects.
Wikipedia: Among the natural sources of alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseed oil is one of the few in which the percentage of omega-3 fatty acids exceeds that of omega-6 fatty acids. Others are camelina oil, exotic chia oil, and perilla oil. Flax is one of the first five Eurasian crops of the Neolithic era (barley, wheat, lentils, and peas). Along with hemp oil and poppy oil, it is the only historical oil in Europe. Since cereal fats usually contain mainly omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseed oil and its high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids is an important nutritional achievement of the Neolithic era.1