The What and Why of Cold Pressed Sesame Oil

You take a bunch of seeds, squeeze them together and, pow, you’ve got yourself some oil… I mean, oil is oil, right? Wrong

There are a couple of different methods for deriving seed oil, one is called Cold Pressed and the other is Hot Pressed, and although you can begin with the same seed for either method, the process of either yield vastly different results. Most notably the nutritional value as well as overall market value. 

So, what’s the actual difference between how cold and hot-pressed oils are made? Additives and Outcome. 

Cold Pressed oil is much like it sounds. Raw seeds without pre-preparation or preprocessing are collected and pressed together at cooler temperatures, preferably below 120ºF. This may sound simple enough, but the amount of pressure put on the seeds when inside the press can easily reach temperatures upwards of 210ºF. Using only raw seeds without preprocessing and maintaining a lower temperature keeps the oil low in acidic value, meaning there isn’t a necessity for refining the oil post-production. Oil is ready to use immediately after precipitation and filtration...just as Mother Earth intended. 

Hot Pressed oil is the opposite in terms of preparation and results. Seeds are first heated by roasting and then chemicals are added to provide the aroma of fresh raw seeds that is often lost during the roasting process. Additional chemicals are often added as well to help produce a greater yield during the pressing process. Once all chemicals have been added, the seeds are pressed at very high temperatures (avg. ~230ºF) and the resulting oil is very dark in color. Finally, the oil must be refined to remove dust particles, stone particles and reduce the acidic levels of the oil. Please note, however, there isn’t a process for removing the chemicals utilized during preparation, those remain with the oil. 

What’s the difference in quality with cold vs. hot pressed oil? Nutrients. 

Keeping the seeds and subsequently the oil cooler during the pressing process, the nutritional properties of the oil stay intact. Consider sesame seeds for instance, they are chock-full of Vitamin E, Amino Acids, B-Complex Vitamins and a litany of other minerals. When sesame oil is cold-pressed, none of those nutritional benefits are compromised or lost. 

As opposed to hot-pressed sesame oil that not only has added chemicals to the seeds during processing, it loses a vast amount of its nutritional value, most notably the absence of the naturally occurring vitamins and amino acids. 

In a nutshell, for many it’s obvious in today’s knowledgeable and intelligent market to see the benefits of eating organic, avoiding chemicals, staying away from processed foods, and embracing the gifts nature provides naturally, that particular draws of yesteryear like higher yield for a lower price point simply aren’t worth it.

So next time you’re considering an oil, be sure to ask the question if it isn’t already printed on the bottle, Cold or Hot Pressed? Because the benefits and results you want, begin with the process by which it was derived.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published