Refined Oil vs. COLD PRESSED OIL
Oil is the basic ingredient used in cooking by the Indian households. People used to visit Oil Stores with an empty container to purchase cold pressed oil in retail, some 50-100 years back.
The cooking oil market is dominated by various brands of refined oils that are manufactured through intensive mechanical and chemical process. These oils are toxic resulting in blood inflammation, elevation of blood triglycerides and worsen insulin secretion. Consuming these oils is linked to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The process involves hydrogenation which is further dangerous to human health.
Of late the consumers in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu are becoming aware about the worse effects of refined oils and are shifting towards the usage of Cold Pressed Oil.
About Edible Cooking Oils:
Before knowing difference between Refined Cooking Oils & Cold Pressed Cooking Oils, we should know about different Types of Fats available in Edible Cooking Oils. Some Fats are healthy for us and some are not healthy.
Type of Fats available in Edible Oils:
1. Saturated Fat:
Saturated Fats are mainly available from animal source and these fats are solid in room temperature. It increases both LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol) & HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol). Example: Palm Oil contains high saturated fat.
2. Mono Unsaturated Fat (MUFA):
MUFA is mainly source from Plant and Liquid in room temperature. It decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) & also decreases blood cholesterol, so that decreases risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Ex: MUFA available in Cold Pressed Oils like Groundnut Oil, Safflower Oil, Olive Oil etc.
3. Poly Unsaturated Fat (PUFA):
PUFA is mainly source from Plant and Liquid in room temperature. It decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) & also decreases blood cholesterol, so that decreases risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Ex: PUFA available in Cold Pressed Oils like Groundnut Oil, Safflower Oil, Olive Oil etc.
Trans Fats increases LDL (Bad Cholesterol) & Triglycerides and lowers HDL (Good Cholesterol), so that it increases risk of heart disease. Trans Fat originates from Processed & Refined Oils, Hydrogenation Oils, Overheated Oils (Refined Oils are heated many times almost 7 times) during entire oil process and Oil gets overheated up to 200 Celsius temperature.
Conclusion from above:
As per Ayurveda our body requires “Mono & Poly Unsaturated Fats (MUFA & PUFA)”. MUFA & PUFA decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) & also decreases blood cholesterol, in turn they decreases the risk of heart diseases and type-2 diabetes.
And MUFA & PUFA abundantly available only in unprocessed Cold Pressed Oils which are Safflower Oil, Groundnut(Peanut) Oil, Sunflower Oil & Olive Oils.
Let’s look into Why our or Refined Oils (Cooking Oils) are Dangerous & how they are made.
History: Oils were used to extract through natural processes which were simply Cleaning Seeds and Crushing the seeds to get Oil from Seeds & Nuts.
But after food industrialization started, oil industries started all possible mechanical & chemical methods of Oil Processing & Refining, to extract maximum Oil Output(yield) from the Seeds & Nuts.
Following is Complete Oil Manufacturing Process:
Following diagram depicts the entire process of Edible Oil Refining Process:
1st Step (1st Heating):
Seeds or Nuts are grounded into coarse meal & then mechanized machines crush the material. (Heat gets generated while crushing raw material)
2nd Step (2nd Heating):
Then the meal of Seeds/Nuts is heated to facilitate the extraction of the Oil. (2nd Direct Heating Process)
3rd Step: (3rd Heating Stage):
The heated meal is then fed continuously into a screw press, which increases the pressure progressively as the meal passes through a slotted barrel. Pressure generally increases from 68,950 to 20,6850 kilopascals as the oil is squeezed out from the slots in the barrel.
4th Step: Extracting additional Oil with Hexane Chemical Solvents: (Chemical Process to get maximum oil output from crushed oil cake) (May be this is most dangerous process)
After the initial Oil has been recovered from the screw press, the oil cake remaining in the press is processed by Chemical Solvent (Hexane chemical) extraction to attain the maximum yield. Most oil seeds are pressed and solvent-treated.
A volatile hydrocarbon (most commonly hexane chemical) dissolves the oil out of the oil cake, which is then recovered by distilling(removing hexane) the light solvent out.
Hexane Health Hazard Summary: Hexane is used to extract edible oils from seeds and vegetables, as a special-use solvent, and as a cleaning agent. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure of humans to high levels of hexane causes mild central nervous system (CNS) effects, including dizziness, giddiness, slight nausea, and headache. Chronic (long term) exposure to hexane in air is associated with polyneuropathy in humans, with numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue observed. Neurotoxic effects have also been exhibited in rats. (Source https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-09/documents/hexane.pdf Please Read dangerous impact of Hexane at this link)
5th Step: (4th Heating Stage): Removing Hexane solvent traces from Oil:
The Extracted oil is boiled by steam, and the lighter hexane floats upward. As it condenses, it, too, is collected. Ninety percent of the Hexane solvent remaining in the extracted oil simply evaporates, and, as it does, it is collected for reuse. The rest is retrieved with the use of a stripping column.
6th Step: (5th Heating Stage): (may be at this stage Oils are getting lost their natural flavor, colour, aroma & useful fatty acids)
The oil is next refined to remove color, odor, and bitterness. Refining consists of heating the oil to between 107 and 188 degrees Fahrenheit (40 and 85 degrees Celsius) and mixing an alkaline substance such as sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate with it. Soap forms from the fatty acids and the alkaline additive, and it is usually removed by centrifuge. The oil is further washed to remove traces of soap and then dried.
7th Step: (6th Heating Stage): (May be Oils are cleaned with Acids at this stage) (oils may lost their natural stickiness at this stage):
Oils are also degummed at this time by treating them with water heated to between 188 and 206 degrees Fahrenheit (85 and 95 degrees Celsius), steam, or water with Acid.
8th Step of Oil Processing: (Bleaching Process of Oil at this stage)
Oils then bleached by filtering it through fuller's earth, activated carbon, or activated clays that absorb certain pigmented material from the oil.
9th Step: (7th Heating Stage):
Finally, the oil is deodorized. In this process, steam is passed over hot oil in a vacuum at between 440 and 485 degrees Fahrenheit (225 and 250 degrees Celsius), thus allowing the volatile taste and odor components to distill from the oil. Typically, citric acid is also added to oil after deodorization.
Now we have understood how Oils manufactured through intensive mechanical and chemical refining process of our Cooking Edible Oils.
There are 9 stages of Oil Processing and Oils are getting heated 7 times. Now you can understand how dangerous using Commercially available Oils in the Market..
As per Ayurveda Oils that are healthy at room temperature. Oils are not meant for cooking at high temperature, over heating of oil leads to release of carcinogens, toxins in oil and turn rancid.
Disadvantages of using Refined Cooking Oil (commercially available in open market):
These Refined oils are toxic resulting in blood inflammation, elevation of blood triglycerides and worsen insulin secretion. Consuming these oils is linked to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The process involves hydrogenation which is further dangerous to human health.
Loss of nutrients, good fats, omega fatty acids, natural taste & flavor, quality, aroma & colour.
Damage of MUFA & PUFA Good Fats (which are helpful to reduce bad cholesterol) as these oils are heated many times at high temperatures.
Due to extensive processing & heating oils, carcinogens, toxins may release in oils and it can create free radicals in our body which lead to atherosclerosis it increases level of Cholesterol and blocking arteries.
At present processing of cooking oils with artificial colours, high calorie food substances lead to both physical and mental health.
Types of Oils Adulteration in Market:
- Oils extracted from animal fats
- Reused Oils collected from Restaurants, Hotels & Fast Food Centers
- Cotton Seed Oil
"COLD PRESSED OILS / UNPROCESSED OILS "
Cold Pressed Oil called Traditionally, words like “Chekku”, “Ghani” “Kolhu” & ‘Chekka Ganuga’ Oil were used in India to describe cold-pressed oil. 50-100 years back, people used to visit oil stores with an empty container to purchase Cold Pressed Oil.
Cold Pressed Oil is originally manufactured in traditional way by extracting oil from nuts & seeds using wood crusher(Ghani / Ganuga). This type of oil, pressed in room temperature will not be heated during the extraction process
All Oil Seeds (Groundnut, Sunflower etc) are crushed slowly to extract Oil in Traditional Machine (made with Wooden) and no heat is generated during the oil extraction process. This is exactly how oil was extracted by our Ancestors. These unprocessed oils are much healthier and more nutritious for your body, as compared to the highly refined oils.
Benefits of Cold Pressed Oils:
- Retains its biological properties such as nutritive and medicinal values of seed.
- Retaining the Antioxidants, nutritional values, useful fats, OMEGA Fatty Acids, Flavours, Colour & Aroma.
- These Oils are Pure and Natural, as Oils got extracted naturally without using any Chemicals.
- Our ancestors lived a long and healthy life by using these oils which gave them stamina, strength and immunity.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
- Our body requires good fats & omega fatty acids (Omega 3 & 6) which are available in Unprocessed & Cold Pressed Oils. The body needs these fats to function. Experts generally consider unsaturated fatty acids to be more healthful than saturated fats. (Please Google for more details about Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids uses)
- Try to avoid any refined oils and they are cheap. They are processed and they are downright dangerous to your health. Make a choice today to choose healthy Oils.
- They can be more expensive than what we are used to paying.
Following are Reference for detailed study: