Expeller pressing is a chemical free process that extracts oil from seeds and nuts.

It is a natural method of extracting oil from raw material that involves squeezing out the oils under high pressure in one single step.

This method of oil extraction is a healthier alternative to the hexane, chemical extraction method used for many conventional oils. Expeller pressing is the only method of extraction used in the processing of Three Farmers camelina oils.

There are no solvent (chemical) residues in oil that has been expeller pressed; resulting in a cleaner more pure oil, higher in natural colors and flavors. With the hexane chemical extraction method, the raw materials (seeds or nuts) are treated with hexane which is a colorless flammable liquid, derived from the fractional distillation of petroleum and with a boiling point of 68 degrees Celsius.

The process itself involves a screw press used to press the seed through a barrel shaped cavity. The screw compresses the seed and the oil seeps out through the openings while the debris (or meal) remains in the barrel.

The temperature reached during pressing depends on the hardness of the seed or nut. The harder the seed or nut the more pressure required to extract the oil, which in turn creates more friction and higher heat. Given that Camelina is a soft shell seed, all of Three Farmers camelina oils are processed at temperatures less than 40 degrees Celsius; well below the standard for being officially considered cold-pressed.

Three Farmers takes great care and control in the processing of its specialty oil and carefully monitors the heat that is produced during the expelling process. This ensures that it remains below the standard temperatures so that the delicate taste profile of the Three Farmers camelina oil is not damaged.

The resulting preserved earthy, nutty flavor is an important part of character and what allows it to bond well with other food flavours.

Note: Not all oils that claim to be cold pressed truly are pressed at the desirable low temperatures. Many brands and/or companies make claims that can’t always be backed up. Three Farmers recommends that consumers start to ask more questions about the processing practices in place for their favorite oil products. Each company should be able to easily stand behind its claims with concrete facts and supporting data.

If natural, chemical free processing is important to a consumer then they may need to do their own due diligence to find out how their favorite products are grown, processed and taken to the market.

As well, it is important to note that all cold-pressed oils are expeller pressed, but that all expeller pressed oils are not necessarily cold-pressed. It all has to do with temperatures used in the pressing process. 

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