One analysis of the triglyceride composition of pine nut oil showed the following composition:
Fatty acid Percentage
Linoleic acid 49.0% ± 2.3
Oleic acid 23.8% ± 2.1
Pinolenic acid 17.1% ± 2.0
Palmitic acid 6.3% ± 2.2
Stearic acid 2.5% ± 0.1
Pine nut oil has drawn recent attention for its medicinal properties.
According to a study by Lipid Nutrition, the pinolenic acid contained in pine nut oil can help curb appetite by stimulating the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that functions as an appetite suppressant. The study showed that pine nut oil "boosts appetite suppressors up to 60% for four hours." This property had already been understood in Siberia, where a handful of pine nuts or a tablespoon of pine nut oil has traditionally been taken with (or instead of) a meal when food is scarce to give a feeling of satiation.
Interest in the properties of pinolenic acid have led some researchers to explore methods of increasing the amount of this fatty acid in pine nut oil. Subsequent research showed that, in addition to suppressing appetite, pine nut oil also can reduce LDLs, yielding further health benefits.
Pine nut oil also contains a high concentration of free radical scavengers, which help reduce oxidative damage that can lead to peptic ulcers or gastritis, according to clinical studies in Russia and China. As a result of such studies, pine nut oil is now considered a remedy for these conditions in both countries.
Pine nut oil has a relatively low smoke point, and is therefore not generally used during cooking. Rather, it is added to foods for "finishing", to add flavor.
In Russia before the revolution of 1917, it was used for cooking during Great Lent when the eating of animal fats was forbidden. At that time, ten percent of all hard currency in Russia was based on the trade of pine oil. Most of the trade was with France, which traditionally uses nut oil in cooking.
Pine nut oil is also reportedly an excellent bread preservative when a small amount is added to the dough.
Pine nut oil, also called pine seed oil or cedar nut oil, is a pressed vegetable oil, extracted from the edible seeds of several species of pine.