Grape seed oil is a popular oil derived from grape seeds, and it is a byproduct of the process of making wine. It is naturally gluten free and is a great oil to use in cooking and baking. As with wine, grape seed oil is produced abundantly in France, Italy and Switzerland, and there are some producers in the United States as well.
Grape seed oil has a high smoke point of 420 degrees F, meaning that it can be heated to this point before it begins to smoke and give off harmful chemicals. Some other oils can be heated to only around 200 degrees F. Grape seed oil’s neutral taste means that it is good at carrying other flavors without overwhelming them.
The media have given a lot of attention to grape seed oil, along with other “healthy” oils, but caution should be exercised in using them. There is not a single oil that acts as a panacea for any disease, and any fat should be used in moderation and in balance with other foods, such as fresh vegetables and grains. Grape seed oil is ideal for some purposes, but it should not be mistaken for a health food.
Grape seed oil is most commonly used for cooking at high temperatures because of its high smoke point. Its mild, light taste also make it a good choice in salad dressings, rather than olive oil or another stronger-tasting oil. In baking, grape seed oil can be used as an alternative to butter; although it does not lend the same flavor, it is useful in vegan baking.
Grape seed oil is naturally gluten free, as are all oils and fats, but caution should be used in a gluten-free diet to avoid cross-contamination. Most oils are produced in their own facility, but check the label if you are particularly sensitive to make sure that it was not produced in a facility that processes wheat. Ensure that the oil in your kitchen does not come into contact with any crumbs or other gluten, if your kitchen is not completely gluten-free. Products that contain grape seed oil, including many commercial salad dressings, are not necessarily gluten-free.
Grape seed oil is a good choice for people who have celiac disease or are avoiding gluten. It is dairy free, gluten free, soy free, peanut free, and tree nut free. Because those sensitive to gluten often have other sensitivities as well, grape seed oil is a safe, neutral and healthy option.