In our last blog post we discussed Moringa oil and all of its wonderful health benefits. In today’s post we outline the pros and cons of 3 methods used (Aqueous Solvent & Mechanical Screw Press) to extract oil from seeds.
Of the 3, we chose to cold-press our seeds because we feel it is the best way to keep the oil in its purest form, without compromising the quality!
1) Mechanical Screw Press (Cold press)
A mechanical screw applies pressure to the oilseeds as they advance along the length of the press into a plate that crushes the seeds.
Pro: Little to no heat is applied to the seed, preserving the quality and properties of the oil. Creates a byproduct called seed meal or “cake” that is used as fertilizer and animal feed. Great yields, minimal labor.
Con: The maintenance of a screw press is challenging. Equipment parts are pricey and custom, making replacement parts scarce and expensive.
2) Liquid Solvents
Liquid chemicals such as hexane are used to separate oil from seed. After extraction, the chemical evaporates into the air and oil.
Pro: This is the most efficient technique to recover oil. It also produces the highest yields of the 3 methods.
Con: Flammable and toxic! Listed as a hazardous air pollutant, hexane is widely used for vegetable oil extraction. Some of which we unknowingly consume or use on our hair and skin!
Water extraction is the process that uses water flotation to extract oil. It involves first heating and grinding the seeds - then boiling the material in water to liberate the oil.
Pro: Etched in our memories and close to our hearts, this process is traditionally used in Haiti and Jamaica.
Con: Produces a darker, thicker oil with an acquired scent created by the ashes during the roasting process. Similar to the food we eat, when too much/unregulated heat is applied to a commodity, it compromises (kills) some of the goodness of the final product. Labor intensive and produces the lowest yields of the 3 methods.
Enjoyed this post? Check out our last blog about the wonder benefits of Moringa oil.
Until then, STAY Beautiful... Naturally!