Safflower seed is a minor commercial crop today, with about 800,000 tonnes being produced each year. OSS is used mainly as cooking oil, in salad dressings, and for the production of margarine. OSS is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. It is also used in paint products in place of linseed oil, and in particular with white paint, as it does not have the yellow tint of linseed oil.
OSS has a very high percentage of linoleic acid (LA), and therefore it helps to moisturize, nourish, and restructure the skin when used in balms, creams, and lip care products. As an industrial oil, it is considered to be a drying or semidrying oil for use in manufacturing paints and other surface coatings. OSS can also be used as a diesel fuel substitute, but, like most vegetable oils, is currently too expensive for this use.
The safflower seed (SS) is well suited for organic skin care products, and has been clinically proven to be highly beneficial in lowering serum cholesterol levels. It is also used quite commonly as an alternative to sunflower seeds in birdfeeders. Today, SS — the source of OSS — is used for meal, birdseed, in the food and industrial products markets, and foots (the residue from oil processing) to manufacture soap, but it is primarily grown for its oil.
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