Grape seed oil (also called grapeseed oil or grape oil) is a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of various varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes, an abundant by-product of winemaking. Grape seed oil is used for: salad dressings, marinades, deep frying, flavored oils, baking, massage oil, sunburn repair lotion, hair products, body hygiene creams, lip balm and hand creams. Most grape seed oil is produced in Italy, with other producing nations including France, Spain, and Argentina. Although known to Europeans for centuries, grape seed oil was not produced or used on a large scale until the 20th century, largely because grape seeds contain a lower percentage of oil as compared to other oil-producing seeds, nuts, or beans.
The metabolic energy density of grape seed oil is comparable to that of other oils: about 120 kcal per tablespoon (34 kJ/ml). However, because less oil is needed for cooking, it can be used within a low-fat diet especially when combined with good frying techniques (such as using enough oil, not overcrowding the pan, and having the oil at the correct temperature) which reduces the amount of absorbed oil.
In a study presented in 1993 at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session, Nash and colleagues showed that up to 45 g (1.5 ounces) of grape seed oil per day raised HDL-C levels by 13% and reduced LDL levels by 7% in three weeks. The total cholesterol/HDL ratio fell 15.6%, and the total LDL/HDL ratio fell 15.3%.
The following table lists the average fatty acid composition of grape seed oil:
|Acid||Type||Average Percentage Range|
|Linoleic acid||ω−6 unsaturated||69||to||78%|
|Oleic acid||ω−9 unsaturated||15||to||20%|
| Palmitic acid|
| Stearic acid|
|α-Linolenic Acid||ω−3 unsaturated||0.3||to||1%|
| Palmitoleic acid|
Grape seed oil also contains 0.8 to 1.5% unsaponifiables rich in phenols (tocopherols) and steroids (campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol). Grapeseed oil also contains small amounts of Vitamin E.