The next time you’re out shopping for your groceries, take a minute and just have a look at the enormous range of cooking oils available.
Usually there’s an entire aisle dedicated to oils, offering everything from flaxseed to peanut.
They come in different colours, sizes and bottles, but there’s also one obvious difference – the price.
Why is it you can buy 5 litres of vegetable oil for two dollars, but there are also little bottles that cost more than three times that?
Does a more expensive bottle guarantee a higher quality oil?
And what makes one oil better than another?
Taste and colour
As a general rule – and something you would expect anyway – the oil should be the same taste and colour as the fruit it came from.
Our award-winning avocado oil for example, has a slight green colour to it, because avocados are green. You would think this is common sense, but most of the characteristics of the fruit are lost during the extraction process.
Lower quality oils that are made in bulk tend to be made as cheaply as possible, and so the end result is an oil that has no resemblance to the fruit it came from.
It’s only through our pioneering cold-pressed extraction method that we are able to retain the natural goodness of the avocados, keeping the colour, flavour, and nutrients that come along with it.
Cooking oils all behave differently
All cooking oils are a unique combination of three types of fats; saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.
Depending on the ratio of these fats, cooking oils behave differently when heat is added to the equation. Oils high in saturated fat are better for cooking because they are less sensitive to heat.
Coconut oil is a great example of this, with 92% saturated fat, making it very resistant to temperature, and so can be used for high-heat cooking.
As a rule, the higher a cooking oil’s smoking point, the more refined and processed it is. The more refined it is, the less healthy it is.
Cheaper oils are heated to very high temperatures during processing, making their smoking point as high as possible for general cooking.
Good quality oils are made for specific purposes, with lower smoking points created for sautéing or baking.
The more nutrients and minerals an oil can retain during the extraction process, the healthier it is.
Olives, for example, contain dozens of health-protective nutrients, including high percentages of Iron, Sodium, and Vitamin E.
Sesame seeds are packed with Vitamin B, which is great for your hair, skin and nails, while peanuts have the highest percentage of monounsaturated oils of any cooking oil.
Monounsaturated fats are often known as “heart healthy” because they lower the bad type of cholesterol (LDL), whereas saturated fats raise it. They also increase the “good” type of cholesterol (HDL), which is proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Why some oils are more expensive
All of these differences in cooking oils come down to one thing; the extraction process.
Mass-produced oils, sold by the litre in clear, plastic bottles are made as quickly and as cheaply as possible. This destroys the flavour, the colour, and any nutritional benefits the original fruit may have had.
Price is simply a good indicator of quality. Quality cooking oils are more expensive because they are harder they are to make. They take longer to create, using higher quality produce from the very beginning.
Put simply, if something costs more to make, it costs more to buy.
You get what you pay for
Like most things in life, if you buy cheap, you get cheap.
Spending a little extra on a high-quality cooking oil is absolutely worth it.
The added health benefits alone justify the price, and the flavour a good cooking oil brings to a meal is another benefit.
As pioneers of the cold-pressed extraction method, our oils retain the delicious goodness nature intended, and it’s no surprise that this process is now being used by other companies throughout the world.