Master plant: Carthamus tinctorius L.
Asteraceae (Aster family)
Safflower oil (sometimes also named thistle oil) is a valuable edible oil, obtained by cold processing or extraction of safflower seeds. Out of 100 kg (220 lbs.) seeds only 25 kg (55 lbs.) of oil are derived. Safflower is a cultivated plant which is still occasionally grown in the Mediterranean region, but mostly in Asia and North America.
Characteristics and subtances:
Safflower oil is particularly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid (approx. 78%). It has the highest content of linoleic acid among plants and therefore is an excellent dietary edible oil.
It has a slight nutty flavour, similar to sunflower seed oil.
Primarily it is used with cold dishes like salads or as ingredients in diet-margarine or mayonnaise.
Furthermore safflower oil finds use in the production of colours.