Linseed oil is a plant-based oil used for multiple purposes. It is obtained from herb-like flowering plants. This oil is a triglyceride oil. Meaning it consists of three fatty acids. One of which is alpha-linolenic acid. Linseed oil becomes rigid and viscous when exposed to oxygen in the air. The process is exothermic. This oil is notorious for its light stability and high oxidative stability.
So, let me ask you, is Linseed oil edible? Yes, Linseed oil is edible. It is non-toxic and food safe. Being that it is used as a food additive. While you might be skeptical about the safety, your worries just go away as it is totally safe for people to eat.
You must desire a lot to learn about Linseed oil and its types. Read on to learn all about linseed oil.
Is Linseed oil edible?
Yes! Absolutely. Linseed oil has no toxicity in it whatsoever. It is considered food safe. Unless linseed oil is mixed with chemical solvents or synthetic products, it is completely non-toxic and food safe. Pure or raw linseed oil is free of anything harmful to humans. This is why it is used as a food additive.
Raw linseed oil, commonly known as flaxseed oil, is completely edible. It is considered a good food supplement as it contains alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-three fatty acid. In some parts of Europe, this oil is used to serve potatoes. It is a delicious dish.
Linseed oil is added to ensure the flavor and aroma of otherwise rather tasteless quarks. It can help to prevent and relieve many illnesses such as constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, heart disease etc. So, it is a very beneficial oil indeed.
What is Linseed oil used for?
Linseed oil has many forms and, therefore, many uses. Raw linseed oil is a food additive. It is completely safe to eat, and this is a food supplement. It carries many necessary vitamins and nutrients. We have a lot of uses for it, so here is a list for more uses.
- Linseed oil is also used to create linoleum, a popular form of residential and industrial floor covering. Due to being much more environmentally friendly than PVC, linoleum coverings are used instead of vinyl floor coverings.
- Double-boiled linseed oil is used to treat wood, giving it a worthwhile finish. It’s even used in terracotta tiles.
- It’s used in oil paints as a pigment binder.
- It is used in musical instruments like guitar, mandolin etc., to recondition the strings.
- It is used in oil gilding, where sheets of gold leaf are stuck to a substrate. It dries at a slow rate, but it dries uniformly all over. This property is very useful as a drying agent.
- It is used in emulsions as a binding agent.
- A coat of linseed oil on metal or wood makes it water-resistant. Thus, this oil is used to coat furniture and machinery.
- Pool cue makers use it for cue shafts.
- It can be used to strengthen hair as the Omega-3 fatty acids it has are good for hair strength.
What are the different types of linseed oil?
Due to having many useful properties, there are many types of linseed oil. Flax seeds are processed in various ways to create variants of this oil that are suitable for different situations.
So, we have four types of this oil for many different purposes. They are Raw linseed oil, Polymerised linseed oil, sun-bleached linseed oil and boiled linseed oil.
Raw Linseed Oil
Firstly, we have raw linseed oil, commonly known as flaxseed oil. It’s the unprocessed version containing no additives, chemicals, synthetics or inorganic elements. This pure, non-toxic oil is digestible by the human stomach and is used in food.
Polymerized Linseed oil
Secondly, we have a polymerized version. Linseed oil is processed to create polymerized linseed oil. The raw oil is heated at a scorching three hundred degrees Celsius for multiple days. A polymerization reaction occurs. This process is done in the absence of air. The result is a thicker elastic form.
This form of linseed oil is quick to dry. It is a highly viscous product, and it provides coatings of exceptional uniformity. It is also non-toxic. These properties of polymerized linseed oil make it a popular choice for coatings.
Sun-bleached Linseed oil
Thirdly, we have sun-bleached linseed oil. Raw linseed oil is dried in the sun. The drying is done in a scope of a few months. This results in a dramatic increase in elasticity. This oil is toxic, and it will irritate the skin if it comes into contact. Sun-bleached linseed oil is used in oil paints, creating more fluid, vivid and glossy colors. So, this is used by painters and artists.
Boiled Linseed oil
Lastly, we have boiled linseed oil. It’s actually raw linseed oil plus some solvents and additives. Though it’s called ‘boiled’ linseed oil, there is no boiling or heating done. Heavy metals, plasticizers and hardeners are mixed with it to mimic the properties of true boiled oil.
Solvents like cobalt, Naphtha, manganese and dipropylene glycol monomethyl are added to it. This version of linseed oil is also used for coating. Boiled linseed oil coatings are usually applied to boats and wooden furniture. This oil is toxic.
What happens if I ingest Linseed oil?
Depending on the type of linseed oil, either nothing will happen, or you will become sick. Linseed oil, and its “raw” and pure form, is completely safe and edible. This is to say that if you ingest raw linseed oil, you will not be harmed.
Moreover, it is even used as a food supplement. Due to containing many useful nutrients for the body, it is used in various remedies for illnesses. However, linseed oil, when mixed with chemical additives, is another story entirely. Boiled linseed oil contains heavy metals and chemicals that make it toxic. If you consume this type of oil, you may face health problems.
Linseed oil is numerous in its useful properties and useful forms. While some of these types are not safe for you, others are actually good for your body.
So, is linseed oil edible? You can bet it is. This oil is extracted from flax seeds in their pure state and thus completely harmless to your digestive tract. It is not only edible but also beneficial for your health. It is, in fact, in demand as a dietary supplement.
Here you have learned the many uses of linseed oil. From food additives to paint emulsion, it has a range of uses. So, next time you are worried about using linseed oil in the kitchen, you know which type to use and why.