When it comes to restocking your pantry, specifically your oil selection, what are you looking for in an oil? You may consider the taste, the quality, and the ingredients, but what about the processing method? The means of processing ingredients is an important element to consider, especially when it comes to ingredients you are putting in your body and applying to your skin. That is what makes cold pressed oil so special and a major upgrade from "Supermarket Oils."
What are cold pressed oils?
The “cold pressed” part of cold pressed oil refers to how the oil’s ingredients are processed. Strictly defined it means oil is pressed under 122° Fahrenheit (50°C).
Cold pressed oil is unrefined or unprocessed, cholesterol free (some even have high levels of beta-sitosterol, lowering your cholesterol), and rich in natural antioxidants that promote bodily health (food.ndtv.com). It is certainly trending these days, but how much do you really know about its made and what makes it different? Let’s find out.
How are cold pressed oils made?
There are 3 ways of pressing oil:
- Stamp-pressing with a hydraulic stamp press (picture below, Ulli’s Oil Mill) in batches; oil runs out at body temperature;
- Expeller pressing this method always generates frictional heat by the seeds being pushed through the screw. While often referred to as cold-pressed, it is hardly ever under 122 F. A continuous process running often 24/7 all year round.
- Chemically extraction with solvents In this method, usually hexane is poured over the oilseed, then evaporated, refined, bleached and deodorized and filtered. This is your typical supermarket oil.
Stamp pressing is the only way to truly achieve cold-pressed oils. See graphic below:
The machine presses seeds very gently and slowly so no frictional heat is generated as opposed to expeller pressing.
Nutritious foods made up of essential fats, nutrients, and minerals are necessary to be truly healthy. The natural balance of these nutrients is offered in natural stamp pressed oils, like those of Ulli's Oil Mill, in which the oil flows from the oilpress at body temperature.
It is a very labor intensive process to press one batch of oilseeds after the other. Ulli’s Oil Mill presses in small batches of 11 pounds extracting only up to 33 ounces of oil depending on the seed (oil content varies by seed). The leftover presscake is then stone-milled into protein powders that is very nutrient-rich. The cost of oil production is much more pricey due to the gentle, labor intensive process.
Chemical extraction using hexane can be damaging to the quality and nutritional value of the oil because they decrease the active components, which include the vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids that natural oils are typically known for (source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695170/
Are cold pressed oils healthy?
Delicious and healthy: yes, it exists! Actually, it is what Ulli’s Oil Mill stands for.
Specialty oils retain their distinctive aroma and taste because they are produced by gentle processing (gentle extraction or cold pressing) and they are not furtherly processed by conventional refining, bleaching, and deodorizing, which are routinely used to remove off-flavors and impurities as well as extend the shelf life of vegetable oils
Most people refer to expeller pressing when they speak of cold pressing. Although not truly cold-pressed (only stamp-pressed oils are truly cold-pressed) as there is always frictional heat generated - these oils are much healthier than the chemically solvent extracted, deodorized, bleached and filtered standard supermarket oils.
As of recent, experts have declared cold pressed oils a healthier alternative to standard cooking oils (food.ndtv.com). The component of being able to maintain the ingredient's vitamin and mineral content within the oil is key. Cold pressed oils contain more unsaturated fatty acids and more natural healthy antioxidants like tocopherols and phenolic compounds than other refined oils (ncbi.nlm). Some of these specific antioxidants include Vitamin E, which is chock-full of healing properties, and oleic acid, which can help boost your immune system. Oleic acid also implies better oxidative stability and thus longer shelf life and the capability to refrain from fillers and synthetic preservatives that might otherwise be used to lengthen the shelf life of the product (thezoereport.com). The absence of these harmless fillers and preservatives makes cold pressed oils great for both your body and your skincare routine.
What are the skincare benefits of cold pressed oils?
The valuable qualities of cold pressed oils are not only optimal for edible purposes but are also great for cosmetics and skincare. One study found increased antioxidant capacity in cold pressed oil like Vitamin A, C, and E that equate to more protection and preservation of your skin (thezoereport.com). Due to cold pressed oils’ unique ability to retain ample nutrients, more and more beauty brands are beginning to invest in cold pressing methods for numerous perks. You can also apply some types of cold pressed oils straight onto your skin (depending on the type of oil) as you might with other oils to experience these same benefits.
What are the different kinds of cold pressed oils?
There are hundreds of different kinds of cold pressed oil, including cold pressed olive oil, macadamia oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, sesame seed oil, safflower oil, hemp seed oil, flaxseed oil, poppy seed oil, rapeseed oil, and more. Now that’s a lot of cold pressing. Ulli’s favorites? Cold pressed pumpkin seed oil, camelina oil, hemp oil and sunflower-chili oil. All organic, cold pressed, and delicious. Find your own favorites and enjoy all the benefits!