New in the Market: Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on August 3, 2011 · 27 comments

We love to try new foods. Some don’t measure up and some become staples in our kitchen. See what you think.

Carotino oil is a blend of canola oil and red palm fruit oil. The first thing that will strike you is the beautiful orange-red color of the oil. This color creates buttery-looking batters and biscuits and provides a wonderful glow to sautéed foods. We pan-grilled plain fish on a nonstick pan with a small amount of Carotino and the fish sparkled with color. Most of you know that canola is a multipurpose, mild tasting cooking oil, high in polyunsaturated fats, but where does red palm oil come from?

Palm oil can be derived from two sources: it can be extracted from the palm fruit, much like squeezing olives for oil; or it can be extracted from the kernel or seed of the palm fruit. The second method results in palm kernel oil. which is similar to coconut oil and higher in saturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats. Palm fruit oil, which is used in Carotino, has equal amounts of saturated and polyunsaturated fats. When mixed with canola oil, Carotino’s fat composition becomes even healthier.

One tablespoon of Carotino oil has 120 calories, typical of most vegetables oil, 14 grams of total fat (2 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 8 grams of monounsaturated fat). Because it is a plant-based oil it is cholesterol free. By mixing red palm oil with canola oil the fat makeup of Carotino is similar to olive oil. In addition, one tablespoon provides 40% (2000 IUs) of your daily need for vitamin A and 15% (5 IUs) of vitamin E.

Carotino can be used in place of any vegetable oil and is heat stable making it a good choice for stir-frying. The oil is halal and kosher certified (OK). This product will become a staple in our kitchens. We just wish it had wider availability.

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