Cold-pressed oils are a popular choice for health-conscious individuals. They have replaced the standard oils that are used in most kitchens and have revolutionised cooking with the flavour they can add.
However, due to the growing popularity of these products, there is a lot of confusion about how they are made and what goes into the process. In this blog, I'll explain how cold-pressed oils are made and what they entail.
History of cold-pressed oils
Cold-pressed oils have been used by our ancestors since antiquity and oil pressing machines have been around for thousands of years. The origins of the Kachi Ghani oil AKA cold-pressed oil can be traced down to the Indus Valley Civilization. The oil-pressing machines found in the ruins of Harappa are nearly 5000 years old!
Kachi Ghani refers to the equipment and the oil extraction procedure. A Mortar and pestle device made of stone or wood was called ‘Ghani’. These ghanis were operated by perambulating farm animals, mostly bullocks or horses.
In India, there are many variations in Ghani design based on the region. Typically, the design and capacity of the Ghani depend on the available oil seeds and materials in the region.
In southern parts of the country, large granite ghanis that required 2 animals were observed. These ghanis had a capacity of 35 to 40 kgs and a lifespan of 4 to 5 years.
As you travel to the west and north, most ghanis found there were smaller and made of wood. They had a capacity of 8 to 15 kg at the most. These were perfect for smaller seeds like mustard and rapeseed.
Image credit : Google
Image credit : Google
These animal-operated and manual ghanis were a very slow process of oil extraction. Oil seeds such as sunflower, groundnut, sesame and even coconut flesh were crushed in this mortar and pestle device at a very slow pace. This allowed the oil to be extracted from the seeds without extreme heat expulsion, maintaining the natural properties, essential oils and antioxidants from the seeds to the oil.
Today, the animals used for ghanis have been replaced by electricity and stone and wooden mortar with metal. However, the function remains the same.
What is cold-pressed oil?
Cold-pressed oils are a popular option when it comes to adding healthy fats to your diet. The main reason behind them being a healthier alternative to refined oils is the cold-press extraction process.
During the cold-pressed extraction process, the temperature does not rise to a level that alters the nutritional value of the oil. The heat is released however, the temperature is maintained below 49 °C. The oil extracted in the process retains the original flavour of the seed, the aroma and its nutrients. This process is slow and therefore the yield is lesser. Verses the refined or mechanical extraction process where excessive heat is generated and chemicals or solvents are added to expel a high quantity of oil which is lower in quality.
Benefits of consuming Cold-pressed oils.
1. Packed with healthy fatsEven though the fat content is high in cold-pressed oils it is mainly unsaturated fat aka good fat which is very healthy. Unsaturated fats reduce the risk of heart disease and chronic illnesses. They are good for consumption for those with type 2 diabetes as well.
Cold-pressed oils retain more antioxidants than refined oils as it isn’t treated with heat. Antioxidants help reduce heart risks and improve bone density.
2. Full of antioxidants
Cooking in cold-pressed oil helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Most cold-pressed oils are full of Vitamin E, Monounsaturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat, Phytosterols and Omega-6 fatty acids helping in maintaining good heart health and lowering cholesterol
3. Good source of essential vitamins and Omega-6
Apart from nutrients that are good for your body’s internal health, cold-pressed oils are free of any added chemicals making them great for topical applications. You can apply it to your skin to keep it moist and hydrated for longer. It is a brilliant natural sunscreen with natural SPF. Regular hair massage with cold-pressed oils is known to improve hair texture, making them lustrous and healthy.
4. Good for hair, skin, and nails
Cold-pressed Oils – Local Sparrow
At Local Sparrow, we work with farmers who practise traditional farming methods and use heirloom varieties of seeds. Our oils are extracted by a cold-pressed method using a wooden expeller/chekku under optimal temperature to retain their nutrients. The oil is then allowed to sediment for a day and filtered using a banana fibre cloth to reduce dissolved sediments and starch. Panchgavya, neem extract and sesame refuse are their antimicrobial agents along with biofertilizers.
We make our oils in small batches, free of additives and full of natural aroma and flavour! Head to our cold-pressed oil collection to place your order.