Pecan oil will soon take its place alongside other cooking oils like
corn, olive, peanut, canola and sunflower on grocer's shelves.
nut now has a
new cooking product that, although not
cheap, broadens the availability of pecan products on the market," said
Wojciech Florkowski, an agricultural economist with the University of
Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
pecan oil can be purchased in gourmet shops or via specialty
Internet websites. Prices range from $8.56 to $13.99 for 3.5 fluid
Many pecan producers are beginning to add the new oil to their product
"We've just had it in our store for a few months, but it's really going
over well," said Robbie Henry of Ellis Bros. Pecans in Vienna, Georgia.
"The small olive oil-sized bottle sells the best. It's a little
expensive, but people like new gourmet products."
Until now, pecan oil had been used as massage oil or incorporated into
bath soaps. As cooking oil, it can be used in salad dressings and other
applications. Compared to commonly used oils like soybean, peanut or
olive, pecan oil has a light color and flavor and less saturated fat.
"Canola oil has even less saturated fat, but pecan oil has about a
third more polyunsaturated fat," Florkowski said. "And the total
content of mono- and polyunsaturated fats in pecan oil is about 90
percent. That's higher than soybean, corn, peanut or canola oils."
UGA food specialist Judy Harrison with the College of Family and
Consumer Sciences says substituting polyunsaturated fats for saturated
fats has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and, in clinical trials,
it has led to a reduced risk of heart disease.
"LDL is the bad type of cholesterol," she said. "Studies have shown
that replacing saturated fat in the diet with monounsaturated fats,
like those found in olive oil, peanut oil and nuts, may lower blood
sugar levels and have a mild cholesterol-lowering effect."
Harrison reminds consumers even though monounsaturated fats are
healthier choices, they're still fats.
"Adults should keep their total fat intake to between 20 and 35 percent
of their total daily calorie intake," she said. "And most of this fat
should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils."
One tablespoon of pecan oil has about 14 grams of fat, which is about
22 percent of an average adult's daily value of fat and contain 120
calories, she said.
Harrison also cautions those with nut allergies to avoid nut-based
oils. "If you're allergic to pecans, you definitely would not want to
use pecan oil," she said.
When it comes to frying, pecan oil has a higher smoke point (470
degrees F) than many other oils.
"In comparison, butter is around 350, vegetable shortening around 360,
soybean oil around 395, virgin olive oil around 420 and peanut oil
around 440," Harrison said. "Safflower oil has a higher smoke point as
it's around 510."
Plantation Pecan Oil