Cold Pressed Essential Oils
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Cold pressing is the traditional method of oil extraction from seeds, fruits and flowers wherein no external heat is used to expel the oil. No external heat is used in this process; rather the high temperature to carry out the process is obtained internally by friction. Extracting oil through cold-pressing involves crushing the seed or nut and forcing out the oil.
Traditionally, the raw material is typically ground into a paste, and this is pressed with a heavy stone mill, turned by bullocks, until it expels the oil. However with the advancement of technology, now, machines are used. Presses come in a range of sizes, from small sizes for home use to huge commercial presses for oil extraction. The seeds are dropped inside a cylinder that contains a rotating screw. This screw grinds and crushes the seeds until the oil is extracted. Small holes in the bottom of the cylinder allow the oil to escape into a collection container. Although some heat is generated through friction as the screw breaks down the seeds, it's usually not enough heat to damage the oil.
This first-pressed oil, sold unrefined, without any additives or preservatives is what cold pressed oils are!
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived like rosemary oil, lavender oil, juniper oil and tea tree oil and seed essential oils like almond oil, walnut oil, olive oil, and apricot oil to name a few.
Essential Oils are generally extracted by the heat press method of oil extraction. In this process, external heat is applied to the presses in the form of heaters, electric heaters and the likes to stimulate the process and aid in more oil extraction. The heat makes the seed soft, which then breakdown easily expelling the oil more conveniently and quickly. Although this method tends to generate higher quantities of oil, the heat can reduce the flavor, aroma and nutritional content of the oil.
As a result of this extraction difference, cold pressed oils are a preferred option when it essential oils are considered and even cooking oils as a matter of fact though it is still theoretical and in debate. Cold pressed oils retain all of their flavor, aroma, and nutritional value, making these oils great for all cooking and skin care requirements. They contain zero grams of trans fatty acids and are naturally cholesterol-free. It is important to note that both solvent extracted and cold pressed oils can be used in cosmetics and skin care, but only cold pressed will deliver goodness to the skin.
Why you should use Cold Pressed Oils?
For all those who are normal or extensive users of essential oils, be it in their food, as an inhaler, massage oil or for skin nourishment, “cold pressed oil” is a better alternative owing to the following benefits it has:
Cold Pressing Preserves Natural Ingredients
This traditional method is a mechanical process which used neither heat nor chemicals as preservatives so the oils retain their original chemical structure. When heat is applied
Rich in Antioxidants
These oils are rich in antioxidants which have numerous health and skin benefits besides protection from free radical damage.
Cold Pressed Oils are chemical free!
No preservatives and no additive, 100% natural content.
They are of higher quality both in terms of process as well as content than commercially available oils.
It is therefore better to purchase organic cold pressed oils for skin care as far as possible. Organic, cold pressed oils are substantially more expensive than commercial oils but this is because these oils are produced by heating gently at low temperatures as excessive heat will kill the valuable elements in the oil. They are processed without chemical extraction, and without solvents like hexane.
Cold Pressed Oils need to be stored in air tight containers, out of the light and away from heat. Probably one of the reasons why cooking oil is not recommended to be cold pressed.