In winemaking, the juices of grapes are extracted to produce the main ingredient for the delectable drink most people adore. Winemakers ferment, age, and bottle the juice. What most people do not know is that during the process another product is developed from the discarded parts of the winemaking process, the grapeseed. Before the 20th century, the grapeseed was considered waste and was usually thrown away.
When extracted, grapeseeds produce small amounts of grapeseed oil, which can be used in many commercial products today. Grapeseed extract is one of the most sought after type of vegetable oil, nutrient, and medical component.
Each grapeseed, due to its size, can only produce a small amount of oil. That being said, a lot of grapeseeds are needed to fill up one single bottle. This is why a bottle of pure grapeseed oil is quite valuable and pricey. To make it affordable, grapeseed is extracted through chemical methods. This increases the amount of the oil to allow for mass production. The downside to this method is that the chemicals used can greatly affect the flavor of the oil. Without the chemicals, natural grapeseed oil has a nutty flavor with a very light color.
Grapeseed oil is composed of high concentrations of linoleic acid, flavonoids and Vitamin E. OPC and resveratol are other compounds found in the extract as well. These substances and compounds are the primary reason why the oil can provide high levels of antioxidants and the ability to counter specific human conditions.
There are two main practical applications for commercial grapeseed oil: cooking and cosmetics.
Cooking. Grapeseed cooking oil is usually found in supermarkets and gourmet groceries. When purchasing it, make sure that the bottle indicates that it is for cooking.
A lot of people like using grapeseed oil for cooking because of certain qualities not found in conventional vegetable oils. One of these qualities is its ability to reach really high points of heat quickly. Due to this high heat tolerance, grapeseed oil is fantastic for frying all kinds of food. Aside from this, grapeseed oil exhibits exceptional emulsifying quality which makes it the top choice in creating mayonnaise and dressings for salad. Furthermore, it does not impact the flavors of food like other conventional oils.
Cosmetics. Grapeseed oil is a fantastic alternative for cosmetic applications. It can be blended with other oils to create massage oils because of its moisturizing characteristics. Studies have shown that grapeseed oil applied on damaged skin can greatly stimulate and assist skin regeneration and repair as well which is why it is a favored component in various commercial body products such as moisturizing creams and lotions.
In ancient times and until now, grapeseed extract has been used for its healing and medical properties as well. In fact, some studies have shown that grapeseed extract can significantly increase the antioxidant levels in a person’s body. The higher antioxidant levels in a person’s body, the higher the chances that the free radicals, substances that harm the body, will be destroyed. Today, grapeseed extract or oil can be used to help treat feared conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.