When we had started believing that refined oils are the best medium for cooking and that they keep us safe from heart diesase and obesity, scientists turned the tables again by a new research which says, cold pressed oils are what we must be consuming and not the refined ones. But what’s the difference between the two? A layman will naturally be boggled by these two types of oils that are same in appearance. Basically, cold pressed oils are the ones that are extracted in a certain way and have more nutrition than refined oil in which during the refining process, the nutritional benefits are lost.
2. What is cold pressed oil?
Cold pressed oil refers to a method of oil extraction where the oilseeds are crushed and pressed (without using heat) to extract oil. The entire process involves pressure and no heat and that is what makes this oil healthier than any other form.
3. What is refined oil?
As the name suggests, it is all about filtration of oil through various chemicals and heat that makes the final output very light and shiny in texture. The mechanical process makes the oilseeds lose the majority of nutrients that the human body needs on a daily basis. They are rich in fat and devoid of nutrition completely!
4. The ancient process of oil extraction
When it comes to cooking oil, we all have heard a term called ‘Kachi Ghani’. The word ‘Ghani’ refers to a long cylindrical contraption that was used in early days to extract oil from oilseeds. It is more like a mortar and pestle device, made of stone or wood and is used to extract oil with the help of animals like cow or buffalo. This is the oldest and simplest method of oil extraction that involved no heat. Whereas, the modern age oil extraction process involves chemicals, heat, and machines to extract oil from the oilseeds.
5. Difference between the two
They both come from the same source (oilseeds) but go through different processes. The process of extarcting oil through cold-pressed method is basic and mechnical. It is similar to the way we extract juice from a manual juicer. No wonder, nutrition of the oil is retained.
6. Is there anything called hot pressed oil?
Yes. In this process, the press cylinders or the pressing machine is attached with heaters. Heating softens the oil seeds and hence not only the process of extraction becomes easier but more oil is extracted. However, much of the nutrition is lost.
7. Are cold pressed oils healthy?
According to reports, cold pressed oils are way healthier than refined oils. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and oleic acid. Also, they are free from chemicals added to oils during refining process. They are also more aromatic and hence add more taste to the dishes.
8. Are they safe for cooking on high heat
It entirely depends upon the type of oil that you are using. For example, sesame oil and olive oil should ideally be used at low temperatures, but mustard oil and sunflower and safflower oil can be used for cooking at moderately high temperatures.