A couple of years ago, while on 'another' diet I found this product advertised in the Weight Watcher magazine. It immediately attracted my interest as it is cholesterol free and my Dad had recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol and was put on medication. My family and I use this often, and so does my Mum and Dad, and his Cholesterol is much improved - a combination of this oil and medication.
The bottle had changed recently. It used to be the expensive looking bottle above (although it is quite cheap in price in comparison to other oils). The bottle is still 500ml size and is the same shape, but the bottle now is of dark green glass. Please don't go looking for a green bottle though, as with the colour of it's orange contents, it now looks brown.
The label is cream and the the lettering is now in lime green. I must say I preferred the original version much better. I think they have changed this to a green bottle and green lettering to fit in with its 'green' thinking.
Carotino is environmentally sourced from sustainable plantations. It is also GM free, which is good to know.
This product costs £1.97 from Asda, but it may be available elsewhere, I just haven't looked anywhere else for it. As I say it is a large 500ml size. It goes a long way as its rich consistency means you can use a third less than other oils.
As you use less, it makes for a healthier product. It is also 100% natural. It comes from canola (rapeseed) and red palm oils. It is rich is alpha and beta carotenes (Pro-vitamin A) which gives it it's colour and its name - CAROTino. These are essential for maintaining good health and a strong immune system.
It also contains Vitamin E and Omega 3 and 6, which provides an optimum blend of ingredients which make this oil, a healthier alternative to other cooking oils and even olive oil. Carotino also has a high smoke point which means it doesn't scorch at normal cooking temperatures and retains more of it's natural nutrients when heated.
This can be used for frying, but I wouldn't suggest you fry a egg with it, unless you are quite partial to orange eggs. It's not a problem in our house as we are used to it, but it may be a little off putting to guests.
You can also roast with it - no discernable differences to any other oil but gives your roast potatoes a lovely appearance. Crunchy outers and lovely fluffy centres every time! This may also be used for baking, sauces and salad dressings. Remember though, that this is orange in colour, it may taste nice but I haven't had the courage to try it in a salad dressing.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
Energy 812 kCal
Total Fat 92.0 g
Monosaturates 52.5 g
Polunsaturates 25.3 g
Saturates 14.3 g
Omega 3 Fatty Acids 6.6 g
Omaga 6 Fatty Acids 20.0 g
Natural Carotenes 11.7mg
Alpha Carotene Vit A equivalent 5.3mg
Beta Carotene Vit A equivalent 4.1mg
Other Carotene 2.3mg
Natural Vitamin E 13.3mg
Attached to the bottle is a handy booklet with three simple recipe ideas to try using this Carotino Oil - Mediterranean style seafood, Chicken and Mango salad, and finally Chocolate and banana Financiers - mmmm, sounds yummy!
You can also find further information at: http://www.carotino.co.uk/uk/index.htm. Having just had a look at the website, you are able to apply for a free recipe book and download money off vouchers. Very handy!
I love this oil and wouldn't use anything else!!!
I first became aware of Carotino Oil when I was at university, I had seen this bright orange bottle in the local Supermarket and I was on a bit of a health kick at the time, plus it was cheaper than the olive oils on the shelf, so I decided to give it a try.
A standard glass bottle is 500mls and will cost around £1.69. It is normally situated in the Oil section of supermarkets (Morrisons sell it) and you will spot it from its colour. It is bright orange and I was curious to see if it is made from carrots as the name "Carotino" to me, says "Carrots".
The bottle looks good- it is a glass bottle (this must not damage the flavour as I know olive oil is sold in plastic bottles as glass bottles are deemed to detract from the taste of the olive oil). The bottle has a black lid and black label with a hole in it so you can see the oil through the label (a little pointless as you can see the oil through the glass bottle!)
The product description is "Carotino: Red Palm and Canola Oil: Vitamin Rich, Cholesterol Free 100% Natural Oil". And it comes with a cute little booklet around its neck so you can read about its benfits.
This is an alternative to olive oil and vegetable oils. It can be used for "all" culinary uses- baking, frying, drizzling, roasting etc
Carotino oil is: Naturally high in pro-Vitamin A and natural vitamin E.
It is a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6. The bottle states it contains NO artificial colours, additives, preservatives, trans-fats or GM ingredients. It is also a good source of Lycopene and Co-Enzyme Q10.It is also cholesterol free- so would be good for anyone watching their cholesterol.
100mls = 812 calories (compared to 900 for olive oil)
Fat content: per 100mls, 92.0g (compared to 100g for olive oil)
52.5g is mono unsaturated fat (compared to 73g with olive oil)
25.3g polyunsaturated fat (compared to 8.2g with olive oil)
14.3g saturated fat (exactly the same as olive oil)
So, Carotino oil has less monounsaturates (the good ones- these are less bad for your heart than saturated fat) and more polyunsaturates (still good, but not as good as the monounsaturates apparently) than olive oil, but the saturated fat content is the same.
Interestingly, the olive oil nutritional label does not have any other ingredients- just calories, fat: saturated/ monounsaturates and poly unsaturates. It comes down to olive oil is made from olives and Carotino oil is made from red palm and canola. The main differences between Carotino Oil and Olive oil are the Carotino oil's content of Omega 3 and 6 and Vitamins A and E .
One major selling point is the vitamins and nutrients of carotino oil are NOT lost when using it to cook at normal cooking temperatures. I'm not quite sure what an abnormal cooking temperature is using a home oven.. but this is a plus point as you know you are getting your omega 3 and 6 and some vitamins even in a fry up...(well, its a start isn't it).
The Carotino Oil states is suitable for Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian and Gluten free diets. And it claims to be Ethically sources from environmentally sustainable plantations.
*So is it made from Carrots?*
Well, no it isn't- to my disappointment! . It is made from Red palm fruit and Canola oil. Apparently the orange colour comes from alpha and beta carotines that the body converts into Vitamin A.
*Uses and Performance*
I have tried this drizzled on a salad (or chicken bits) and I would rather drizzle carotino oil on a salad than olive oil. I also cook with this as you need less of it as it is quite rich and thick. The bright colour will colour your food- for example, if you fry an egg in carotino oil the egg will have a rich colour (the white will still be white, but with the orange oil tinge around it). It is really versatile and does not seem to be better for frying or roasting than it is to use cold.
Now, I'm not a professional oil taster- and I am struggling to describe how it tastes as it is an oil at the end of the day. In my opinion it does not taste nutty. It tastes a little like carrot- but that could be psychological as I did want it to be made out of carrots and it is bright orange. It would not be out of place in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It has a nice taste- it is not heavy tasting so you can drizzle it on salads or dip bread into it and not feel like you are eating something oily (odd as it is an oil).
The only things I have noticed are when it gets really cold in winter, the oil can change colour (but this happens to all oils- they change at very cold temperatures). Also, I have read high doses of Vitamin A are bad for you- but 100mls of this oil will only provide 14% of the RDA of Vitamin A so you would have to eat/ drink 800mls of this for it to be over your RDA! (but it is something you should take into account if you take multivitamins).
Overall I would heartily recommend this to anyone. I adore it as it looks different to other oils, it makes cooking more fun and I know it has some vitamins in it and as I do not eat anywhere near enough oily fish, this is probably my only intake of Omega 3 and 6. So it is a decent little step towards a "healthy lifestyle". It is versatile and it is cheaper than the extra virgin olive oils etc.
It is a great way to have a good oil on a budget and it is quirky as it looks so unusual.
Carotino is a vitamin rich, cholesterol-free blend of naturally nutrient-packed red palm fruit oil and canola oil.