What is cold pressed oil and why is it considered good?
Cold pressed oils are obtained naturally by crushing oil seeds at room temperature. There is no extra heat and chemicals required, which makes them the healthiest variant of oil available to us. Also, the acid value is relatively low, so oil products are obtained after precipitation and filtration.
Do you know that the origins of the Cold Pressed oil can be traced down to the Indus Valley Civilization? Yes, you read that right. Charred sesame seeds and oil-pressing machines were found in the ruins of Harappa. After examination, they were dated to be more than 5000 years old!
‘Chekku’, ‘Ghani’ and ‘Kolhu’ oil are some colloquial words used in India to describe cold pressed oil. Infact, in olden times, a long cylindrical instrument known as ‘ghani’ was used to extract oil from oilseeds. According to the book ‘A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food’ by K.T. Achaya, ‘ghani’ was a mortar and pestle device made of stone or wood that people used to crush oilseeds.
Difference between cold pressed and hot pressed oil
1. Cold pressed oil- In this oil seeds are crushed slowly to extract oil from them naturally. This is done to retain the nutrients and flavours.
Hot pressed oil- In this oil is extracted by using high heat (200°C) and chemical solvents. Due to chemicals and heat, most of the nutrients and flavours are lost.
2. Cold pressed oil retains most of its natural physiological and chemical properties and most importantly its original taste.
hot pressed oil retains little of its natural composition. The high temperatures not only change the chemical structure of oil, but in the process, a lot of important substances like vitamin E, sterols, and carotenoids.
3. Cold pressed oil contain antioxidants. Hot pressed oil does not contain antioxidants.
Conclusion: From a health perspective, cold pressed oil is the clear winner. Hot pressed oils undergo oxidisation, which can cause complications like cancer and inflammation. Moreover, a lot of healthy compounds are lost from the oils while hot pressing, whereas in cold pressing, all beneficial compounds are retained. Another important factor that makes cold pressed oils a better choice is that it involves no refinement, unlike hot pressed oils which are refined to improve taste and acidic content.