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Corn oil is widely regarded as an oil with numerous health properties. Meanwhile, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in corn oil is very unfavorable. Excess omega-6 in the diet intensifies inflammatory processes and increases the risk of many diseases. Check the properties of corn oil.
corn oil
corn oil

    Table of Contents

    Corn oil - nutritional values
    Corn oil - health properties
    Corn oil - use in the kitchen
    Corn oil - production

    Corn oil is made from corn kernels . Commercially it occurs only in refined form as a light yellow oil, tasteless and odorless.

    Corn oil was first industrially produced in 1889, and large-scale production began in 1910. The main producer of corn oil is the United States, where about 1,800,000 tons of this fat is produced annually. Much smaller quantities of 100,000 - 200,000 tons per year are produced in China, Turkey, Brazil, Japan and South Africa.

    Corn oil - nutritional values

    Corn oil, like all other oils, contains only fat from macronutrients. Among the vitamins and minerals in corn oil only among Vitamin E and a small amount of vitamin K .

    100 g of corn oil provides 900 kcal. 59% of fatty acids in corn oil are polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly linoleic 18: 2; from the omega-6 family), 24% - monounsaturated acids (mainly 18: 1 oleic), and 13% - saturated acids (mainly palmitic 16: 0 ). 1% of fatty acids is linolenic acid from the omega-3 family .

    Omega-6 fatty acids make up a very high percentage of all corn oil fatty acids. Omega-6 fats are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, but in excess they have a pro-inflammatory effect. They must be consumed in balance with omega-3 fatty acids, which are too low in most people's diets.

    The correct ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet is 4: 1. The average diet contains these fats in a ratio of 20: 1. However, in corn oil this ratio is 83: 1. This means that a large amount of omega-6 in corn oil is not an advantage, or even a disadvantage.

    Corn oil among vegetable oils is one of the richest in phytosterols and tocopherols (a precursor of vitamin E). Phytosterols are plant substances with a structure similar to animal cholesterol . They have been proven to have a wide health-promoting effect, especially for lowering blood cholesterol.

    In corn oil, beta-sitosterol is the most common (63-70% of all phytosterols). In total, corn oil contains 968 mg of phytosterols in 100 g. Tocopherols, i.e. substances with activity of vitamin E, show antioxidant activity and protect fat against oxidation and rancidity.

    Gamma-tocopherol is most commonly found in corn oil and accounts for 68-89% of total tocopherols. The second most important is alpha-tocopherol.

    The amount of vitamin E in corn oil is 14.3 mg / 100g. One tablespoon covers the body's need for vitamin E in 13%. Ubiquinone with antioxidant activity is also found in corn oil.

    Corn oil - health properties

    Corn oil due to the high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids lowers the level of LDL lipoproteins in the blood, which are involved in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque and are a risk factor for heart attacks .

    It has no significant effect on HDL lipoprotein concentration, however, by lowering LDL it has a positive effect on the ratio of both lipoproteins in the body. Corn oil can also lower triglyceride levels .

    Corn oil is a source of ubiquinone ( coenzyme Q10 ), which is an antioxidant. In many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases , neurodegenerative diseases, AIDS , cancer, coenzyme Q10 deficiency occurs.

    In these cases, supplementation is used or the diet enriched with foods containing this ingredient. At the same time, however, corn oil has a pro-inflammatory effect, resulting from the high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids.

    Corn oil contains significant amounts of phytosterols. Phytosterols are substances with anti-inflammatory potential, and a diet rich in them helps prevent diseases such as type II diabetes and some cancers.

    Plant phytosterols have a similar structure to animal cholesterol. They block its absorption and reduce blood levels. A diet rich in phytosterols has proven to reduce cholesterol.

    Thanks to the content of vitamin E, linolenic acid and phytosterols, corn oil can reduce the risk of heart disease .

    The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in corn oil is very unfavorable. Excess omega-6 in the diet intensifies inflammatory processes and promotes conditions such as obesity , heart disease, impaired mental function and depression .

    Worth knowing

    Despite some health benefits, corn oil is not considered healthy. The main reason is the high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids, which is recommended to limit.

    The presence of phytosterols and vitamin E is a feature of most vegetable oils. Health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol or reducing the risk of certain diseases, are also associated with the consumption of other vegetable oils.

    A much healthier choice is unrefined olive oil , unrefined rapeseed oil or linseed oil for raw use. You can fry in refined olive oil. However, lard or coconut oil is recommended for frying at high temperatures .

    Corn oil - use in the kitchen

    Corn oil has a neutral taste, which means that it can be used in many dishes. Suitable for cold and warm use. It is much more often used for frying than as a cold addition to salads and other dishes.

    High stability and temperature resistance make corn oil ideal for long-term deep frying, because it begins to smoke only at temperatures above 230 degrees C.

    Breaded products, e.g. meat, vegetables, shrimps etc. fried in corn oil are very crunchy. The neutral taste and light texture allow the use of corn oil as an ingredient in cakes, muffins, cakes, etc.

    Corn oil is particularly good for stir-fry dishes - fried in a wok at a very high temperature and for a short time.

    corn oil

    Corn oil - productiona

    Normal corn kernels contain 1 to 4% fat. High oil maize, on the other hand, contains 6% fat, which is mainly located in the germ of the grain, where 80 - 84% of the total amount of fat in maize is found. Corn oil is obtained through a process that includes the following steps:

    • dry or wet mechanical pressing
    • extraction with hexane
    • deodorization and bleaching - removing unwanted odors and flavors
    • winterization - removal of waxes and some saturated fatty acids, which means that the oil remains liquid at low temperature.

    Corn oil is mainly used for deep frying, because it has a high smoking temperature (the temperature at which the oil begins to burn) - 232 degrees C.

    This allows you to obtain products with high crunchiness without worrying about the undesirable aftertaste of burned fat. Corn oil is also used for the production of hydrogenated fat used further in the food industry in margarines, snacks, sweets, etc., as well as in shortenings used in confectionery.

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