Unrefined oils are extracted by crushing seeds or nuts and forcing out the oil in them through mechanically heated and pressurized methods, but bleaching or deodorizing are not used in this method.
The oil processed through minimal temperature levels is called cold-pressed oils. Expeller-pressed refers to oils that are extracted under high-pressure conditions.
Unrefined oils are high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, plant proteins, carotene, and antioxidants) with a natural taste and aroma, but the shelf life of these oils is shorter than the refined oils (within 2 years). Oils under this category are generally more expensive.
Unrefined oils can be divided into 3 types based on the percentage of oleic acid they contain in the extract.
Extra virgin oil - The best quality oils, contains only 1% oleic acid.
Virgin oil - Contains slightly more than 3% oleic acid.
Pure oil - A mixture of oils released during the heat and chemical treatment. The percentage of oleic acid is between 3-4%.
Sunflower oil, Canola oil, Coconut oil, Avocado oil Shea butter, Cocoa butter
These oils are refined by bleaching or deodorization process. Therefore, they are tasteless and odorless. Due to this, refined oils are mostly used in beauty products. Moreover, they do not contain as many nutrients as Unrefined oils.
Refined oils are cheaper and more heat stable. Therefore they are widely used in cooking. These oils are available on the market in complete and semi-refined forms.
- Unrefined oils are more suitable for facial beauty purposes because of its nutritional values. Refined oils can be used for body care products.
- Unrefined oils contain natural fragrances. If it is not appealing to you, the best choice is refined oils. Ex: Avocado oil, Tamanu oil