Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Naturally, oil seeds can be just pressed (crushed) to extract oil. Sesame seeds, Coconut, Groundnut/Peanut, Olive, etc are a few from which oil can be extracted by just pressing, which is a natural process.
Other oils seeds such as rapeseed (canola), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, etc CANNOT yield oil through natural extraction techniques. These vegetable oils were non-existent until the early 1950s, when chemical treatment and processing (refining) techniques allowed them to be extracted. Our bodies weren’t meant to consume chemically extracted refined oil.
Cold Pressed oil simply means, oil extracted naturally by just pressing and NOT applying any external heat to extract oil. The temperature of the oil during extraction is less than 50 0C. This temperature is little over room temperature because of the friction during the grinding/pressing process.
Because the temperature does not exceed 50 0C, all the essential nutrients and flavour are retained. Thus Cold Pressed oil is considered to be healthy. Yes! Oil can be healthy ingredient!
Chemically extracted refined oils are subjected to high temperatures (higher than 200 0C) and the heat, along with chemical solvents, kills all the nutrition and alters the molecules in unfavourable ways – making it unhealthy.
Origins of Cold Pressed oil can be traced backed to the Indus Valley Civilization. Charred sesame seeds and oil-pressing machines were found in the ruins of Harappa and were dated to be 5000 years old.
“Chekku”, “Ghani” and “Kolhu” oil are some colloquial words used in India to describe Cold Pressed Oil. These words refer to the oil-pressing machine used to extract oil. The machine is simple with a Pestle and Mortar setup. Oil seeds are simply pressed to yield oil.
Chemical extraction of oil can be done in huge volumes in big industries, addition of preservatives increases shelf life of the oil, chemical solvents are used to produce a uniform colour and odour, and huge marketing budgets have changed our habits to use refined oil. Now, with access to information, we need to make informed decisions regarding our health and IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE!