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Hemp Oil Could Be Used for Cooking

Researchers are well on the way to making hemp oil good for cooking.

The experts, from the University of York in the UK, have developed hemp plants with a substantially increased content of oleic acid. That development means hemp oil can now be a cooking oil similar to olive oil. The new oil has a much longer shelf life and can be used for industrial as well as domestic purposes.

The research was published in Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Using plant breeding techniques, the scientists developed plants into a “High Oleic Hemp” line. Oil from the new line was almost 80 per cent oleic acid, compared with less than 10 per cent in the standard hemp line.  This new profile increases the oil’s thermal stability; oil from the new line was shown to have around five times the stability of standard hemp oil. 

Raising hemp oil with these new qualities could provide a good “break crop” for farmers in the UK.  A break crop is a secondary crop used when farmers rotate crops.

Professor Ian Graham said: “The new line represents a major improvement in hemp as an oil crop. Similar developments in soybean and oilseed…have opened up new markets for these crops, due to the perceived healthiness and increased stability of their oil.”

Trials of the new hemp will take place this year across Europe.

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