Why Cold Pressed Oils Aren’t The Best: Cold Pressed vs. C02 Supercritical Extraction

Despite popular beliefs the largely popular cold-pressed really isn’t the best method of extraction. For the past decade we’ve witness countless of brands all across different industries (F&B, beauty, etc.) all singing praises to the goodness of cold-pressed. I was looking into different facial oils and have been contacting companies in Europe to find out more about the truth in cold-press. I was surprised to find out that cold-pressed (in spite of the term, “cold”) is a process that happens at about 40°C. The company that specialises in C02 Supercritical Extraction, mentioned that their method of extraction is actually superior to cold-press as the process happens at 30°C. Therefore in layman terms, the oil’s nutrients derived from this process is as close to the original fruit as possible. Usually at a higher temperature a lot of the nutrients are being compromised. It’s also good to note that the smell of the oil is also quite rich and very close to the actual fruit itself.

In spite of the term, “cold” is a process that happens at about 40 °C… at a higher temperature a lot of the nutrients are being compromised.

Therefore, not only are C02 oils packed with nutrients but due to the nature of the oil it has a shelf-life of up to 2 years without any preservatives* (note: each oil has different shelf-life). The following is a quick snapshot of what was provided by the company:

“Supercritical fluid extraction eliminates the disadvantages of conventional solvent extraction which leads to degradation of heat sensitive compounds and leaves traces of toxic solvents in the solute.

In comparison to a “cold” pressing, the CO2-extraction provides not only a guarantee about the low working temperature (40°C) but also an inert CO2-atmosphere (excluding oxygen completely) and also guarantees that no salts and heavy metals (contaminations) will come in contact with the oil. This is a very important item in respect to iron and similar metals, because their ions (also in low concentrations) are very effective auto-catalysts of oxidation. That’s the reason of a lower stability of a ‘cold’ pressed ‘virgin’ PUFA oil in comparison to the CO2-extracted one. 

There is no co-extraction of proteins, carbohydrates, inorganic salts or metals along with the lipophilic substances. CO2 extracts are microbiologically stable. They require no preservation and are by nature virtually sterile.The selectivity of the extraction process can be controlled, which is not possible using traditional methods. The process is performed without thermal stress and without using organic solvents. 

The high pressure process eliminates solvent residue problems, works without the stress of high temperatures and under exclusion of oxygen. This is a precondition to preserve valuable and sensitive botanical constituents in the best possible way.” 

This was super informative and I have to thank the gentleman who took the time to reply me and provided me with attachments of research papers on this process. This process is more expensive vs. conventional cold-press methods, about 2-3X the price. Therefore, you would notice some skin care brands who have started creating C02 face oils do charge premium. For me, I think it is worth the price and I’ll definitely start replacing my face oil routines with C02 Supercritical extracted oils.



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