The Underrated Avocado Oil
Oil is a staple in our day-to-day chores, especially cooking. There is no doubt that our daily life is incomplete without using different oils. And this brings us to the discussion about the various types of oils that we use in our daily life. There is no one oil we use. In fact, oils come in different categories and types that we use for various purposes. This is why oil is the most famous name in our households.
Without going into much detail about the types of oils, let’s talk about oil as a versatile ingredient – and due to its various characteristics and cargoes, it is multipurpose. From the food industry to the personal care industry, we need oils for the manufacture and production of numerous big and small items. But there is one thing we are sure you must have also noticed. When we talk about the use of oils, there are some oils that are most talked about. For example, olive oil is a common name in most households, and so are coconut oil, canola oil, and palm oil. But some oils are just as beneficial – or sometimes even more, but remain underrated and hidden behind the shadow of these more popular oils.
One such underrated gem among the various types of oils is avocado oil. Avocados are one of the most nutrient healthy fruit and, due to their unique flavor, a common ingredient in most cuisines. And so avocado oil is also an excellent and highly beneficial oil, but despite that, it is pretty underrated, and most people have not even heard about the oil or know that it exists.
This is why we decided to compile this blog. If you also do not know about avocado oil, this blog is just for you. Here is all you need to know about the tremendous yet underrated avocado oil.
What is Avocado Oil?
Quite evident from its name, just like every other oil, avocado oil is the oil extracted from eh avocado plant. It is an edible oil that can be consumed raw and used for cooking and is obtained from the pulp (fatty green/yellow flesh surrounding the pit) of the fruit Persa Americana. This makes avocado oil unique from other plant-based oils because other oils are obtained from the plant’s seed, but avocado oil is extracted from the fruit.
Avocado oil has a mild taste and high smoke point, which is why it is commonly used as a healthy alternative to other cooking oils but you can also consume it raw. Besides that, oil is also quite popularly sued as a lubricant and a vital ingredient in the cosmetic and beauty industry.
How is Avocado Oil Extracted?
As mentioned above, avocado oil is extracted from the fruit pulp of the plant. Two methods are used to extract avocado oil: chemical extraction using solvents and traditional mechanical extraction.
· Traditional Mechanical Extraction
The mechanical method is one of the first to extract avocado oil. It is still traditionally used in locations with no drying facilities or units for solvent extraction. However, it’s important to note that this process gives poor yield and frequently requires chemical aid.
In this method, avocado oil is extracted by peeling and destining the avocado fruit. The pulp is obtained and then mashed, after which it is eventually dried. After this, the paste is heated with hot water, chalk, and NaCl, and the oil is spun, pressed, and skimmed off (using natural detention). Centrifugation in pressing are two methods used here and the yield is about 60 to 80% – depending on the fruit variety.
· Chemical Extraction by Solvents
This is the most widespread method used for extracting avocado oil. First, the fruit is peeled to obtain the pulp, which is then air-dried. After this, hexane solvent is used for extraction, which helps obtain 95% yield ( 95% oil content is extracted); this results in the oil being brown in color and rich in content and pigment, which needs to be well refined to be used for various applications.
Refining avocado oil is a 3-step process that involves:
- Deacidification – step to remove free fatty acids that are less than 1% in good quality avocado fruits.
- Bleaching – which is done to remove the chlorophyll and its other degraded products like pheophytins and carotenoids.
- De-odourization – stripping oil off free fatty acids and volatile components at elevated temperature temperature.
Types of Avocado Oil
Considering the different extraction methods, we have realized that avocado oil needs to be refined so we can use it for various purposes – and this brings us to the different types of avocado oils. There are 2 significant types of avocado oil: unrefined avocado oil and refined avocado oil.
· Unrefined Avocado Oil
Unrefined avocado oil is the oil that is processed just like olive oil and so is very similar to it and can also be produced as virgin or extra virgin oil. The extra virgin is oil produced using the first cold-pressed traction of high-quality fruit’s ripe pulp. Hence, this type of avocado oil is considered the highest standard of avocado oil, based on its flavor and nutritional value. The extra virgin and virgin oils, food grade, are packaged in UV-protected or tinted bottles so their quality can remain intact.
· Refined Avocado
As compared to unrefined avocado oil, avocado oil is relatively light yellow, and this type of oil can be produced in various ways. The standard is the RBD method which is used to obtain other vegetable oils as well – this method involves refining, bleaching, and deodorizing – as discussed earlier as well.
The second common method used by quite a few brands as well helps in obtaining high-quality avocado oil. Oil produced using this method is loosely termed as “naturally refined,” The oil either uses expeller pressed or cold pressed, a chemical-free mechanical process using some minimal heal.
Other than that “steam refined” avocado oil is less used refined oil and is an alternative to RDB vegetable oils. Anyhow, no matter what refining process is used, this type of avocado oil is free of impurities and low in free fatty acid content.
Nutritional Value of Avocado Oil
We have heard avocado oil is very healthy and nutritious, but how do we know that? Well, we know that through its high nutritional value. One tablespoon of avocado oil contains about 124 calories – but all these calories are healthy. Avocado oil contains about 14 grams of fat, most of which is monosaturated fat. We all know monosaturated fats are the best type of fats that help increase the content of healthy cholesterol in our bodies. Besides that, the oil is rich in oleic acid (also found in olive oil) and vitamin E.
Can We Cook Using Avocado Oil?
As we said above, avocado oil is amazing for consumption. It is highly nutritious and should be part of your regular diet. But most importantly, the best thing about avocado oil is that it cannot only be consumed raw and can also be used for cooking without a problem – want to know how? Well, it’s all about the smoke point.
Every oil has a smoke point – it is the temperature at which you can cook or eat the oil, and beyond this temperature, the oil can easily turn rancid and so should not be used for cooking beyond this temperature.
When the oil is cooked above its smoke point, it breaks down and starts releasing toxins and free radicals – that are harmful to our body and change color and taste (turning burnt and bitter). Luckily for us, avocado oil has a high smoke point.
The smoke point of extra virgin avocado oil is 480 Fahrenheit, while the smoke point of refined avocado oil is higher than that and can be up to 520 farthings. Hence, avocado oil is perfectly suitable for cooking at high temperatures. You can use the oil for sautéing, frying, and deep frying.
However, avocado oil also has a unique flavor which is exceptionally preferred by many people/ Avocados have a pronounced aroma and are often described as mushroomy. Hence. When adding avocado oil to your dishes, you can get a very subtle and mild taste and very little mushroomy flavor. However, this also depends on the type of avocado oil you are using.
Can We Use Avocado Oil on Our Skin?
We have been talking about the various benefits and applications of avocado oil in food and consumption – but did you know the oil is also very good for your skin? Many oils for consumption are just not good for your skin, and people are recommended not to use them on the skin as they can cause a breakout. However, avocado oil is quite the opposite of that. You can and must include avocado oil in your skincare regime – don’t believe us? Here are some benefits of avocado oil for your skin.
· It is Gentle on Your Skin
If you have sensitive skin and are tired of using harsh chemical-laden products. Then avocado oil might be the right pick for you. The oil is super soft and feels very smooth on the skin. It is not at all harsh or risky for your skin intact. You can use the oil in the most sensitive areas of your face as well, such as right under your eyes – which is a susceptible area.
· It acts as a Natural Moisturizer
For years and years, people have used various types of oils for moisturizing their skin and keeping it healthy – but as we got more knowledgeable, researchers and doctors found out that some oils are more harmful than good to your skin. Some thick and rich oils can clog your pores and cause acne on your skin – instead of moisturizing your skin. However, avocado oil isdifferent from that. It is a lightweight oil that is perfect for moisturizing as it absorbs your skin and softens it over time.
· It has a Cleansing Nature
Cleaners are a regular use item in our vanity as we need these cleansers to remove makeup and eliminate impurities left on our face due to pollution and dirt outside. However, affording expensive chemical cleaners is not only challenging but also not really good for your skin. You need a natural cleanser that helps you remove dirt and dust clogging your skin and remove stubborn waterproof make up – and avocado oil is perfect for that.
In fact, along with cleaning your face and helping clear your pores, the oil is also rich in healthy nutrients that give your face an instant glow and make it appear fresher.
· It helps Reduce Signs of Aging
Skin aging starts as soon as we hit 25 ( and sometimes even before that), but before we start taking care of our skin, sometimes it’s too late. Using as many chemical products as you can afford is not only bad for your wallet but also for your skin. You need natural products that can help relieve signs of aging that make your skin look young, and avocado is just the right pick for it. Avocado oil has essential fatty acids that reduce signs and help eliminate wrinkles and fine lines.
Avocado Oil – Unique, Versatile, and Yet, Underrated!
Avocado oil is undoubtedly the most underrated oil in the market. It is an extraordinarily versatile and multi-purpose oil, but most people have zero knowledge about it. However, the oil being so beneficial for our health and skin, should be more common than regular oil. One reason behind this can be that the pill is quite expensive as the avocado plant is native to only a few countries in the world – however, spending your money on something so beneficial is always worthwhile!