The History And Cultural Significance Of Wood-Pressed Oils

  • Feb 10, 2023
  • By Prachi Karnal
  • 0 Comment

Nowadays, people are more concerned about their health and opt for natural products, including wood-pressed cooking oils. These are naturally extracted using a wood-press machine/system rather than using external heat to extract the oil. In a natural wood-pressed oil extraction system, the temperature is below 40 degrees. This is slightly higher than room temperature due to friction during the grinding/pressing process.

What Is Wood Pressed Oil?

As the name suggests, Wood pressed oils are taken out using a wooden pestle that squeezes the seeds and crushes them to extract the oil. The critical thing to understand about Wood pressing is that it uses a wooden pestle and wooden collector to press and collect the oil. All this is done at a low temperature to keep the temperature of the whole process below 40 degrees. The wooden pestle absorbs any temperature rise and does not generate heat from friction.

Process Of Extraction

The seeds are crushed in a wooden spindle known as a "wood pestle" or "Ghani", which a bull rotates. It has been inherited in the more recent 'Marachekku Gana', a combination of tradition and technology in which an electric motor replaces the turning of the spindle by a bull. But it rotates at very low RPM (rotations per minute) to avoid heat generation.

History And Cultural Of Wood- Pressed Oils

Wood-pressed oils have been traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Burnt sesame and oil-pressing machines were found in the ruins of Harappa and were considered 5000 years old. 

To Indians Wood- pestle in the local language is 'Chekku', 'Ghani', and 'Kolhu'. Earlier, the 'Ghani', a long cylindrical instrument, was used to take out the oil from oilseeds.

Benefits of Wood-Pressed Oils

1. Enhances Insulin Sensitivity

    If you are wondering whether or not wood-pressed oils are a healthy option for people with diabetes, rest assured that it is, especially wood-pressed groundnut oil. It is perfect for people with diabetes. This is because this oil contains more unsaturated fat than saturated fat, which helps improve insulin sensitivity and thus control blood sugar levels.

    2. Promotes Hair Growth

      Massaging the scalp and hair with wood-pressed essential oils helps in preventing the occurrence of dandruff. The fatty acids present in this oil help restore damaged hair and promote new hair growth.

      3. Prevents Pre-Mature Ageing

        These oils help in improving blood circulation helps, provide healthy skin, and prevent wrinkles and premature ageing. These oils help reduce visible signs of ageing, like; dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, dull skin etc. 

        4. Prevents Problem Of Arthritis

          Arthritis is a condition that is caused by inflammation in the bones. To overcome this condition, use wood-pressed cooking oils, which are rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Wood-pressed oil can reduce pain and help reduce inflammation of the associated joints. These oils can also help strengthen the joints and keep joint pain at bay.

          5. Boosts Immune System

            Wood-pressed oils are rich sources of oleic acids and help boost the immune system. They contain natural antioxidants, which help reduce cell damage in our bodies.

            6. Good Source Of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

              Wood-pressed oils are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They also contain Vitamin E and phenols, which helps in lowering cholesterol levels and protect the liver from oxidative damage.

              7. Has A Good Taste 

                The food cooked with wood-pressed cooking oils has an inherent flavour, odour, nutrients and taste. This is because the nutrients and flavours are not demolished during extraction.

                Myths Related To Wood-Pressed Oils

                There are many myths around about Wood pressed oils;

                1. Wood-pressed oils lose their nutrition during the process of extraction.

                  Truth: Nutrients remain intact during production as they do not use chemicals and are extracted at low temperatures.

                  2. You can only use wood-pressed oils in salads, not for cooking.

                    Truth: Many wood-pressed oils have a high smoke point and thus can be easily used for cooking, deep frying, etc. They also help in retaining its wonderful flavour.

                    3. Wood-pressed cooking and essential oils have intense flavours and spoil the food's authentic taste.

                      Truth: Many wood-pressed oils have a neutral flavour and do not interfere with food flavour. It is highly nutritious and helps in enhancing the taste of our dishes.

                      4. Wood Pressed oils are unhygienic because they are not treated.

                        Truth: Wood-pressed oils need no treatment for hygiene because the extraction process is entirely healty and safe. Moreover, they are pure and highly nutritious in themselves.

                        Can We Heat Wood-Pressed Oils?

                        Wood-pressed oils can be used for cooking, which is ideal for food prepared on low/medium heat. Remember, extraction techniques use minimal heat to serve the purpose of retaining the beneficial properties of the oil. So, use a low flame while cooking to keep the nutrients intact.

                        Summing Up

                        Wood-pressed oils are generally healthier than refined oil because of their extraction process. Heat and additives are not used in Wood-pressed oils. These qualities make Wood-pressed oils a healthier choice. Where can you get wood-pressed oils from? Many online stores provide these oils. You can also visit Aurganicum.

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