Pine nut oil, also called pine seed oil or cedar nut oil, is a vegetable oil, extracted from the edible seeds of several species of pine. While the oil produced from the seeds of more common European and American pine varieties is mostly used for culinary purposes, Siberian pines (growing in Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan), as well as Korean pines (growing mostly in China and North Korea) yield the seeds with the highest content of pinolenic acid, as well as antioxidants associated with medicinal uses.

Culinary uses

Pine nut oil has a relatively low smoke point, and is therefore not generally used during cooking. Rather, it is added to foods for "finishing", to add flavor.[1]

In Russia before the revolution of 1917, it was used for cooking during Great Lent when the eating of animal fats was forbidden. At that time, ten percent of all hard currency in Russia was based on the trade of pine nut oil. Most of the trade was with France, which traditionally uses nut oil in cooking.

Pine nut oil is also reportedly an excellent bread preservative when a small amount is added to the dough.[2]

Medicinal uses

Korean and Siberian pine nut oil varieties have drawn recent attention for their medicinal properties.

According to a study by Lipid Nutrition, the pinolenic acid contained in Korean pine nut oil can help curb appetite by stimulating the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that functions as an appetite suppressant.[3] The study showed that pine nut oil "boosts appetite suppressors up to 60% for four hours."[4][medical citation needed]

Interest in the properties of pinolenic acid have led some researchers to explore methods of increasing the amount of this fatty acid in pine nut oil. Subsequent research showed that, in addition to suppressing appetite, pine nut oil also can reduce LDLs, yielding further health benefits.[5]

Siberian pine nut oil (a variety of pine nut oil pressed from the seeds of Siberian pines) also contains a high concentration of free radical scavengers, which help reduce oxidative damage that can lead to peptic ulcers or gastritis, according to clinical studies in Russia and China. As a result of such studies, pine nut oil is now considered a remedy for these conditions in both countries.

Triglyceride composition

One analysis of the triglyceride composition of Siberian pine nut oil showed the following composition:[6]

Fatty acid Percentage
Linoleic acid 49.0% ± 2.3
Oleic acid 23.8% ± 2.1
Pinolenic acid 17.1% ± 2.0
Palmitic acid 6.3% ± 2.2
Stearic acid 2.5% ± 0.1

See also


  1. ^ "Raw Foods Values and Information". Goods from the Woods. Retrieved 2006-09-24.  External link in publisher= (help)
  2. ^ FAO (1995). "Chapter 8: Seeds, Fruits and Cones". Non-wood forest products from conifers. 
  3. ^ Miranda Hitti (March 28, 2006). "Pine Nut Oil May Cut Appetite". WebMD News. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  4. ^ American Physiological Society (April 4, 2006). "Pine Nut Oil Boosts Appetite Suppressors Up To 60 Percent For 4 Hours". Science Daily. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  5. ^ Lee Jin-Wo; Lee Kwang-Won; Lee Seog-Won; Kim In-Hwan; Rhee Chul (2004). "Selective increase in pinolenic acid (all-cis-5,9,12-18:3) in Korean pine nut oil by crystallization and its effect on LDL-receptor activity". Lipids. 39 (4): 383–7. doi:10.1007/s11745-004-1242-2. PMID 15357026. 
  6. ^ V. I. Deineka & L. A. Deineka (March 2003). "Triglyceride Composition of Pinus sibirica Oil". Chemistry of Natural Compounds. 39 (2): 171. doi:10.1023/A:1024857729235.