Expeller-Pressed vs Cold-Pressed Oil

21 Dec.,2022


Imagine you’re at the grocery store trying to grab a few things before having a few friends over for dinner. You’re making a dish that requires cold-pressed olive oil – okay, no problem.

You walk your cart over to the baking aisle and find yourself confused when you see a handful of different choices with the words “cold-pressed” and “expeller-pressed” on the packaging. You know that you need cold-pressed, but, is that the same as expeller-pressed? 

Expeller-pressed and cold-pressed oils have handfuls of great health benefits, but there are a few differences in the oil extraction process that makes them unique – keep reading to discover those differences!

Expeller-Pressed Oils 

An expeller press or “screw press,” is a machine that presses seeds and nuts through a cavity and uses intense friction and pressure to extract oil. During this process, there isn’t any added heat but since the seeds are pressed using friction, heat is created (around 140-210˚ F). Once the seeds are pressed, the oil is removed. Commonly, the seeds remain in the press to form a hard “brick” which can later be used as animal feed. 

When expeller pressing, it takes a large number of nuts or seeds to create a high yield – which means more money. This is one of the biggest reasons why oil manufacturers aren’t keen on using this method of extraction and instead use methods that include chemicals and high heat. 

Cold-Pressed Oils 

When pressing seeds or other ingredients to create cold-pressed oils using an oilseed press, less heat is used. The seeds or ingredients are placed in the press and then are crushed by the machine to obtain the oil. Typically, when these ingredients are pressed, they are at a much lower temperature (122˚ F) compared to an expeller press.

Note: Unlike oilseed presses, absolutely no heat is used when making cold-pressed oils with one of Goodnature’s cold-press machines.

Since these oils are pressed at a lower temperature, they retain their unrefined healthy antioxidants that would otherwise be destroyed when using high-heat methods. Antioxidants can help your body fight against free radicals which can cause cancer and other diseases. Cold-pressed oils are also typically packed with Vitamin E which has healing properties.

The moment when high heat is introduced into the process, this is when the oil loses all of its antioxidants and vitamins. This is commonly seen in “refined” oils which are made by using high temperatures and chemicals such as hexane to extract a high yield in a short period of time. 

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Choosing Between Expeller-Pressed and Cold-Pressed Oil

It is important to remember that cold-pressed oils should be used in lower temperatures, for example, salad dressings, dips, and more. If cold-pressed oils are exposed to high amounts of heat, it’s possible that they will lose their high-quality nutrients. When searching for the best cooking oils to be used at higher temperatures, expeller-pressed oil will be your best option.

Although these techniques are very similar, they are both better than consuming refined oils that undergo processes that include high temperatures, chemicals, high-pressure, and deodorization. Since cold-pressed oils retain high amounts of their original antioxidants, this oil is ideally the most suitable for you to consume.

When purchasing oil, please be aware that just because an oil is at a higher price-point does not mean it’s better quality or a healthier oil. When purchasing oils at the store, we recommend looking at the ingredients to ensure that the oil hasn’t been combined with refined oils in the process!

Always search for a label that says “unrefined oil,” or search for either “expeller-pressed” or “cold-pressed” to understand the pressing process and extraction method. If you’re interested in making your own Cold-Pressed Nut Oil, try our recipe created by our Goodnature Chef and consultant, Ari! 

If you’re interested in creating your own cold-pressed oils, learn more about our industry-leading commercial cold-press machines now!