Remember our grandparents used to buy oil taking an empty bottle to the store. This cold pressed oil or chekku ennai was a way of life until 30 years ago when refined oil industry came to the market. The modern method of oil extraction supplies pretty lot of heat. The seed is first crushed and the pulp is heated under pressure. Bad part is that when the oil is heated up to 230 degree centrigrade, the properties of the oil molecules are altered due to such high temperature resulting in the formation of Polycyclic Aromativ Hydrocarbins which are carcinogenic. And its obvious that the nutrition of the oil will be lost during this process. Again for optimum extraction of oil hexane will be added. Ingestion of hexane results in deramtitis and CNS depression. After subjecting the oil to such temperature, preservaties will be added to make the oil more stable and thats how it stays in our kitchen shelves for longer time without going unstable.
In olden times, ghani – a long cylindrical contraption was used to extract oil. The seeds were placed inside ghani and ground with a pestle until it extracts a oil. Then the leftover residue was used to feed cattle. This was considered to be simpler and natural way of extracting oil from seeds. Cold pressed oils eliminates the harmful effects that arise from conventional oil extraction method. But the only problem is that cold pressed has shorter shelf life.
Use of organic cold pressed oil in our regular cooking
# Cold pressed olive oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps in decreasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and asthma. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, powerful antioxidants to combat free radical damage, and supports good gastrointestinal health
# Cold pressed Coconut Oil is naturally stable, and is the only oil that is not adversely altered by heat. It contains contains lauric acid, which fights against harmful pathogens. This compound is also found in human breast milk.
# Cold pressed Sesame oil is a vital source of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega 3, 6 and 9. It prevents and treats heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and for lowering cholesterol, and combating free radical damage. However, sesame oil should be consumed in moderation, as it is high in calories at 120 calories per tablespoon.
# Cold-pressed filtered groundnut oil when heating at low temperatures, the fatty acid bonds in the groundnut don’t get destroyed, keeping its heart-protecting abilities intact, along with vitamins and minerals. Groundnuts, with their high Niacin (of the Vitamin B family) content, help stabilise blood sugars.
Chekku oil can be stored in clay utensils for almost a year. This oil is traditionally supplemented with jaggery or palm sugar to increase its flavor and nutritional value. Our ancient south Indian menus have always incorporated these –
# Use groundnut oil for frying (with its high heating point)
# Coconut oil for seasoning.
# Sesame oil for curries and gravies.
TIP : Try to heat oils as little as possible when you are cooking. Always remember to buy organically sourced cold pressed oils that are free of pesticides to reap the full benefits of cold pressing.