Our oils – English

Application of our oils

The oils produced in our oil mills have numerous applications. Most of our oil mills produce linseed oil because this has always been a widely used and popular type of oil. In addition, linseed is easy to obtain and in different qualities. From linseed for oil that can be used to refine wood, but also certified linseed for producing linseed oil that is suitable for consumption. The latter is often grown in countries such as Ukraine and Kazakhstan. These countries are, as it were, the breadbasket of Europe for many of these types of products.

Linseed oil

Oliemolens.nl - Lijnzaadolie

Linseed oil, or simply linseed oil, is oil from the seeds of oil flax. Oil flax belongs to the same species as fiber flax, but differs from fiber flax in that the plants of oil flax are short and highly branched and those of fiber flax are long and poorly branched. The seeds of oil flax contain approximately 40% oil.

Linseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of oil flax. The remainder of the flax seeds are used as flax cakes for animal feed. A high seed yield is therefore important when growing flax for oil production.

Linseed oil must be stored in dark bottles, because the oil deteriorates in quality under the influence of (sun)light.


Until about 1930, linseed oil was extracted from flax seed in oil mills and with oil wringers and hand mills. There are several mills where oil is still minted. In the North and East of the Netherlands these are De Passiebloem in Zwolle, the Woldzigt in Roderwolde, De Wachter in Zuidlaren, the Oostendorper watermill in Haaksbergen, Pelmolen Ter Horst in Rijssen, Noordmolen in Ambt Delden and the Korenmolen in Eerbeek. De Bonte Hen, Het Pink and Dezoeker still produce oil in the Zaan region. In the South of the Netherlands, the Kilsdonkse Mill in Dinther, the Holten’s Mill in Deurne, the Collse Watermolen in Eindhoven and the Leumolen in Nunhem do this. In Belgium, linseed oil is also minted in the Laermolen, an undershot water mill, in Hoogstraten.

Human consumption

Linseed oil is not suitable for frying, as alpha-linolenic acid is highly unsaturated and therefore very sensitive to oxidation. Cold-pressed linseed oil (unheated) is used as a source of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, due to the high alpha-linolenic acid content. The content of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in linseed oil is the highest of all vegetable oils. Flax seed has been developed in which the alpha-linolenic acid content has been reduced through genetic technology.

Linseed oil from a natural oil flax variety has the following composition:

Linolenic acid >50%
Linoleic acid 10-20%
Oleic acid 10-20%
Stearic acid <10%
Palmitic acid about 5%
Eicosenoic acid <1%
Erucic acid <1%

Oliemolens.nl- Vlasbloem

Industrial use

The product is marketed as raw linseed oil, cooked linseed oil (stand oil) or as flax oil (flax oil). Linseed oil is the most important component of linoleum. It is also used for making soap and synthetic resin. It is also used in bread.

Linseed oil is used to provide cast iron and steel pans with a protective layer, so that they are suitable for use in the kitchen. This is called burning a pan or baking tin.

Linseed oil is one of the earliest oils used for further processing in Europe. It is a component of various types of paint, including traditionally oil paint. It can also be used as a base for varnish lacquer. In addition, linseed oil is used for the preservation of unpainted wood and fishing nets. These uses are based on hardening (polymerizing) the oil. There are two types of flaxseed oil: raw and cooked. Raw linseed oil hardens less quickly than the cooked variety. “Cooked” linseed oil is usually not elevated in temperature but has metal salts (particularly cobalt) that catalyze polymerization.

The garden bench as shown below is more than 20 years old and is exposed to wind all year round. By spraying it clean every spring, letting it dry and soaking it once in linseed oil, it is still almost like new after all these years.

Oliemolens.nl - Lijnzaadolie - Tuinbank

Cloths contaminated with linseed oil can be a fire hazard due to polymerization. If rags or paper towels containing linseed oil are placed on a pile, an exothermic chemical reaction may occur, resulting in heat development. This is called ‘heating’ and can lead to fire. It is therefore recommended to hang rags and cloths containing linseed oil flat to allow the rags to dry.

Linseed oil is also found in cleaning products, including in liquid floor soap (mousse de lin).

Rapeseed oil

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In April and May, the farm fields where rapeseed is grown turn a beautiful yellow. After the flowering period in April and May, the plant forms seeds, which are harvested in June and July. Rapeseed oil is pressed from the seed of the plant. Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and rapeseed (Brassica rapa) have been grown for centuries for oil. Both species are grown on a large scale. You also often find them wild (for example on the roadside). The plant does not demand much from the soil.

Oilseed rape or rapeseed?

The differences between rapeseed plants and rapeseed plants are very small. Although they are two different varieties, in practice the two names are used interchangeably. Rapeseed is an agricultural crop while rapeseed is originally a native wild plant. The plants are very similar and fall under the same definition in the Codex Alimentarius (the WHO/FAO guidelines for nutrition and food products).


Rapeseed originates from the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, where the oil was used for consumption and as lamp oil. In India, rapeseed appeared around 2000 BC. already before. The Romans knew the plant. The plant has been found in Central Europe since the fourteenth century. From the seventeenth century onwards, a larger area of rapeseed has been cultivated and rapeseed has been the most important oil crop in the Netherlands and Northern Germany. The Groninger national anthem (1919) mentions rapeseed as the golden edge for the jewel that is the city of Groningen. In the beginning, the oil was mainly used in oil lamps. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, the oil was also increasingly used for food purposes. However, the oil tasted bitter due to its high content of erucic acid, which limited its use mainly to lamp oil, lubricant in steam engines and for the production of soap. The high erucic acid content also made rapeseed unsuitable as animal feed. During both world wars, cultivation in Germany was greatly expanded, especially for the production of margarine. Rapeseed is also used in the 21st century for the production of biofuel.

In the mid-1970s, the single-zero varieties and a decade later the double-zero varieties came onto the market. The double-zero varieties made the oil suitable for consumption and the residual product, the oil cakes, for animal feed. This caused cultivation to expand in Europe. In 1976, the first low-erucic acid variety, Primor, was placed on the Dutch Descriptive Variety List for Agricultural Crops. This breed was previously included in the French breed list in 1973. In 1982, almost only the low-erucic acid variety, Jet Neuf, which was added to the variety list in 1979, was grown in the Netherlands on 11,000 hectares. In 1989, 6,300 hectares of rapeseed were grown in the Netherlands. In 1989, the first erucic acid and glucosinolate-poor variety, Arabella, was placed on the Dutch Descriptive Variety List for Agricultural Crops. In Germany, this breed was added to the breed list in 1986.

Human consumption

Canola oil is generally yellowish in color with a neutral taste. Cold-pressed rapeseed oil has more color and a more pronounced, slightly nutty flavor. Rapeseed oil is often used in cooking, especially in Germany. In the food industry, the oil is used as an ingredient in, for example, margarines and cookies. The oil is often mixed with other vegetable oils, such as soy oil, to make salad oil.

Rapeseed oil has a high content of monounsaturated fats and contains relatively high levels of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. In addition, it contains less saturated fat than other commonly used oils, and contains about a quarter of the recommended amount of vitamin E per tablespoon of oil.

Hemp seed oil

Oliemolens.nl - Hennepolie

The hemp seed is edible and nutritious for people and animals. It is used unprocessed as birdseed under the name hempseed. Fishermen use the seed as bait. Hemp seed oil can be pressed from the seed.


The history of hemp seed oil begins in ancient times. Hemp, which comes from the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa), was cultivated in various parts of the world more than 10,000 years ago. The oldest known remains of hemp seeds date from China and are dated to around 6000 BC. Chinese civilizations used hemp not only for the fibers to make clothing and rope, but also for the seeds.

Hemp seed oil has been widely used in Asia and the Middle East since ancient times. It was consumed as food and medicine. Hemp seed oil has been praised for its nutritional value and considered a valuable source of essential fatty acids, proteins and vitamins.

During the Middle Ages, the use of hemp seed oil spread to Europe, where it was used in culinary preparations and as lamp oil. In North America, hemp quickly became an important crop for settlers and was used to make textiles, paper, and rope. The oil pressed from hemp seeds found its way into households as a valuable source of nutrition.

Human consumption

In the kitchen, hemp seed oil is used in the preparation of cold dishes. It is not suitable for use on high heat. Hemp seed oil contains 20% alpha-linolenic acid and 60% linoleic acid. These are essential fatty acids (fatty acids that are necessary because the body cannot produce them itself). In addition, they have an effect on cholesterol levels.

Hemp flour is used in the preparation of dough products because it is gluten-free, which is important for people who are allergic to gluten.

In Germany, hemp extracts are processed into beer; in some other countries to non-alcoholic drinks or syrup. Hemp flavoring can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from hops, another plant from the same family that is much more commonly found in beer.

Hemp seed, peeled or not, is considered by some as a ‘superfood’ and eaten because of the good fatty acid balance, high-quality protein and fiber. In addition, the seed is used, among other things, to produce cheese and milk substitutes.

Walnut oil

Oliemolens.nl - Walnootolie

Walnut oil is pressed from walnuts, fruits of the walnut tree (Juglans regia). The tree originates from Central Asia, but its growing area now extends from China to Turkey. They do well in countries with a temperate climate, with mild summers and relatively cold to mild winters. Although many consider it a nut, in botany the walnut is considered a drupe.


The tree’s native habitat is Central Asia, extending from Xinjiang China to eastern Turkey. The further spread westwards took place in two steps. The first of these two steps took place in the fourth century BC during and after the Macedonian conquests under Alexander the Great. The second step happened under the Romans, who spread the tree further in the Mediterranean and Western Europe.

Human consumption

Walnut oil has a pale to light yellow color and an intense, nutty or woody flavor. The oil has a smoke point of 204°C, and can become slightly bitter when heated. It is therefore especially suitable as a seasoning in cold dishes such as salads, or for finishing hot dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, smoked fish and meat.

Walnut oil is rich in the essential fats linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). The intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the Netherlands is on average 0.7 energy percent lower than the recommended 1.0 energy percent for both men and women. A few walnuts a day can help meet the recommended amounts. Walnuts are one of fourteen known allergens. There is a European obligation to mention its use in foodstuffs.

Beechnut oil

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Beechnut Oil is pressed from beechnuts, fruits of the beech tree. After 1920, higher authorities prohibited the pressing of beech oil. Beechnuts contain too much hydrocyanic acid and that is poisonous. Despite this, beechnuts and the oil derived from them are only available to a limited extent for human consumption.


Charcoal remains of beech wood have been found from the New Stone Age onwards and this is direct evidence for the use of this tree. The wood is easy to work with, soak, paint, varnish and glue. Beech wood is a good wood to use for floors, furniture and toys. It is sensitive to discoloration and attack by woodworms. A positive feature is that the wood does not splinter. Beech wood is suitable for smoking fish and meat. Today it is used in smoke flavoring. Since the 18th century, it has been a status symbol to have a red beech in the garden. As a rich farmer or resident of a villa or estate, you had to own such a tree. Paper pulp can also be made from the wood. Beech wood is one of the best types of firewood. The word book comes from booke and the explanation would be that the runic script was written on beech wood panels.

Human consumption

Water can be flavored with young leaves by steeping them overnight. Liqueurs can be flavored by letting these leaves steep for two weeks. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salad or cooked. In the past, dried leaves were mixed with tobacco. The young leaves are freshly sour (taste similar to sorrel) and can be picked in April and May. The leaves promote digestion.

The beechnuts (the fruits) can be collected in September, but raw the nuts are unhealthy (poisonous) in large quantities due to trimethylamine (fagine) and alkaloids. Eating raw beechnuts can cause intolerances, such as headaches and stomach aches. These nuts are an important food source for birds and rodents and in the past also for humans. The nuts can be eaten roasted, dried for some time, soaked in water or boiled (the poison evaporates). The nuts are delicious as an addition to salads, in schnapps, roasted as a coffee substitute or cooked with vegetables. You can also extract beechnut oil from the nuts. In England, beechnut oil was made well into the 19th century for both culinary applications and lamp oil use. The nuts were soaked in water in England (to release the poison) and then dried to make flour. The nuts taste like almonds.

The soft cambium can be used. This inner bark can be cut into strips and prepared as paste. Fresh wood chips can flavor vinegar or be used as raw material for smoking.

Germinated seeds or sprouts can be preserved as an antipasto or finely chopped and salted as a raw ingredient in salad. The sprouts taste similar to cabbage, but are dry and difficult to chew.