Hazels (Corylus Avellana) are shrubs and small trees, native to Europe and Western Asia. It is about 12′ to 15′ tall, having simple, rounded leaves with double-serrate margins. The flowersin hazel plant are produced very early in spring, before the leaves, which are monoecious with single-sex wind-pollinated catkins. The fruit is a nut, produced in clusters of one to five together, each nut held in a short leafy involucre (‘husk’) which encloses about three quarters of the nut. A form of edible oil known as ‘hazel nut oil’ is extracted from these nuts which is widely used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. Hazelnut plants are commercially cultivated in the orchards of Europe, Turkey, Iran and Caucasus.
An extensively popular nut oil ‘Hazelnut Oil’ is a superb organic essential oil extracted from hazel nuts by the process of cold or expeller pressing. Since it is one of the expensive oils, it is not easily available in the market. Turkey is one of the major exporters of hazel nut oil. Being a rich source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, oleic & linoleic acids, it contains innumerable medicinal properties.
It is also used in various cooking applications including salad dressings and baked goods. Since it contains higher concentration of saturated fats, it is not the best nut oil for deep-frying.
Often termed as a well balanced nutritional diet, hazelnut oil is rich in protein and unsaturated fats. It contains considerable amount of thiamine and Vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. It is widely used in preparing: Chocolates, Bakery products & confectionery items, Mixed nuts Cookies, Ice-creams, Salads Coffee and Home cooking