Oil manufacturers use a technique called cold pressing to maintain desirable qualities when extracting oil from certain nuts, fruits, and seeds. In the United States, companies can set their own standard for calling their oils cold pressed. Reputable companies will publish the method they use to cold press their oils. In Europe, the standards for cold pressing are more rigorous.
Cold pressed oils are extracted by a process called expeller pressing, which applies pressure to the nut, seed, or fruit to remove the oil without chemicals. European standards hold that cold pressed oils must be extracted by expeller pressing at temperatures below 122 degrees F.
Cold Pressed Oils
Types of oils that are commonly cold pressed include extra virgin olive, flaxseed, sesame, grapeseed, avocado, canola and safflower oil.
Cold pressing delicate oils preserves subtle flavors. Oils extracted at high temperatures can taste blander and flatter than those pressed below 122 degrees F.
Most unrefined, cold pressed oils have low smoking points and should not be used for high temperature cooking applications like sauteing and frying.
Use cold pressed oils for cooking applications in which their delicate flavors can be appreciated, such as dressing salads or dipping bread.