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Reply with quote  #1 
I am needing info on Rice Bran Oil. I've read varying facts about it. Also am curious about using Rice Bran Extract in my 100% whole wheat bread as a dough enhancer? Help?
Jan wright

Posts: 1,162
Reply with quote  #2 
On pages 247-249 in my book The Science of Skinny, there is a discussion on cooking with oils, which ones are safe and which aren't.  Specifically there is a chart on page 249 that gives the breakdown of the composition of a variety of common oils.

Fats and oils are made up of all fatty acid types (polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated), so we must first investigate to see which fatty acid type is the predominant type in a specific oil or fat to determine whether or not it should be exposed to heat, oxygen, and light.

As a rule of thumb, if the predominant classification of an oil is polyunsaturated, then we should NEVER cook with it - REGARDLESS of its smoke point.  A fat or oil with more than 50% of its composition as polyunsaturated would not be good for cooking. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are highly reactive. They quickly form free radicals when they are exposed to ANY degree of heat - even very low heat. Free radicals produce inflammation, cell damage and cancer within our bodies.

If the predominant classification of an oil is monounsaturated, it is a bit more stable than polyunsaturated oils and can be used for VERY LOW HEAT applications. 
If the predominant classification of an oil is saturated, then it is the best type of oil to use for cooking.  Saturated fats are very stable and can withstand higher heats than any of the other fatty acid types.

Looking at the chart on page 249, we see that rice bran oil is predominantly a monounsaturated fatty acid. This means it can be used for very low-heat applications, but rice bran oil still has a hefty 
polyunsaturated content (36%), so it's best to store it in the fridge and use in moderate amounts. Rice bran oil's 17% saturated fatty acid content can serve to protect the delicate polyunsaturated fatty acids when exposed to low-heat cooking to some degree, but you can protect it even better by combining the rice bran oil with another oil that has a high saturated fatty acid content, such as coconut oil, red palm oil, butter or ghee.

I always add a bit of a coconut oil to any monounsaturated oil I use for cooking to protect the polyunsaturated content that particular oil may have.  For instance, olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (76%) but it also has 8% polyunsaturated fatty acids, so I add some coconut oil to to my olive oil if I want to use it for low heat cooking.

If you want to use rice bran extract in your bread recipe, I would use coconut oil as the oil for the bread recipe.  Rice bran extract still has the same fatty acid profile as rice bran oil.  You need to protect it!

Dee McCaffrey
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