Ugly Truth of all Refined Oils!! Stop Using!!

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Definition:  An oil has been refined by using chemicals that are harmful to us.  In short it means to ‘purify’. But the meaning of purify has many definitions.  It may mean the oil was treated with acid, or purified with an alkali, or bleached.  It can also be neutralized, filtered or deodorized.  All of which require chemicals like Hexane!


Read down for a look into HOW oil gets refined.

  1. Seeds are husked, cleaned, and then crushed.
  2. The seed pulped are heated and steamed to start the oil extraction process.
  3. A mechanical press is also used to apply high heat and friction to press the oil from the seed pulp. 
  4. The resulting seed pulp and oil are washed in a hexane solvent bath and steamed again to squeeze out more oil.

(Note that hexane is a chemical produced by the refining of crude petroleum oil. Chronic intoxication from hexane has been observed in recreational solvent abusers and in workers in the shoe manufacturing, furniture restoration and automobile construction industries where hexane is used as a glue. The initial symptoms are tingling and cramps in the arms and legs, followed by general muscular weakness. In severe cases, atrophy of the skeletal muscles is observed, along with a loss of coordination and problems of vision. In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued regulations on the control of emissions of hexane gas due to its potential carcinogenic properties and environmental concerns.)

  1. At this point, the seed/oil mixture is put through a centrifuge and phosphate is added to begin the separation of the oil and seed residues. 
  2. After solvent and centrifuge extraction, the crude oil is separated and the solvent is evaporated and recovered. The seed pulp residues are conditioned and reprocessed to make by-products such as animal feed.

The crude vegetable oil is then put through further refining techniques including degumming, neutralization, and bleaching as explained below.

  1. Water degumming: In this process, water is added to the oil. In this process step a large part of water-soluble and even a small proportion of the non-water soluble phosphatides are removed.
  2. Neutralization: Any free fatty acids, phospholipids, pigments, and waxes in the extracted oil promote fat oxidation and lead to undesirable colors and odours in the final products. These impurities are removed by treating the oil with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) or soda ash (sodium carbonate). The refined oils are lighter in color, less viscous, and more susceptible to oxidation
  3. Bleaching: The heated oil is treated with various bleaching agents such as fuller's earth, activated carbon, or activated clays. Bleaching promotes oxidation since these natural antioxidants and nutrients are removed along with the impurities.
  4. Deodorization: this is the final step in the refining of vegetable oils. Pressurize steam at extremely high temps (500 degrees or more) is used to remove volatile compounds which would cause off odours and tastes in the final product.

In the process of making and refining oils, it leads to PUFas (rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids) which DO NOT hold up well to high heats.  In the process of being extracted from the seed, these oils oxidize and turn into trans fats.  The smell is so rancid that a cleaning process has to take place using bleach to deodorize it.

To Summarize:

  1. Try to avoid any refined oil–They are cheap but unhealthy.
  2. They are processed but are downright dangerous to your health.
  3. Make a choice to choose unrefined oils.

Learn about them. 

Find a brand that specializes just in Natural oils-unrefined and unfiltered. You can try Saanjh Oils

They can be a bit more expensive than what we are used to paying, but are quite healthy

Start slowly with the most common of oils and gradually experiment with other oils.

The flavors that will come from your food using these quality oils will blow you away!

Now the Question is which oils are safe then? To Know click here