Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup

Safflower Oil

Nutritional Information

1 cup, safflower oil

  • Calories 1927
  • Calories from Fat 1962
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 218g335%
  • Saturated Fat 13.523g68%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 162.728g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 31.283g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 0mg0%
  • Potassium 0mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 0g0%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Safflower Oil on Wikipedia:

Safflower Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids Order: Asterales Family: Asteraceae Tribe: Cynareae Genus: Carthamus Species: C. tinctorius Binomial name Carthamus tinctorius (Mohler, Roth, Schmidt & Boudreaux, 1967)[citation needed]

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.[1]) is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual, usually with many long sharp spines on the leaves. Plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower heads (capitula) and commonly, brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers which bloom in July. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower has a strong taproot which enables it to thrive in dry climates, but the plant is very susceptible to frost injury from stem elongation to maturity.



Traditionally, the crop was grown for its seeds, and used for colouring and flavouring foods, in medicines, and making red (carthamin) and yellow dyes, especially before cheaper aniline dyes became available.[2] For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated mainly for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds. In April 2007 it was reported that genetically modified safflower has been bred to create insulin.[3]

Carthamus tinctorius

Safflower oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. It is used mainly in cosmetics and as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. It may also be taken as a nutritional supplement. INCI nomenclature is Carthamus tinctorius.

Safflower purchased at a market in Turkey

Safflower flowers are occasionally used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron, and are thus sometimes referred to as ``bastard saffron.`` Safflower seed is also used quite commonly as an alternative to sunflower seed in birdfeeders, as squirrels do not like the taste of it.

The pharmaceutical company SemBioSys Genetics is currently using transgenic safflower plants to produce human insulin as the global demand for the hormone grows. Safflower-derived human insulin is currently in the PI/II trials on human test subjects. Phillip Stephan, SemBioSys Genetics Inc, product bulletin June 2008.[4]

There are two types of safflower that produce different kinds of oil: one high in monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid) and the other high in polyunsaturated fatty acid (linoleic acid). Currently the predominant oil market is for the former, which is lower in saturates than olive oil, for example.

Safflower oil is also used in painting in the place of linseed oil, particularly with white, as it does not have the yellow tint which linseed oil possesses.

Lana is a strain of Safflower that grows in the southwestern United States, most notably Arizona and New Mexico.

In colouring textiles, safflower's dried flowers are used as a natural textile dye. Natural dyes derived from plants are not widely used in industry but it is getting more important world wide because of naturality and fashion trends. The colourful matter in safflower is benzoquinone-based Carthamin, so it is one of the quinone type natural dyes. It is a direct dye (CI Natural Red 26) and soluble. Yellow, mustard, khaki, olive green or even red colours can be obtained on textiles, but it is mostly used for yellow colours. All hydrophilic fibres (all natural fibres, such as cotton, wool, etc.) can be dyed with this plant since it can be classified as a direct dye. Polyamide can also be dyed without a mordant agent because of its wool-like chemical structure. Polyester, polyacrylnitryl and others which are hydrophobic synthetic fibres can be dyed only in the existence of a mordant.


Safflower is one of humanity's oldest crops. Chemical analysis of ancient Egyptian textiles dated to the Twelfth dynasty identified dyes made from safflower, and garlands made from safflowers were found in the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun.[5] John Chadwick reports that the Greek name for safflower occurs many times in Linear B tablets, distinguished into two kinds: a white safflower, which is measured, and red which is weighed. ``The explanation is that there are two parts of the plant which can be used; the pale seeds and the red florets.``[6]

Safflower was also known as carthamine in the 19th century.[7] It is a minor crop today, with about 600,000 tons being produced commercially in more than sixty countries worldwide. India, United States, and Mexico are the leading producers, with Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, China, Argentina and Australia accounting for most of the remainder.

Other names include Sallflower, Beni, Chimichanga, or Carthamus Tinctorius.


Main article: List of safflower diseases

See also

Food portal Safflower Princess Conjugated linoleic acid Tsheringma Chinese herbology


^ Safflower - Carthamus tinctorius L ^ Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf, Domestication of plants in the Old World, third edition (Oxford: University Press, 2000), p.211 ^ BBC NEWS | Health | Firm in GM insulin breakthrough ^ ^ Zohary and Hopf, ibid. ^ John Chadwick, The Mycenaean World (Cambridge: University Press, 1976), p. 120 ^ De Candolle, Alphonse. (1885.) Origin of cultivated plants. D. Appleton & Co.: New York, p. 164. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Carthamus tinctorius Complementary and Alternative Healing University (Chinese Herbology) Ahmed M. Zahran, M. F. Omran, S. Z. Mansour and N. K. ‎Ibrahim. Effectiveness of Carthamus tinctorius L. in the ‎Restitution of Lipid Composition in Irradiated Rats. Egypt. ‎J. Rad. Sci. Applic., 20(1): 75-94 (2007).‎ Safflower production (in the United States) Safflower field crops manual UN FAO statistics on safflower production Globe and Mail: ``Calgary firm turns safflower into insulin`` List of Chemicals in Safflower (Dr. Duke's Databases) v â€¢ d â€¢ e Edible fats and oils Fats Bacon fat â€¢ Blubber â€¢ Butter â€¢ Clarified butter â€¢ Cocoa butter â€¢ Dripping â€¢ Duck fat â€¢ Ghee â€¢ Lard â€¢ Margarine â€¢ Niter kibbeh â€¢ Salo â€¢ Schmaltz â€¢ Shea butter â€¢ Smen â€¢ Suet â€¢ Tallow â€¢ Vegetable shortening Oils Almond oil â€¢ Argan oil â€¢ Avocado oil â€¢ Canola oil â€¢ Cashew oil â€¢ Castor oil â€¢ Coconut oil â€¢ Colza oil â€¢ Corn oil â€¢ Cottonseed oil â€¢ Fish oil â€¢ Grape seed oil â€¢ Hazelnut oil â€¢ Hemp oil â€¢ Linseed oil (flaxseed oil) â€¢ Macadamia oil â€¢ Marula oil â€¢ Mongongo nut oil â€¢ Mustard oil â€¢ Olive oil â€¢ Palm oil (palm kernel oil) â€¢ Peanut oil â€¢ Pecan oil â€¢ Perilla oil â€¢ Pine nut oil â€¢ Pistachio oil â€¢ Poppyseed oil â€¢ Pumpkin seed oil â€¢ Rapeseed oil â€¢ Rice bran oil â€¢ Safflower oil â€¢ Sesame oil â€¢ Soybean oil â€¢ Sunflower oil â€¢ Tea seed oil â€¢ Walnut oil â€¢ Watermelon seed oil â€¢ Whale oil See also: List of vegetable oils â€¢ Cooking oil â€¢ Essential oil