What's the difference between refined and unrefined oils?
There seem to be so many terms associated with oils these days; “Cold Pressed, unrefined, refined, virgin, organic and raw.” All these terms refer to how the oil was processed or extracted from the plant. To understand these terms, you need to understand how natural fruit oils are made. To get oil out of a source, the plant has to be processed either mechanically (unrefined) or with chemicals and heat (refined) although there are some refined oils that are processed without chemical.
The oils you use in cooking are extracted from seeds, fruits, vegetables and nuts. From olive oil to sesame oil, the way that oil is extracted from those seeds, fruits, vegetables and nuts has a direct effect on taste and and the amount of nutrients it has to offer. Using heat to extract the oil produces more of it, but heat can degrade the oil’s flavor and nutritional quality. Using low-heat methods produced a higher quality oil, but in lesser quantities.
The same principle applies to handmade soap making oils, although we aren't concerned with taste. We ARE concerned with maintaining the quality of beneficial unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins A and C. Unrefined oils are minimal heat processed oils. They are cold pressed or expeller pressed. They also are not been bleached or deodorized after extraction. Have you ever smelled unrefined cocoa butter? It smells just like chocolate! Under the unrefined umbrella you have “raw”/”pure” or “virgin” and “extra virgin” oils.
The best unrefined oils are cold pressed.
The oil is obtained through pressing and grinding fruit or seeds with the use of heavy granite millstones or modern stainless steel presses. The temperature from the friction in the grinding and pressing process must not exceed 120°F (49°C) for any oil to be considered cold pressed.
Cold pressed oils from the Amazon
Because we love what Cocoa, Mango and Shea Butters add to our soap and skincare recipes, we are very excited to be introducing some new butters from the Brazilian Amazon as ingredients to a select few soap recipes coming this summer.
Virgin Ucuuba Butter is is a natural butter cold pressed from the seeds of the Ucuuba tree. The resulting butter is brown to yellow in color and is exceptionally rich in Lauric, Mystiric and Palmitic fatty acids. .
Virgin Cupuaçu Butter is obtained by cold-pressing the fruit of Cupuaçu trees. The butter is consists of various beneficial fatty acids (including Palmitic, Stearic and Oleic acids), plant polyphenols and sterols. The Cupuaçu is a traditional, rainforest food source. Its pulp and butter are increasingly important exports for the region. It is related to cacao ,the tree from which cocoa beans are obtained. This rich butter is sometimes used to make white chocolate.
Virgin Murumuru Butter is cold pressed from the reddish-orange fruits of the Astrocaryum murumuru tree. It's relatively colorless and odorless and it's unique composition of essential fatty acids, particularly Lauric and Mystiric and Pro-Vitamin A, C and omega 3 & 6 make it an attractive butter for skincare products.
All of these sustainable products we will be introducing into our natural soaps are from the Brazilian Amazon Forest. They are pesticide free, fair traded and help the people of the amazon to build a sustainable economy that utilizes their natural resources in a safe eco-friendly way.
We'll be formulated some soap using these exotic oils is the near future. Sign up for the newsletter and we'll let you know when they're cured!
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