Tea oil (Camellia oil), widely used in southern China as a cooking oil. Also used in making soaps, hair oils and a variety of other products.
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Tea seed oil (also known as tea oil or camellia oil) is an edible, pale amber-green fixed oil with a sweet, herbal aroma. It is cold-pressed mainly from the seeds of Camellia oleifera but also from Camellia sinensis or Camellia japonica.
With its high smoke point (485° F.), tea seed oil is the main cooking oil in the southern provinces of China—roughly one-seventh of the country’s population. In Japan tea seed oil is derived from Camellia japonica, mainly from Gotō Islands of Nagasaki Prefecture and Izu Islands of Tokyo Prefecture.
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% of the fatty acids. It is high in vitamin E and other antioxidants and low in trans fat.
In addition to its use in salad dressings, dips, marinades and sauces, for sautéing, stir frying and frying and in margarine production, tea seed oil is used to manufacture soap, hair oil, lubricants, paint and a rustproofing oil as well as in synthesis of other high molecular weight compounds. Japanese tea seed oil is used for setting the hair of Sumo wrestlers and for tempura.
Tea seed oil should not be confused with tea tree oil (melaleuca oil), an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the paperbark Melaleuca alternifolia and used for medicinal purposes.
Categories: Tea | Cooking oils | Vegetable oils