Cold Pressing Explained

If you’re a regular reader of the Oilixia blog, you’ll already know that we love to explore the multitude of ways that oils enhance our beauty. These oils also inevitably need sensitive handling to extract the highest quality of oil and filter out any impurities. This week, we wanted to showcase the art of cold pressing – what it is, how it works and why it is so widely used for extracting oils.

Sidenote: the picture above was snapped at an Olive farm in Argentina during one of our adventures. They cold press their oils using a very old and traditional machine that is made of layers of mesh discs. These press the olive flesh to squeeze out the oil, which is captured in a pool underneath.

How does cold pressing work?

This method has developed over time and today uses large machinery to either grind the seeds/fruits to squeeze out the oil or pierce the rind and peel of the fruit while it is rotating to extract the oil. The first option would apply to soft fruit or smaller seeds such as olives or sunflower seeds, whilst the second option would be used for fruit with a hard rind or peel such as lemons or limes.

The cold pressed method takes its name from the German words kalt geschlagen. This translates as ‘cold pummelling’ and is believed to refer to the intensive pressure that the seeds and fruit are placed under.

As no external heat is required to fuel the process, the friction that is created by rotating the paste mixture will generate heat internally. This rotation works to separate the oil from the juice and pulp. Many people use machinery with integrated centrifugal force to separate the distinct parts.

At the final step, the oil is filtered one last time to ensure any remnants of rind, peel or pulp have been removed.

Why is cold pressing better for the oils than heat extraction?

The cold pressing method is the most popular method used to extract oils from the seeds of plants and their fruits.

This is because the process retains more of the oil’s natural properties such as purity, flavour, fragrance and nutritional value. Although introducing a heat source to help extract the oil will yield a greater quantity, the quality of the oil extracted in this way is compromised as the heat can damage the precious antioxidants, vitamins and minerals of the oil. It’s a case of quality vs quantity when it comes to oils extraction!

We are proud to create our products with the strongest potency and without any artificial preservatives for the best skin-loving ingredients. Cold pressing is the best way to preserve the natural wonders of essential oil and an age-old practice used by people across the world.

If you’re interested to learn about the origins, history and extraction methods of all Oilixia’s ingredients, check out our blog series ‘Oilixia Origins’ for all our best-kept secrets!

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