Methods of Extraction

extraction

 

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All of the oils we stock have different and varying degrees of quality. And all of them have been processed by distinct and various methods. The information below will help you better understand not only our line of oils, but also the entire industry of oils and their methods of extraction.

Cold Pressed 

A method of mechanical extraction where heat is reduced and minimized throughout the batching of the raw material. This helps the oil maintain its original state, constituents, and depth. Temperatures are rigorously controlled to ensure that it does not exceed 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although not a practical method of extraction for all vegetable oils on the market it is highly regarded as the extraction method of choice.

Expeller Pressed

A method of natural, mechanical extraction and processing of oils where a small amount of heat is produced simply through the frictional heat created by hydraulic presses. This is usually around 120-200 degrees Fahrenheit and makes the oil suitable and economical as a base for cosmetics because of its fairly undisturbed molecular state. It also makes a fine food grade oil.

Refined

A fully processed oil where it has been exposed to all methods of refinement including a flash fluctuation in temperature as high as 450 degrees and winterization as low as -30 degrees, deodorization, which removes the heavy and often unsettling odor in oil, and finally bleaching, where natural clays and other mediums are used to alter or remove an oils color, and scent. This makes for an economical oil in cosmetics and body care products, but it is not the healthiest as a food grade oil.

Partially Refined

A process where only some of the methods available are employed to produce a manufactured oil. Only one or two of the three available methods are used in a partially refined oil. These include, but are not limited to; deodorization, winterization and natural bleaching. These methods are used for oils which have been known historically to go rancid quickly, and they are also used to further stabilize an oil or remove its heavy odor and deep color.

Unrefined

A process of mechanical extraction and screen filtering where no additional refining process has taken place. This ensures the finest quality product and makes the oil the most exquisite for food and cosmetic preparation. The unrefined process helps oil retain a rich, strong flavor and color that is true to its natural state. Unrefined oils are always darker in color and richer in scent.

Absolutes

Absolutes are highly concentrated aromatic oils extracted from plants using a solvent method. The multi-step process includes first extracting the aromatic oil from the plant material with a chemical solvent such as hexane. After the solvent is removed what is left behind is a waxy substance called a concrete. The aromatic oils are then extracted from the concrete with ethyl alcohol, and after the ethyl alcohol is removed, the remaining substance is an absolute – an oil with an aroma close to the plant from which it came. An absolute is the most concentrated form of fragrance and highly regarded in natural perfumery.

Absolutes differ from essential oils in that they contain not only essential oil, but also a higher density of colouring, waxes and other constituents from the plant. In addition, they usually contain a small percentage of alcohol remaining from the second phase of the extraction process (typically up to 2 or 3 percent).

CO2 Extracts

CO2 extracts display some of the characteristics of both essential oils and absolutes. Like essential oils, they contain many beneficial therapeutic properties. But unlike absolutes, they are not solvent extracted. Instead of hexane, they are extracted using CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas under pressure at ambient temperatures. Under normal atmospheric conditions CO2 is a gas, but in the presence of high pressure it is compressed until it has the density of a liquid and becomes supercritical carbon dioxide – neither a gas nor a liquid. It is while in this supercritical phase that CO2 acts as a “solvent” to extract aromatic oil from plants. The beauty of CO2 extraction is that once the oil is extracted from the plant material, the CO2 is simply returned to its gaseous state by lowering its pressure, allowing the gas to quickly and completely dissipate.

 

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