Sustainable Energy: Hazelnut Oil Benefits
Hazelnut oil is a largely unexplored, yet promising resource. Preliminary data reveals that opportunities exist to expand new markets for hazelnuts, such as for feed and biodiesel. Utilizing previous funding, the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium has led the way in hazelnut oil research by investigating and enhancing the quantity of oil from hybrid hazelnuts while examining the properties of oil for both food oil and biofuel applications.
Biodiesel and Other Oleochemicals
- An average hazelnut could produce nearly two times the amount of oil per acre compared to soybeans (Hammond, 2006).
- The physical/chemical characteristics of hazelnuts for biodiesel are substantially superior to soybean oil (Xu and Hanna, 2007).
- The percentage of oil per hazelnut kernel ranges from 56.1% to 75.2% (Josiah, 2007).
- Hazelnut oil has a unique fatty acid composition, thermal stability, and low temperature properties that should increase its value over soybean oil for a number of applications (Xu, 2007).
- After oil extraction, a high-quality protein meal remains for animal feed.
Hazelnut Oil Research
Oil Research Papers:
- Xu, Y, M.A. Hanna and S.J. Josiah. 2008. Synthesis and characterization of hazelnut oil-based biodiesel. Industrial Crops and Products. Submitted.
- Xu, Y.X., Hanna, M.A., and S.J. Josiah. 2007. Hybrid hazelnut oil characteristics and its potential oleochemical application. J. Industrial Crops and Products 26 69-76.
Hazelnut Cooking Oil
Hazelnut oil has also been shown to be a healthy cooking oil alternative with a flavorful taste. Learn more about the nutritional benefits of hazelnuts.