Monday, March 31, 2014

Raspberry oil!

I'm a big fan of being local - shopping at local stores, using local ingredients, supporting local crafters - and I was so excited to see raspberry oil on sale at some of our suppliers! I live in the Fraser Valley, and we're known for our berries - raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and others - and it was exciting to see that a lot of this oil comes from Abbotsford, the town next to ours!

So what's the deal with this raspberry seed oil (INCI: Rubus ideaus (raspberry) seed oil)? It can be used at 1% to 10% in our products, has a saponification value of 191, and a peroxide value of 8.25 mg/kg. It contains about 2.7% palmitic acid (C16:)), 12% oleic acid (C18:1), 54% linoleic acid (C18:2), and 29% linolenic acid (C18:3). With all that linolenic acid with its three double bonds, this should be an oil with a short shelf life...but it isn't, thanks to a ton of Vitamin E in the form of various tocopherols with the equivalent of 97 mg per 100 grams of hexane extracted oil (970 ppm) and 61 mg per 100 grams in the cold pressed oil (610 ppm). When we include the tocotrienols - we find 2,133 ppm in this oil, which is freakin' amazing!

It also has about 3.5% phospholipids, which behave as anti-oxidants in the oil. It contains about 2.7% free fatty acids. It contains carotenoids at 23 mg per 100 grams (230 ppm). It contains great levels of phytosterols at 4220 ppm, which is higher than most of our carrier oils. Phytosterols, you might remember, are fantastic anti-inflammatories that can help with skin's barrier repair mechanisms, as well as increasing our skin's moisture levels. (I really encourage you to read the post on phystosterols to learn more!) It contains very litte squalene, at 84 ppm.

When it comes to the polyphenols in raspberry oil, we're talking mostly about ellagic acid and ellagitannins. A study found that using ellagic acid reduced the destruction of collagen and the inflammatory response, both of which are partially responsible for aging skin. It also shows promise in helping regenerate skin cells and helping to thicken skin. We're not saying raspberry oil will do all these great things, but it's nice to know there's a chance, eh?

It has about a six month shelf life, but it could be more thanks to the anti-oxidants found in it. 

Part of why it's growing in popularity right now is due to the fact that it might work as a sunscreen as it has some level of SPF. But as this article points out, there's no way to know how much SPF your product has and there are too many factors that go into determining the SPF of something, so you don't expect any kind of coverage from it. 

How does raspberry oil look and feel? It's a yellowy coloured oil that has a light feeling. It is slightly greasier than something like hazelnut or macadamia nut oil - I'd say it's on par with sweet almond or apricot kernel oil - and I think it goes on my skin very nicely. Not too draggy and not too greasy. It is less occlusive than something like mineral oil because it's a light oil. I think it would be very nice in just about anything you'd choose to include it in, 

I'd consider raspberry seed oil an exotic oil due to the price - at the Formulator Sample Shop it's $8.50 for 2 ounces, $7.75 for 2 ounces at Lotioncrafter, $11.67 for 1 ounce at From Nature With Love, and 7.30 pounds for 100 ml at Aromantic. I'd consider it a good substitute for something like rosehip oil or carrot tissue oil because of all the carotenoids, a good substitute for the higher linoleic acid oils like rice bran, sesame seed, or soy bean oil because of all of those lovely tocopherols, or a good substitute for a greasier feeling oil like those I just mentioned. It's a nice feeling oil on its own, so it'd be suitable for any anhydrous or water containing product. 

Join me in a few days as we do some formulating with this new oil. And join me tomorrow as we take a look at another berry oil, blueberry oil.

Summary of raspberry seed oil:
INCI: Rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil.
Suggested usage rate: 1% to 10%
Shelf life: 6 months, maybe one year
Vitamin E equivalent: 970 ppm
Carotenoids: 230 ppm
Phytosterols: 4220 ppm
HLB: 7

References for the fruit oil series:
Table 4.1, this textbook
Value-adding factors in cold pressed edible seed oils and flours
Journal of Food Lipids. Mar2009, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p33-49. 17p. 4 Charts.
Food Chemistry. Aug2011, Vol. 127 Issue 4, p1848-1855. 8p.

As a note, I was given a sample of this raspberry seed oil by the Formulator Sample Shop. The product was free, and I advised them that I would share my opinion, good or bad, on the blog. I was also given a sample of this product a few years ago by Tanna at Suds & Scents


Anonymous said...

good to have you back. :-)

Jan Hunnicutt said...

I'm excited to see what you'll be making with this oil as I have some in the cabinet =)