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Rice Bran Oil

Finding favour in the west

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Rice Bran Oil

Cheap, plentiful, nutritious rice appears in a staggering assortment of shapes, sizes, and eye-popping colours. And now this humble grain has produced an oil widely used in commercial cooking.

Cheap, plentiful, nutritious rice appears in a staggering assortment of shapes, sizes, and eye-popping colours. And now this humble grain has produced an oil widely used in commercial cooking.

There’s no doubt that cold-pressed oils are the most healthful; all other oils are refined using high heat and chemical catlysts that leave residuals in the oil.

Unfortunately, cold-pressed oils cannot take the high heat of cooking and when you’re eating out, there’s a good chance that a refined oil such as rice bran has been used in the kitchen.

What is rice bran oil?

Rice bran oil is the liquid fat that is pressed and extracted from the bran of the rice kernel. This oil is popular in several countries such as Japan, India, Korea, and Indonesia. It is just beginning to find favour in the West

Why is it so great?

In the kitchen
Chefs laud rice oil because it has a long shelf life and can take the heat. With a smoke point (the point at which oil starts to smoke) of around 490 F (254 C), rice oil is an ideal choice for high-heat cooking such as stir-frying and barbecuing.

Rice bran oil’s delicate flavour also makes it an easy addition to baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, dips, pesto, and marinades where chefs don’t want the flavour of the oil to overpower that of the other ingredients.

Rice oil emulsifies well, so it’s great for making mayonnaise and creamy dressings that won’t separate when chilled. Its slight nut-like character also marries well with roasted vegetables and grilled fish.

In the body
Rice bran oil is packed with a wealth of nutrients and compounds that may perform many good deeds. Several studies have demonstrated the oil’s ability to reduce detrimental LDL cholesterol while simultaneously boosting beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, making it very ticker-friendly.

Scientists surmise that high amounts of antioxidants found in rice oil are responsible for its cholesterol-improving and, possibly, cancer-fighting effects. These antioxidants include gamma oryzanol (a very unique mixture of plant sterols and ferulic acid esters) and tocotrienols, members of the vitamin E family.

The primary fat in rice oil is monounsaturated fat, which many experts agree has favourable impacts on blood cholesterol and heart health.

Some like it hot

Here’s how several oils rank for fat content and relative smoke points (the temperature at which an oil begins to break down resulting in both flavour and nutritional degradation).

Oil

Saturated Fat

Monounsaturated Fat

Polyunsaturated Fat

Smoke Point

Avocado

11%

71%

14%

520 F
(271 C)

Rice bran

20%

39%

35%

490 F
(254 C)

Peanut

17%

46%

32%

 450 F
(230 C)

Organic refined canola

7%

64%

28%

460 F
(238 C)

Grapeseed

10%

16%

70%

420 F
(215 C)

Extra-virgin olive

14%

73%

10%

320 F
(160 C)

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