EXTRA VIRGIN – REFINED – COLD PRESSED – NATURAL
CHOOSING A QUALITY AVOCADO OIL CAN BE CHALLENGING
No surprises here, Avocados are both delicious and nutritious and in high demand. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that avocado oil is equally as delicious and good for you. Avocado oil is considered a healthy fat that is also heart healthy, similar to Olive Oil.
Sometimes choosing an Avocado Oil can be challenging. Take a quick glance across the supermarket shelves where you will see several brands with labels & prices all trying to grab your attention. To give you some guidance and help cut through the branding hype, here is some information that should make choosing an avocado oil that little bit easier.
Expeller-pressed vs. cold-pressed (confused yet?)
The extraction of oil from the flesh of the avocado is a process that protects the nutritional benefits of the oil. Heat is known to affect quality, so in the process used by most avocado oil producers, minimal to no heat is used.
Oil is extracted from the avocado fruit in a “cold-process” that involves removing the skin and stone from the washed avocado before basically making the soft flesh into a mushy paste that looks like guacamole in a machine called a malaxer. This malaxing process gently breaks open the oil’s cells allowing the avocado oil to be released.
From here the avocado oil / paste mixture is pumped to machines that separate the oil from the pulp using centrivical forces. This method of extracting avocado oil was pioneered by Cocavo’s technical advisor, Chris Nathan who now consults to the avocado oil industry across the world, so we know Avocado Oil better than most.
Refined vs. Unrefined – now we are getting technical
Refined avocado oil is generally made from crude avocado oil, often an inferior quality oil not suitable to be bottled as Virgin Avocado Oil.
This crude avocado oil is either deodorized or bleached or both after the initial extraction process. Sometimes manufacturers will add colouring to make the refined oil resemble virgin avocado oil.
Refined avocado oils have a lot less odour and flavour compared to virgin avocado oil which has a vibrant green colour, and mildly buttery flavour with an aroma of what you would expect – avocado!
Unrefined or Extra Virgin Avocado oil is filtered after the extraction process for impurities, but otherwise it is left alone as nature intended. Its flavourful taste is great for salad dressing or drizzling over food. Its smoke point is about 190 – 200°C so great for high heat cooking applications.
Price – a key driver in deciding what oil to buy
This is where many consumers become a little perplexed when shopping for avocado oil.
Depending on whether the avocado oil is Extra Virgin or Refined, you will see great price variances for avocado oils that typically range between $10 and $20 for a 250ml bottle of Extra Virgin Avocado Oil and for its cheaper cousin, Refined Avocado Oil, prices range between $10 & $15 for a 500ml bottle.
No bonus points for guessing why refined avocado oil is cheaper than Extra Virgin Avocado Oil.
Most consumers who know a little about the differences between oils and the differences in nutritional value would generally prefer the Extra Virgin Oil because it retains the flavour & nutritional properties from when it was extracted from the fruit without undergoing further processing.
Why would consumers want to buy avocado oil that has been refined? I guess comes down to price?? I guess, if you are prepared to sacrifice quality over price, then a refined avocado oil will be a cheaper option – but for the reasons above, it is worth spending a little more on quality, so our recommendation is to opt for Extra Virgin Avocado.u.
- What are the health benefits of using avocado oil?
A. We could go on and on about the benefits of avocado oil. After all, the avocado is well known as a superfood. If we included all the old wives’ tales and anecdotal evidence we’ve heard and experienced along the way, we could keep you on this page for ages. Speaking scientifically, avocado oil is beneficial in monounsaturated fats, cholesterol-lowering beta-sitosterol and oleic acid—all key components of a heart-healthy diet.
- What are monounsaturated fats and why are they beneficial?
A. Chemically speaking, monounsaturated fatty acids—also called MUFAs—are a fatty acid chain composed of single-bonded molecules and one double-bonded (or unsaturated bond) molecule. Practically speaking, monounsaturated fats are known to have great health benefits, particularly for heart-healthy diets. The American Heart Association attests that, when consumed in moderation, MUFAs are helpful in reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body, reducing a person’s risk for heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, they contain Vitamin E—a vitamin widely known to be good for the skin.
- What is oleic acid?
A. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat, also known as Omega-9. Less susceptible to spoiling, it serves as a natural preservative in whatever oils or vegetables it occurs. Avocados happen to be one of the highest sources of it. In 2000, the American Diabetes Association conducted a study in Ireland that proved that diets high in oleic acid were beneficial in controlling sugar and insulin levels in diabetics. While helpful to the body in so many ways, it is always important to consume plant-based fats in conjunction with a healthy diet.
- Does avocado oil have any other uses?
A. Avocado oil is as diverse in its uses as it is delicious. In addition to making it part of the Mediterranean or DASH Diets, many people integrate it into their beauty regime. The vitamins and minerals in avocado oil are said to be great for the skin, reducing inflammation and moisturizing the hair and scalp. For these reasons, many skin and hair care products use it as an ingredient.
Is avocado oil helpful for all kinds of cooking?
- A. Absolutely! Extra virgin avocado oil can be used to cook at low, medium and medium-high temperature. It is great for dipping, drizzling, and adding to homemade dressings. Use extra virgin avocado oil where you’d normally use olive oil. Naturally refined avocado oil is an excellent choice for high and very high heat cooking. It acts as an excellent carrier for the flavors you are cooking with.
- How do I store avocado oil?
A. Opened bottles of extra virgin avocado oil should be stored in the fridge. If you haven’t opened the bottle yet, it’s okay to store it in a dark, cool place, such as the pantry. If you decide to purchase an inferior “refined” avocado oil, then store it in a similar manner to extra virgin.
- Why does my avocado oil look cloudy?
- Because avocado oil is packed with healthy fats, these “Fatty Acids” can start to thicken up in cooler temperatures such as when the oil is stored in the fridge, or even left on the bench in colder weather. Over time, this cloudiness may settle at the bottom of the bottle. Some manufacturers “Winterise” their avocado oil, forcing the cloudiness & settling to occur in storage vessels. The clearer oil is then drawn off for bottling. What is important to know is that this natural cloudiness is perfectly normal and does not affect the taste, aroma, or quality of the oil – it is as Mother nature intended.
- What are the advantages of cooking oil with a high smoke point?
A. The smoke point of oil indicates at which temperature the oil will begin to break down. Once this breakdown occurs, an acrid smoke is released, and the food you are cooking will undoubtedly start to burn. This same smoke can release toxic fumes and dangerous free radicals. In a worst-case scenario, smoking oil can quickly devolve into a grease fire.
Oils with high smoke points make high-temperature cooking much safer. Extra Virgin Avocado Oil has a high smoke point so you can use it for everyday cooking.
Where Extra Virgin Avocado Oil comes into it’s own though is when it is used as a salad oil. Use it to dress up a salad or drizzle oil over steamed veggies, make dressings or add into your favourite smoothie to add healthy fats.
- What Avocado Oil do we recommend?
- Cocavo Extra Virgin Avocado Oil – Why? Because it is one of the best-tasting highest-quality avocado oils on the market. We source our Extra Virgin Avocado Oil from New Zealand or from our partner supplier in California. We only source our avocado oil from “Approved Suppliers” who follow sustainable practices and produce their oils under strict Food Safety Protocols. Both suppliers only extract oil from the well known Hass Avocado Oil, revered across the globe for it’s flavour & quality of oil.
It’s great that consumers have choice when it comes to selecting Avocado Oil. Because Extra Virgin Avocado Oil has not been touched during the extraction stage, it makes sense that the nutritional benefits of the oil are intact. This means when you are consuming Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, the heathy fats, vitamins and antioxidants remain in the oil, in a state as intended by Nature. Yes, you will pay a little more for Extra Virgin Oil, but the extra expense is worth it.
If you are wanting a cheap cooking oil, whether it’s refined avocado oil, refined olive oil or even worse, something like a “vegetable oil” that has been chemically extracted using solvents like Hexane, then highly refined to purify it, then remember, you are getting what you are paying for.
We understand that often decisions on what to buy are driven by a family’s budget, so we are not passing judgement, preferring to simply highlight the differences between Extra Virgin & Refined.
To give consumers a healthy, but cheaper choice, Cocavo developed their “Sizzle & Drizzle” Oil to meet demand at the lower price-point consumers are looking for. Sizzle & Drizzle Oil is a special blend of Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, Pure Olive Oil & Hi-Oleic Sunflower Oil. The Olive & Sunflower Oils are refined oils, but have been sourced from our Approved Suppliers, so the quality is guaranteed.
Here at Cocavo, we offer a wide range of cold-pressed, unrefined, and high-quality avocado oil products at affordable prices. Be sure to check them out so you can start investing in your health today!
Cocavo is made from premium all natural ingredients, providing a sweet and delicious, yet delicate flavor.
It is the perfect cooking oil to enhance a wide variety of dishes from curries to stir-fries. Cocavo is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Cocavo Light is made from pure coconut oil and extra virgin avocado oil. The delicious, buttery yet mild flavor does not have the aroma or taste of coconut making it the perfect cooking oil for everyday use.
Cocavo Light is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.
Chili and Lime
Cocavo is carefully infused with selected chili and lime oils giving you the perfect blend. Cocavo enhances and brings out the flavors in dishes from seafood to stir-fry. The subtle hint of chili is perfect.
Cocavo Chili and Lime is dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.