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Cold pressed oils attracting more consumers than before
Friday, 16 September, 2022, 15 : 00 PM [IST]
Sushil Khaitan
With the growing inclination towards a healthy lifestyle, cold-pressed oils are now attracting more consumers than ever. While there is a huge gap between regular oil consumers and cold-pressed oil users, the latter is gradually making its own space.

Oil Production
Most commercial oil extraction from seeds is done by using chemical solvents. In India, the commonly used technique of oil extraction is the Ghani method. In this process—Ghani (a powered mortar and pestle) is used to extract oil from the seeds. The oils extracted by using this method are exposed to high heat in the production stage itself, thus reducing the taste, aroma, and nutritional content of the oil.

Cold-pressing method
Oils using the cold pressed technique are produced in a controlled heat environment. Generally, no chemicals are used while doing so. The process starts by grounding vegetables, seeds, or herbs into a paste. As the paste stirs slowly, oil separates from the pulp and oozes out. Post the separation process, mechanical pressure is applied to force the oil.

It is a physical process where the grinding temperature is kept below 120-degree Celsius. The process helps keep heat away and ensures the oil glands in the biomass are crushed to release the juice. The production system maintains the heat at around 27° C to 49°C. Cold-pressing is one of the oldest methods and is practiced to date to extract essential or edible oils.

There are various ways of obtaining oil from juices. An oil manufacturer can opt for the centrifugal process, or they can go 100% natural by using the fermentation process.

The centrifugal force rotates the juice in a dialysis system. The rotor in the centrifuge system spins at high speeds of up to 7,000 rpm. The rotation separates other components from the oil. But the rotational force increases the heat intensity, thereby vanishing some vital nutrients from the oil.
Although some heat is generated in this process, it is still ahead of the ‘ghani’ method described earlier to retain nutrients in the oil.

With the changing trends in the industry, the 100% natural fermentation process has now gained popularity. In this procedure, the juices do not go through a heating process. The juice obtained after grinding is left in containers to segregate oil and other components naturally. The natural fermentation process locks in the vital nutrients of the oil, giving maximum benefits.

Be it cold-pressed coconut oil, olive oil, or any other oil, all of them are sourced from their natural seeds and fruits. With more natural ingredients, the oil offers higher nutrient value.

Regular oil VS Cold-Pressed oil
Regular edible oils are nowhere close to cold-pressed oils, considering how they are sourced and processed. Traditional edible oils are hydrogenated and treated with toxic chemicals to extend their shelf life and boost their output potential. On the other hand, cold-pressed oils have a shorter shelf life and a lesser yield because they are unfiltered and barely treated. Because of this, conventional or hot-pressed oils are generally more affordable than cold-pressed oils.

The vital nutrients associated with cold-pressed oils
Essential fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, antioxidants, and other beneficial fats are abundant in cold-pressed oils because they retain the active components of their contents and keep them in their original state. In light of this, it is highly recommended that everyone, especially those with chronic illnesses, consume cold-pressed oils. The nutritional components in processed nuts or seeds get destroyed by excessive heat.

The efficacy of nutrients is reduced by further processing hot-pressed oils with chemicals like hexane, acetic acid, and bleaching soda. Meanwhile, refined oils in a regular diet can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, whereas consuming cold-pressed oils can protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and harmful cholesterol.

Different cooking methods
Billions use traditional edible oils for cooking, stir-frying, deep frying, and more. On the other hand, cold-pressed oils have their restrictions. Cold-pressed oils have a low smoking point, so they are ideal for preparing food at low to medium heat. Cold-pressed oils are best suitable for dressing, seasoning, and stir-frying.

Without taking anything away from regular oils, the cold-pressed ones are equally beneficial for topical applications. Antioxidants and micronutrients present in cold-pressed oils are in their purest form, which helps keep the skin in the best condition.

Physiology of Cold-Pressed oils
While cooking is the most common application for oil, cold-pressed oils have applications in skin and hair care.

The nourishing properties of Cold-Pressed Oils promote hair growth and youthful skin. These oils work out even better for sensitive skin that requires constant care.

The multiple benefits are probably the reason why more and more brands are launching these cold-pressed oils proudly. Cold-pressed oils provide excellent overall wellness benefits. You can experience the benefits through topical application or add oils to your regular meals.

Beauty Benefits of Cold-Pressed Oils
  • Antioxidants included in cold-pressed oils help minimize oxidative stress on the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Cold-Pressed oils are the purest oil available in the market. Due to the powerful vitamins and nutrients, they enhance hair health and ensure you never have to face issues like hair fall and dandruff.
  • Vitamins A and E are abundant in cold-pressed oils, which help nourish and moisturize your skin.
  • Fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acid are abundant in cold-pressed oils and are extremely helpful in curing acne.
  • Myrrh and lavender are two cold-pressed oils that can heal wounds and minor cuts.
  • Because cold-pressed oils contain anti-inflammatory properties, they can soothe and relax inflamed or irritated skin.
  • Some of these oils work wonders to soothe burnt skin.
  • Cold-pressed jojoba and coconut oil have SPF ranging from 4 to 5 that act as natural sunscreens.
  • Using cold-pressed oils for massaging helps improve skin radiance, tighten facial muscles, and boost blood circulation.
(The author is founder at Pure Nutrition)
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