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A guide to rice bran oil

Rice bran oil has been used in East Asian countries for many years but is only just becoming popular in Western countries. In this article, we'll look at what makes up rice bran oil and why many people are claiming that it is one of the healthiest cooking oils.

What is rice bran oil?

Description
Rice brain oil is an edible plant oil which is extract from the germ and inner husk of rice. It has a very high smoke point of around 250 degrees Celsius. This makes it very useful for stir frying, which is why it is extremely popular in East Asian countries where there is not only an abundance of rice but also stir fried dishes! If you cook a lot using stir fried techniques, then this oil is much better than olive oil, which tends to burn and leave a bitter taste to dishes. Nutritional information
Rice bran oil has only been produced in the United States since 1994 and has quickly gained popularity. Rice bran oil actually contains a range of fats including: 20% saturated fats, 33% polyunsaturated fats and 47% mono unsaturated fats. This compares very favourably to other cooking oils.

Uses of rice bran oil

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
When consumed at room temperature, before cooking, the oil is rich in vitamin E and an anti-oxidant the helps to prevent heart attacks. Some studies suggest that consumption of the oil also works towards lowering cholesterol build-up in the body. This can reduce the likelihood of strokes and heart disease. A replacement for margarine
Due to its chemical properties, it is suitable for blending with other oils to form an alternative to margarine. Rice bran oil based spreads taste pleasantly nutty and can be used in the place of butter or standard margarine. You may want to try one of these recipe ideas :
Cakes and biscuits
Whilst these may not be the healthiest snacks, replacing butter with rice bran oil or rice bran oil based spreads will help to reduce the amount of saturated fats you consume.
Vietnamese noodle salad
Cook the noodles and for a more refined taste, fry them in rice bran oil. Add spring onions, red chillies, coriander and tofu. Sprinkle a few drops of Nam Pla (fish sauce) and sesame oil for a healthy and quick meal. Soap manufacture
Rice bran oil is used in the manufacture of many skin care products in Eastern Asia. The high content of gamma-oryzanol and vitamin E is said to slow the aging process. Japanese women who use these products are known as rice bran beauties and as a result, rice bran is a popular addition to modern boutique soaps.

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