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Economic importance

 

Safflower has been grown in India since ancient times not only for its orange red dye extracted from its florets but also for its seed oil. the dye was largely used for colouring purposes in food and textile industry. With the introduction and availability of cheaper synthetic dyes, use of safflower as a source of dye slowly diminished during twentieth century. The crop is now grown for its premium oil.

Safflower produces oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which play important role in reducing blood cholesterol leval and is considered as a healthy cooking medium.

Safflower oil is also used in infant foods and liquid nutrition formulations.

Safflower plant also makes an acceptable livestock forage in times of scarcity, if cut at or just after bloom stage. It can also be used after converting into silage.

Safflower seed as a bird food ingredient has also gained growing acceptance in recent years.

Decorticated safflower seed meal has the potential to be utilized as human food if the bitter principles and phenolics are removed.

Hulls can be used in the manufacture of cellulose, insulations, abrasins, hard boards and as fuel.

Safflower leaves are rich in carotene, riboflavin and vitamin C and hence young seedlings, thinnings, prunings are used as green vegetable and as pot herb.

 

 

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