Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). As a food oil, it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, and as a cooking oil. It is also used for lubrication and in cosmetics, where it is valued for its supposed regenerative and moisturizing properties.
It is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit and not the pit itself.
It has an unusually high smoke point: 250 °C (482 °F) for unrefined oil and 271 °C (520 °F) for refined oil. The exact smoke point depends heavily on the quality of refinement and the way the oil has been handled until reaching store shelves and subsequently kitchens. Afrika Botanicals highly recommends Avocado oil.
Avocado oil functions well as a carrier oil for other flavours. It is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E and enhances the absorption of carotenoids and other nutrients.
Because the avocado is a year-round crop, some olive oil processing facilities, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, process olive oil during the olive season, and avocado oil during the rest of the year.
Avocado oil was originally, and still is, extracted for cosmetic use because of its very high skin penetration and rapid absorption. Following drying of the avocado flesh to remove as much water as possible (about 65% water in avocado flesh), avocado oil for cosmetics is traditionally extracted with solvents at elevated temperatures. After extraction, the oil for application in skincare products is usually refined, bleached, and deodorized, resulting in an odourless yellow oil. Like extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed avocado oil is unrefined, so retains the flavour and colour characteristics of the fruit flesh
Avocado oil is one of few edible oils not derived from seeds; it is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit. Extra virgin avocado oil from the ‘Hass’ cultivar has a characteristic flavour, is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and has a high smoke point (≥250 °C or 482 °F), making it a good oil for frying. ‘Hass’ cold-pressed avocado oil is a brilliant emerald green when extracted; the colour is attributed to high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids extracted into the oil. Cold-pressed ‘Hass’ avocado oil has been described as having an avocado flavour, with grassy and butter/mushroom-like flavours. Other varieties may produce oils of slightly different flavour profile as has been seen with ‘Fuerte’, which has been described as having more mushroom and less avocado flavour.
As a culinary oil, avocado oil compares well with olive oil. It has a similar monounsaturated fat profile. Avocado oil is naturally low acidic, helping to increase smoke point. An extra virgin avocado oil, characterized by a deep emerald green colour, can be safely heated to a temperature of 480 °F (249 °C). Both unrefined and refined avocado oil can safely be used to conduct almost any high heat cooking application, including baking, stir-frying, deep-frying, searing, barbecuing, roasting, and sautéing. Like all oils, the more refined, the higher the smoke point. Each 30 mL of avocado oil contains 3.6 mg of Vitamin E and 146.1 mg of beta-Sitosterol.
The following table provides information about the composition of avocado oil and how it compares with other vegetable oils.