Cold Pressed Oil is making a come-back and with good reason. For a long time we have all been made to believe that Refined Oil is free of impurities hence making it the better option for our daily cooking endeavours. However, the truth behind the refining process has now surfaced making us all rethink our monthly Oil needs.
At the very basic level do you know how we get oil? Oils are squeezed out of oil seeds. The process by which the oils are extracted is what makes all the difference.
In the case of sesame seeds, coconut, peanuts and olives, the oil can be squeezed out of the seed/nut by crushing it – much like juicing an orange. The seeds are placed in a slow grinding machine and ground to a pulp. In the process oil is squeezed out of the seed. The pulp and oil mix is then filtered. The oil is separated, package and stored. As is obvious, this is a natural process of oil extraction which means it retains its nutritional components.
Refined oil, on the other hand is extracted from seeds/nuts that do not yield oil by mere crushing in the grinding machine. The seeds are crushed and then heated to extreme temperatures – upto 200 degree C. The pulp and oil mixture that is got in this stage is then sent through several stages of refining. At least one chemical is added at each stage to purify the oil. In the process of removing impurities and bleaching the oil, all nutritional components are also eliminated. The end product is a clear liquid that lacks any health-benefit. Worse still is the fact that before the product reaches the shelves of the store, the cooking oil is blended with palm oil to benefit the oil producer and not the customer.
Cold pressed oils are rich in antioxidants that are otherwise killed by the intense heating involved in extracting Refined Oil. They are also good sources for Vitamin E and Oleic Acid that helps boost your immune system. That being said one must remember that the nutritional value of these oil go down at high temperatures.
From a commercial standpoint Cold Pressed Oils are not the better option for the producer because larger quantities of the seeds/nuts are required to produce the same amount of oil produced in the Refining process. This means more investment by the producer. Furthermore Refined Oil can be extracted even from seeds/nuts of poor quality, however for the cold-pressed method only seeds/ nuts of superior quality can be used.
When you are shopping for oil the next time and notice a bigger price tag on a Cold Pressed Oil, remember that you will be paying a bigger price later should you continue to use Refined Oil that might be easier on your wallet but not on your health.
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