Mustard is an annual flowering plant, grown as a leafy vegetable and also, for its oil rich seeds (oilseed). The small, rounded whole grain mustard is added as spice in various cuisines of the world. Seeds after drying are used for production of a sharp flavored, cooking oil. Besides culinary application, mustard oil is highly appreciated for its health benefits. However, consumption of mustard oil is controversial, especially in the western countries, and it is basically used for skin and external application.
Mustard Oil Nutrition
Studies conducted to compare the fat content of cooking oils reveal that mustard oil contains relatively low percentage of saturated fat. Maximum calories of this edible oil are contributed by monounsaturated fat (e.g. oleic acid) and polyunsaturated fat (linoleic acid). Oil extracted from mustard seeds contains tocopherols and erucic acid, which together increase its shelf life. It possesses strong antioxidant properties. Cooking with mustard oil is also found to be helpful in reducing cholesterol levels. One can purchase mustard oil from Mideastern and Indian groceries.
Tips on How to Make Mustard Oil
When it comes to selection of a healthy edible oil, mustard oil is a preferred alternative for many people. Don't confuse this edible oil with mustard essential oil. Although they are derived from mustard seeds, the properties and nutritional values of these oils are different from one another. The manufacturing process of mustard oil is different from that of mustard essential oil. While the edible oil is extracted by cold compression, the essential oil is made by steam distillation process.
To make mustard oil at home, the procedure of extracting oil from the small, dried mustard seeds is not so easy. This is because, mustard oil extraction requires maintenance of reduced temperature (cold compression method), particularly if oil is produced on a large scale. The low temperature is crucial for preserving aroma and volatile substances. At an elevated temperature, the rate of oxidation is higher and oil flavor is reduced, thus resulting in poor quality mustard oil. The following info will help you understand about the extraction of mustard oil.
- In general, three types of dry mustard are used for oil extraction, namely, white mustard (scientific name Brassica nigra), black mustard (scientific name B. hirta) and brown Indian mustard (B. juncea). Of these, the first two types are commonly used for oil production.
- The black mustard yields a lighter colored and stronger tasting oil, while the white variety produces a yellowish colored, pungent oil. A simple mustard oil recipe is to directly press the seeds. This gives a strong-tasting mustard oil.
- Another approach for making mustard oil is crushing the seeds, followed by separation of oil. Both the two extraction processes yield mustard oil and meal.
- While making mustard oil, approximately 30-33 percent of the total seed is recovered as oil. This is a good yield, as compared to other oilseed types. The remaining meal contains high percentage of proteins. This is collected in form of solid oil cakes, and are used for feeding livestock.
- Seal the oil bottles properly, and they can be used for several years. Having a long shelf life, this vegetable oil retains its original flavor for several months even after opening. You just need to keep it in the refrigerator for extending its storage life.
In case, you are harvesting mustard seed in bulk, giving it to a mustard oil mill in your nearby area is a practical idea. Other than using for preparation of stir fry dishes, salad dressing, preserving foods, you can use mustard oil for massaging, addressing infections, promoting perspiration, detoxification and other therapeutic applications.