The Meaning Of Expeller Pressed Canola Oil

Posted by Alexa Ketterling

what does expeller pressed canola mean

Do you ever find yourself wondering what the true meaning of Expeller Pressed Canola is? Or maybe you have just heard the term a lot lately. This is because it is one of the most popular edible oils, as we find the food industry leaning more towards healthy and natural ingredients. 

We will begin by first defining what expeller pressed canola oil is so you can really determine whether it is right for your manufactured food.

What Is Expeller Pressed Canola?

Expeller pressed canola oil has two parts to it's name:

The first part is Expeller Pressed -- this refers to how the oil is made.

Second part is (yes, you guessed it) Canola Oil -- which refers to what kind of oil it is. In fact, canola is the type of plant that the oil is made from. 


Expeller Pressed

Expeller pressing is generally considered to be a healthier way to produce oils, similar to Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the extraction process known as "first cold pressed".

Expeller pressed oil is produced using a machine that’s fittingly known as an “expeller press”. It is a physical press that squeezes the oil out of the seeds of the canola plant. It uses physical pressure instead of solvent (chemical) extraction, which is currently the industry standard for removing oil from seeds.

The oil that is produced from expeller pressing is less (in terms of a yield) in comparison to solvent extraction. Because of that, the oils produced using this process are typically more expensive than conventional oils.

canola oil

Canola Oil

You will find that the canola plant is primarily grown in Canada and the west/mid-west of the US. It's a tall delicate plant with a yellow flowers. At the center of the flowers are a number of dark seeds, like you would see in a sunflower but smaller. These seeds are where the oil is contained, and they are what is harvested to product canola oil. 


Other Facts

Now there is both GMO and non-GMO versions of expeller pressed canola oil that is available on the market today. 

The canola plant is a close relative of the rapeseed plant. When it was first produced, the oil originally came from a plant known as a rapeseed. The plant that is now used to make canola oil is a different variety (produced through traditional breeding), known as canola plants. 

The primary difference between the original rapeseed plants and the new canola plants is the level of eurcic acid found inside the seeds. The canola plant has much lower eurcic acid levels, and instead are comprised of healthy oleic acid and linoleic acid.

The name canola was actually derived from the above fact. It's an acronym standing for CANadian Oil Low Acid.


Expeller Pressing Process

Expeller pressing uses a press to physically squeeze the oil out of the seed, rather than using chemicals like hexane to draw the oil out of the seed. With this method, no solvents are used in the process, and therefore don’t have the chance of having any hexane residue left over.

An expeller press is a screw type machine which presses ground canola seeds through a caged barrel-like-cavity, using friction and continuous pressure. The screw drives forward to literally squeeze the oil from the compressed seeds. There isn’t any added heat in this process, but the pressure and friction involved can create heat in the range of 140-210˚ F. So technically, this process is not “cold pressed”.

After the oil is removed, the remaining seed solids are sold as meal for animal feed. Expeller pressing gets 87-95% of the oil out of the seed, so there is some oil still left over after pressing (though some claim as little as 65% is removed, so this is debated). Therefore, this option is not the most efficient, which can make this oil more expensive than the solvent expelled standard.

Expeller pressed oil is typically refined (or RBD).  This refining process involves additional heat from steam and the use of a natural earthen bleaching clay.

Topics: Canola Oil



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