Cold pressed oil vs refined oil

Cold Pressed Oil vs Refined oil / Regular oil / Vegetable oil

Often we come across the term cold pressed or wood pressed cooking oils and wonder what is it and how cold pressed oils are different or beneficial than our regular refined oils available in Dmart, etc super markets.

Have you ever wondered about the quality vs price of regular refined oil or vegetable oils? I mean the likes of so called sunflower, groundnut, mustard, cotton seed or soybean oils which are available around Rs. 100 to 200 per litre range.

We will look at the method of extraction and respective quality of these oil types in this article.

How Cold pressed oils are made?

These oils are traditionally extracted on a wooden churner or stone churner with pressing top part made of wood. These machines comes in different sizes from 18kg to 50kg processing capacity in one batch of seeds for extraction.

Seeds are churned with low RPM of 18-20 for about 45 to 60 mins for a typical 18-20kg load size. 

Wood Pressed oil do not go beyond 45-50 degrees temperature in the wooden churner. Thus it retains 100% of its natural properties of MUFA and PUFA. These are real cold pressed oils which are authentic and healthy for our use. 

Even the balance oil cake residue is always rich with oil content. This is because the wood press machine don’t generate heat and the pressure is also limited while churning. The oils thus pressed is pure, natural and full of its original nutrition components intact.

It carries the original nutty aroma and taste. Good wood pressed oils manufacturer don’t even use any mechanical filtering and let the extracted oil sit as is for 24 – 48 hrs for natural stabilization and clarification. This naturally clarified oil is packed for storage. No chemical agents are added at any stage in this process, not even for foaming reduction, no preservatives and no artificially added vitamins.

Screw Expeller pressed oils - why you should be careful

Steel screw expeller machine uses a heat chamber to heat the expeller beyond 150 degrees so that the seeds are roasted inside while getting crushed thus maximizing the oil output. Although these machines are called as cold pressed machines, the oils thus extracted are not pure cold pressed.

Since the heat is applied while extracting, the oil’s temperature gets increased beyond 60 degree Celsius and sometimes even beyond 120 degrees. Such heated oil breaks down its mono unsaturated fatty acids converting them into saturated fatty acids. It means the oils composition and quality gets degraded.

The resulting taste and aroma gets compromised and the oils tends to get rancid very quickly. This oil is not considered good for health and we must not pay high price for such oils in the name of cold pressed false branding and advertising. This is clearly evident when we smell and taste the oil – you will not get the sweet delicate nutty aroma of groundnuts and sesame, it won’t taste balanced and light sweet.

Similarly in case of mustard oil, the expeller cold pressed mustard oil (typically called as Kachi Ghani or kacchi ghaani) is generally bland to taste and its signature pungent aroma is absent. To substitute for the aroma, artificial chemicals are added to replicate the smell of wood pressed pungent mustards. However, this smell also gives away its artificialness and can be quickly identified if you had known the original crushed mustard aroma.

Refined Oil / Vegetable Oil - Why we must definitely avoid 

The regular branded refined oil which we buy from our local Kirana shops, grocery stores or other daily needs super stores, is basically a vegetable oil, mostly palm oil which is used as base oil to make a refined i.e. chemically processed version of edible oil by mixing with various seeds oils such as sunflower or peanut or mustard oils.

Refined oils are vegetable, nut, or seed oils which have been highly processed and are extracted using high-heat and/or toxic chemical solvents and goes through a deodorizing and bleaching process. This type of processing denatures the oils, creating trans-fatty substances. It also removes their natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, causing these oils to go rancid very quickly.

Now you decide, if you want a bleached oil in your food or an authentic wood pressed cooking oil!

Why Wood Cold Pressed Cooking Oils are expensive?

I will explain about the high pricing of authentic wood pressed cooking oils in my next blog post. Stay tuned...!

Cold pressed oil vs refined oil