Fats and Oils - Avocado Oil

Nutritional Information

Avocado oil is predominantly made up of monounsaturated fats. It is an excellent source of Vitamin E.

This nutritional information has been prepared using Australian metric weights and measures. For conversion to weights and measures applicable in your country  click here.

Description

The oil extracted from the fruit of the avocado pear, Persea americana and Persea gratissima.

Origin and History

The avocado is a native of Central America and the West Indies, but now grows in California, South Africa, Israel and other countries of similar climate. The fruit, although it contains 15-30% oil, is not currently considered a commercially important source. Crude avocado oil has been utilized mainly in the cosmetic industry, most notably as a skin care agent, with many finding it useful for the relief of sunburn. Developed in New Zealand, refined avocado oil has only recently been introduced to the world food market. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and is recommended both for cooking and for drizzling over foods.

Buying and Storage

The crude oil is usually marketed as a skin care product and is available from normal health product outlets. It has a green color similar to that of olive or grapeseed oil and a slightly unpleasant flavor and odor. The refined oil is generally a pale straw color and retains the flavor of avocados. It may be obtained from some specialty food outlets and should be free of rancidity and other undesirable flavors.

The crude oil is very sensitive to oxidation when exposed to light. Store both the crude and refined oils in a sealed container, at room temperature and out of direct light. Some of the natural components may solidify on storage, particularly at lower temperatures.

Processing

The oil is extracted from the pulped fruit by mechanical means or with solvent. It may then be refined. It may also be "winterized" to remove higher melting components.

Preparation and Use

The crude oil is used as a skin care agent. The refined oil currently has limited commercial application in the food industry.

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