Oils (olive, coconut, walnut, safflower, etc.) have 3 major differences in processing, which directly impact their quality of taste and health and nutritional benefits.
1) Virgin vs. Refined
2) Organic vs. Conventional
3) Cold Pressed vs. Expeller Pressed
Each of these variances gives the oil unique properties.
VIRGIN OILS are extracted from the plant/fruit and then are not further processed and so they maintain most of the original characteristics such as scent and chemical composition (such as vitamin content).
REFINED OILS are further processed after extraction to remove impurities but this process also often removes scent and can change the color of an oil.
ORGANIC OILS are produced without using any chemicals. Regulations prohibit almost all of the chemicals and growth enhancers that are permitted for conventional production.
CONVENTIONAL OIL manufacturers are free to use any chemicals, growth enhancers, pesticides or other inorganic compounds that are legally available in the growing and manufacturing processes.
OILS THAT ARE COLD PRESSED are pressed in a heat-controlled environment to keep temperatures below 120 degrees F which also leaves the oil with most of it’s original nutritional content intact.
OILS THAT ARE EXPELLER PRESSED are extracted without using minimum temperatures and can be exposed to extreme heat (up to 400 degrees or more) which can in some cases effect the properties of the oil such as color, flavor, absorption, scent and nutrients. For this reason, cold pressed oils are usually preferred but are often more expensive because of the additional cost to produce them.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews