We’ve all seen and used “Refined Oils” for some time now. But what predates them in our country, and why the old method of producing oil is better? Why was the production method changed? What are the negative effects of this new production method? Why should we stop using refined oils and switch back to Wood pressed oil?
What predates “refined oils”?
Before “refined oils”, the production method Indians used was Wood Pressing. Oils are generally extracted from vegetables and seeds, most commonly sunflower, olive, coconut, sesame, and groundnut. Wood pressing is the method of extracting the oil by mechanically pressing the seeds and vegetables by applying pressure without any chemicals or heat involved. In the olden days, a long cylindrical container was filled with seeds. Pressure was applied on top with a mortar to extract the oils. Wood pressing was a time-consuming process and could not produce huge quantities of oil. This led to the change in the production method.
In 1950s, the method of refining oils with external heat and utilizing chemicals to make the oil appear shiny and attractive was adopted. The refining process involves applying external heat in various stages of the process after crushing the seeds, and addition of chemicals to remove a layer called gums to make the oil shiny and attractive, and to increase shelf life. We have all seen advertisements focusing on how refined oils are “Cholesterol free”, conveniently forgetting how they are also “nutrient free” from all the processing they do to the oils.
Refined oils were much faster to produce and looked more attractive, hence why companies opted to utilize these methods rather than sticking to the natural method of wood pressing.
Benefits of wood pressed oil
Wood pressed oil, more popularly known in Tamil Nadu as “MaraChekku” oil, is healthy and organic compared to its refined alternatives. It is rich in natural antioxidants, Vitamin E and oleic acid. They have anti-inflammatory and healing qualities. They are not processed with chemicals and therefore more safe to consume without any side effects, and are produced organically.
Oils obtained from the refining process are stripped of all their nutrients in the name of refining. This leads to oils that are healthy in nature becoming unhealthy and dangerous to our bodies.
Wood pressed oils for cooking
While wood pressed oils can be used for cooking, they must not be exposed to a lot of heat. Exposing wood pressed oils to a lot of heat will destroy the natural antioxidants and other nutritional value of wood pressed oils. When cooking with wood pressed oils, make sure their nutrients and their rich flavor are retained by not deep frying or sautéing. Their nutritional value is best obtained when used on how heat and is healthy to the body.
Why switch back to the old methods?
As we have seen, refined oils are devoid of all nutritional value and possess only fat. They are processed with chemicals to make them look light and shiny, to preserve shelf life, and there have also been cases where these oils have been the root cause of diseases, and excess consumption of these oils can cause serious illness. It is not organic, and research has shown that they may also lead to chronic diseases. It is extracted chemically, and also leads to inflammation in our body.
Wood pressed, or “MaraChekku” oil is naturally and organically processed, has a lot of nutritional value. It is anti-inflammatory, and most of all, it is healthy. Wood pressed oils can be consumed not only for cooking, but also be applied on your skin to prevent dryness. These differences exemplify the fact that we should change back to using wood pressed oils.
emHealth aims to provide a one-stop solution for all your healthcare needs. As such care very deeply about your health. And so, we produce the highest quality wood pressed (“MaraChekku”) oil for your consumption. To learn more, please contact us. For any diagnosis or queries regarding any blood test or scan, visit www.emhealth.in