A lot has been said about different types of oils; among which cold pressed oils have been the most talked about. Recently, many experts have pronounced cold pressed oils as healthy alternative to cooking oils. They are known to be cholesterol free, are unrefined or unprocessed, do not contain harmful solvent residues and contain natural antioxidants that are beneficial for the body. But have you ever wondered how cold pressed oils are made?
The oils that you use for cooking everything are extracted from seeds, fruits or vegetables and even nuts. Cold pressing is the method of oil extraction from oilseeds which may include sesame seed, flaxseeds, mustard, coconut or groundnuts without really using heat to extract as that may degrade the oil’s flavour and nutritional quality. Cold pressing method is the process involving crushing seeds or nuts and forcing out the oil through pressure (Wooden Ghani).
Cold Pressing is a mechanical process in which the oil is extracted and separated from the seeds or nuts without chemical intervention and without the addition of any substances, at a temperature that does not exceed 35°C.
Are cold-pressed oils healthy?
A study conducted at London’s Imperial College School of Medicine in 2004 concluded that cold pressed oils have a greater amount of nutritional value, higher Omega 3 (anti – inflammatory) fatty acids, and more antioxidants.Most cold pressed oils are rich in vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. They are also rich sources of oleic acid that help boost your immune system. All these oils when cooked on low heat are excellent oils; however, they lose all the nutrients once exposed to too much heat
Should you be cooking with cold pressed oils?
Olive, sesame, sunflower, canola and coconut oil can all be used for cooking, however these cold pressed oils shouldn’t be used in a huge quantity or shouldn’t be exposed to a lot of heat. While it is generally recommended to cook with cold pressed oils as they not only give a rich flavour to the food but are also healthy; however, cooking with these oils may be slightly tricky. These kinds of oils don’t really mix well with heat, which is the sole reason why they are not extracted through heating techniques. These oils have a lot of unsaturated fats which tend to degrade when exposed to heat. Oils like sesame oil and olive work best when sprinkled over the cooked food.
If you plan to switch to cold pressed oils, make sure you are not heating them too much, use them on top of salads, breads and cooked meats for a combination of flavour and health
|Cold Pressed Oils||Refined Oils|
|Extracted at Low Temperatures||Extracted at very High Temperatures|
|Retains flavour and aroma of seeds used||No flavour or aroma|
|Has Vitmains, Minerals and nutrients of seeds intact||No nutrients retained from seeds|
|Anti Inflammatory, has ideal omega 3 to omega 6 to omega 9 fatty acid ratio||Pro inflammatory, has skewed omega 3 to omega 6 ratio|
|Amount of Oil extracted is lesser than from refining process||Amount of Oil extracted is greater than cold pressing|
|Shelf Life is low as no preservatives are used||Shelf life is much longer as high number of chemical preservatives are used|
|Seeds used for extraction are of the best quality||Seeds used for extraction are of a mixed quality, may even be low grade|
|Price is comparatively higher as less amount of oil is extracted||Price is much cheaper because of more oil extracted and longer shelf life|