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Is my sunflower oil high oleic or not?

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Cin

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I bought my usual 'high oleic' sunflower oil along with a bigger jug of sunflower 'frying' oil that had an even higher amount of monounsaturated fat listed in the nutrition info.

I thought i'd check it, remembering this post:
Geek Tip -- The difference between high-, mid-, and low-oleic oils

Safflower and sunflower oils are sold in high oleic, mid oleic, and linoleic (regular low oleic) versions depending on the amount of oleic acid in the oil. The differences in the fatty acid content comes from natural variations in sunflower and safflower plants. These differences have been enhanced by conventional plant breeding methods.

Regular low oleic (aka linoleic) oils contain mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids -- specifically linoleic and linolenic acids. These fatty acids become rancid fairly quickly in storage and break down quickly when heated. Mid oleic and high oleic oils contain at least 50% oleic acid, which is a more stable monounsaturated fatty acid. These higher-oleic oils will not break down as fast when used in the kitchen for frying and sauteeing. They work better in soap because they are not as prone to becoming rancid (also called DOS, dreaded orange spots). High oleic safflower or sunflower is a good substitute for olive oil.

So how to tell the difference? First, check the label for phrases such as "good for frying or sauteeing" or "high temperature" or even "high oleic," all of which will tell you the oil is a high oleic version.

If you don't see any helpful information like that, then use the nutrition information to calculate an answer --

% oleic (monounsaturated) = (grams monounsaturated fat per serving) / (grams total fat per serving) X 100%

If the monounsaturated fat is above 75%, it is a high-oleic oil.
If it is between 50% and 70%, it would be a mid-oleic oil.
If it is about 20%, it would be regular (linoleic) version.
If i'm calculating correctly, the sunflower oil labelled 'high oleic' is
51g mono/92g total x 100% = 55% oleic,
which according to the above post, is mid-oleic.
(Though confusingly in the 2nd paragraph of the post above it also says, 'Mid oleic and high oleic oils contain at least 50% oleic acid'. )

On the other hand, the frituurolie (frying oil and no reference to 'high oleic') is
64g mono/92g total x 100% = 69.6% oleic,
higher than what the one labelled high oleic.

What do you think? Are they proper high oleic or mid oleic?
 

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DeeAnna

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My understanding is there is a fairly clear genetic break between a low-oleic fat (20% or less oleic) and the high/mid oleic versions (over 50% oleic) of the same fat.

The distinction between a mid-oleic and a high-oleic oil is a line drawn by humans, not by genetics. Is a 55% oleic oil greatly different than a 70% oleic oil in the qualities it will create in soap or in how it is used in cooking? Some, sure, but probably not a huge amount.

As for me, I personally would call the 55% oleic oil a mid-oleic oil and the other a high-oleic. But the supplier of the 55% oleic oil has called it differently, and that's okay. I don't think there is any intent to deceive -- it's just a judgement call.

It is the nutrition label that gives you the real facts you need, however, not the descriptive words used.
 
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Cin

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My understanding is there is a fairly clear genetic break between a low-oleic fat (20% or less oleic) and the high/mid oleic versions (over 50% oleic) of the same fat.

The distinction between a mid-oleic and a high-oleic oil is a line drawn by humans, not by genetics. Is a 55% oleic oil greatly different than a 70% oleic oil in the qualities it will create in soap or in how it is used in cooking? Some, sure, but probably not a huge amount.

As for me, I personally would call the 55% oleic oil a mid-oleic oil and the other a high-oleic. But the supplier of the 55% oleic oil has called it differently, and that's okay. I don't think there is any intent to deceive -- it's just a judgement call.

It is the nutrition label that gives you the real facts you need, however, not the descriptive words used.
Thank you DeeAnna! I was hoping you would reply. :)

Do you know if there are any significant differences with the fatty acid profiles between mid and high oleic or where I can find this information?
 

cmzaha

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I use mid or high, depending on my supplier's cost and find no real difference between the two. My supplier's mid oleic Sunflowers oil is around 60% oleic acid.
 

DeeAnna

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As the oleic acid content goes down, you will see an increase in the linoleic % and maybe some increase in the palmitic + stearic acids. But you'd have to ask your supplier for accurate information about the particular oil you're using. It's impossible to know for sure without testing the actual fat.

In my main soap recipe, if I sub a mid oleic oil at 55% oleic for a high oleic oil at 70% oleic, the oleic acid content for the recipe changes by only 3%. That's not enough of a difference to worry about, to be honest. The math and Carolyn's voice of experience agree.
 

Mobjack Bay

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@DeeAnna is there any chance :) that you know where the percentage cutoff is for Soapcalc “Sunflower high oleic” vs what they list as “Sunflower”?
 

Mobjack Bay

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I use mid or high, depending on my supplier's cost and find no real difference between the two. My supplier's mid oleic Sunflowers oil is around 60% oleic acid.
Thank you indeed for the voice of experience. I’ve been avoiding the sunflower oil I can get locally because it’s in a range that I think of as “mid oleic” based on what I know so far...
 

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Great idea to think of sunflower frying oil for soaping! [emoji106] And here I was thinking I wasn't able to get any high oleic sunflower oil in the supermarket [emoji85] one more oil to add to my list of soaping oils (and finally a cheap one as well)[emoji16]
 
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DeeAnna

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@DeeAnna is there any chance :) that you know where the percentage cutoff is for Soapcalc “Sunflower high oleic” vs what they list as “Sunflower”?
Please read Post 1 -- my quoted post might help a bit. ALso you can look at Soapcalc directly to get the fatty acid profiles of all of the fats in their database. That should give you some perspective. Otherwise, you'd have to ask the Soapcalc folks directly if they use any particular guidelines; I have no idea about what their thinking is about that.
 

Cin

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Great idea to think of sunflower frying oil for soaping! [emoji106] And here I was thinking I wasn't able to get any high oleic sunflower oil in the supermarket [emoji85] one more oil to add to my list of soaping oils (and finally a cheap one as well)[emoji16]
@szaza Also in the supermarket here you can find 2 L 100% rijstolie frituurolie (King brand) for less than €6.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about sunflower oil:

“Four types of sunflower oils with differing concentrations of fatty acids are produced through plant breeding and industrial processing: high-linoleic, high-oleic, mid-oleic, and high-stearic combined with high-oleic.[2][8]
  • High-linoleic, 69% linoleic acid
  • High-oleic, 82% oleic acid
  • Mid-oleic, 65% oleic acid
  • High-stearic with high-oleic, 18% stearic acid and 72% oleic acid[8]
There’s also a table with the fatty acid profiles.

It wasn’t obvious to me where to find Soapcalc’s data, so I did a Google search. It turns out that the database is available via the “sort oil” link at the bottom of the Soapcalc home page.

For Sunflower:
Sunflower, high oleic = 83% oleic
Sunflower = 16% oleic

For Safflower, which is what I’ve been using:
Safflower, high oleic = 77% oleic
Safflower = 15% oleic

ETA the wiki link
 
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szaza

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@szaza Also in the supermarket here you can find 2 L 100% rijstolie frituurolie (King brand) for less than €6.
Hmmm... I need to go look for that one! I always buy the regular RBO and it's almost twice as expensive! Do you have any idea what makes it 'frying oil' instead of regular? Is it more refined, are there additives?
 

Mobjack Bay

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Hmmm... I need to go look for that one! I always buy the regular RBO and it's almost twice as expensive! Do you have any idea what makes it 'frying oil' instead of regular? Is it more refined, are there additives?
I *think* it’s based on smoke point, which is consistent with what I see in the table at the wiki sunflower oil link (I just edited my post above to add the link to the page)
 

Cin

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Hmmm... I need to go look for that one! I always buy the regular RBO and it's almost twice as expensive! Do you have any idea what makes it 'frying oil' instead of regular? Is it more refined, are there additives?
I have no idea. I sent a query in to Reddy so will let you know if I get a response on this.
 

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