Together with the increase of awareness concerning how important healthy nutrition is, the interest in cold-pressed oils, which are surrounded by extremely good reputation, rises. The name of such products is also mentioned when talking about refinement but not everyone knows what unrefined means. So, what differentiates the cold-pressed oil from unrefined and why both these terms mean high quality oil?
Cold-pressed oils – what does it mean?
The traditional method of attaining oil from grain is based on squeezing it in a press. Although we can find traditionally pressed oils in supermarkets, they are usually not cold-pressed. The difference between them is the temperature in which they are manufactured. During the cold-pressing process the temperature must be below 50 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, for the oils that are on the shelves in supermarkets the temperature reaches 160 degrees. Additionally, clear and golden oils that we usually use in the kitchen are purified in even 300 degrees. The aim of such a treatment is to lengthen the use-by date and to give the oil a neutral flavour. Cold-pressed oils maintain not only the taste and aroma of the original raw material but also all its healthful nutrients as well.
Cold-pressed and unrefined
The terms “cold-pressed” and “unrefined” should not be compared since they pertain to two different manufacturing processes. To begin with, the oil has to be pressed for it to be called refined or unrefined. After pressing, the oil may undergo clarification which is called refinement. Such procedure may involve:
– removal of colour or brightening of the product,
– removal of flavour and smell,
– removal of free fatty acids with bitter taste and shorter use-by date,
– addition of artificial anti-oxidants which elongate the use-by date of the oil,
– removal of natural wax which impact the turbidity of the product.
Refinement allows to extract as much oil from a particular batch of raw material as possible because it is also used in a different method of attaining fat which is based on treating the seeds with chemical substances and high temperature. In such a way the oil meets the rules of the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries – it does not have an intense flavour, colour or smell so it becomes a better base for final products. On the other hand, the unrefined cold-pressed oils are not crystal clear and their use-by date is relatively short, but they do contain a considerably longer list of nutritional substances, essential unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The oil which does not undergo refinement maintains the valuable vitamin E that is exceptionally beneficial for our health and beauty and it also serves as a natural preservative for this product.
Cold-pressed oil – properties
First and foremost, the cold-pressed oils are valued for the high level of unsaturated fatty acids, especially omega 3 and omega 6, as well as the amount of mineral salts and vitamins. The unsaturated fatty acids and essential substances which are in short supply in our diets and our organisms because their best source is the rarely consumed fatty sea fish. Thus, the cold-pressed oils are the greatest means of sneaking the acids into our diets. The unsaturated fatty acids answer for lowering the level of bad blood cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, boosting concentration, mental ability and immunity, and the most important: preventing tumour development. Fatty acids should be consumed especially by pregnant women since they have a great impact on the development of the nervous system of a growing baby. The cold-pressed oils are also a rich source of minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin E called the beauty vitamin as it not only influences the condition of our hair and nails but also, thanks to its anti-oxidative properties, it puts off the ageing process of all cells in the organism.
Which cold-pressed oils should I try?
Among the cold-pressed oils, the walnut oil is worthy of noticing, since it is rich in vitamins A, E, B as well as magnesium which has a positive impact on memory and decreases vulnerability to stress. Another valuable oil is the avocado oil, famous for its skin and hair care properties. It not only contains vitamins A, H, PP, K and B but also immense amounts of vitamin E and mineral salts. Apart from the positive influence it has on the attractive looks, it also boosts brain activity and has a great effect on the cardiovascular system. Choose the black seed oil if you suffer from allergies as this product contains thymoquionone – a substance which reduces the release of histamine thereby it reduces the risk of allergic reactions.
The unrefined cold-pressed oils ought to be a part of everyone’s diet. It should be remembered that although they are not suitable for cooking, they can be added to both already cooked meals and cold ones. So, if you desire to take care of your health and well-being, be sure to reinforce your meal’s nutritions by adding your favourite unrefined and cold-pressed oil which comes from a fine and proven source.