What is Cold Pressed / Natural Oil?
Naturally, oilseeds can be just pressed (crushed) to extract oil. Oil-seeds such as sunflower, coconut, sesame, groundnut/peanut are used to extract oils by using cold-press machines which is a natural process.
Cold Pressed oil refers to oil extracted naturally by using a wood-press machine/system, and not using external heat to extract oil. The temperature in a natural cold-press oil extraction system is less than 50 degrees celsius. This temperature is a little over room temperature because of the friction during the grinding/pressing process.
Because the temperature does not exceed 50 degrees Celcius, all the essential nutrients and flavors are retained. Thus Cold Pressed oil is considered to be healthy. Yes! Oil can be a healthy ingredient!
History of Cold Pressed Oils
Cold-pressed oils have a history starting more than 5 millennia ago. From archaeological excavations and studies, it has been determined that Harappans of the Indus Valley Civilization had the technical know-how of extracting oil from sesame seeds using cold-press oil extraction machines as oil-press machines and charred sesame seeds have been found at Harappan sites.
Origins of Cold Pressed oil can be traced backed to the Indus Valley Civilization. Charred sesame seeds and oil-pressing machines were found in the ruins of Harappa and were dated to be 5000 years old.
Indian colloquial words such as “Ghani”, “Chekku” and “Kolhu” are used as synonyms for cold-pressed oils. These words are a reference to the oil-pressing machines which are used to extract oil. The most basic form of a cold-press machine is a “Pestle and Mortar” setup where the oil-seeds are sent through a pressing process to extract oil.