Avocado oil comes in a variety of grades based on the process used to extract the oil.
There are various of ways to extract oil from avocados. They can be broadly categorized into three categories 1) chemical extraction, 2) expeller-pressed and 3) cold-pressed.
Chemical extraction is the most common method. Under this method avocado fruit is dried and grounded, subsequently, oil is extracted with organic solvents (usually hexane). The method is cost-effective and can achieve high yields. However, oil extracted from this method has a brownish colour and chemical residue. Thus, the oil must be refined before being sold.
The expeller-pressed method physically squeezes or mills the oil out of the fruit without chemicals. This method generally offers better quality oil than chemical extraction but tend to be costly. Also, although the method doesn’t use outside heat during extraction, the friction of the extraction can create natural heat during the process which can reduce the flavor, aroma and nutritional content of the oil.
The cold-press method process extracts the oil by centrifugal or pressing forces at temperatures less than 50°C (122°F). Processing aids such as enzymes and talcum powder are used but no chemicals are used in the process. The method offers the highest quality avocado oil with an intense green colour and natural flavor. The lower temperatures and absence of solvents ensure the full essence of the fruit including antioxidants, vitamins, flavor, and aroma is retained in the oil. The oil doesn’t require further refining.
Refined vs. Unrefined Avocado Oil
The quality of the avocado oil depends on the quality of the fruit used to extract the oil and the extraction method. High-grade oils are extracted from avocados with minimal levels of rots, physiological disorders, or damage. If the oil is extracted from low-quality fruits it may contain flaws such as unpleasant odors. The refining process removes such defects and makes the oil sellable. Refined oils have little or no avocado aroma, flavor, or colour. They are mostly used in the cosmetic industry and usually not used as a culinary oil. In contrast, high-quality oils don’t require refining and can be sold unrefined.
Various Grades of Avocado Oil
The Extra Virgin avocado oil is the highest-grade avocado oil, followed by Virgin avocado oil and 100% Pure avocado oil. The following table summarises the characteristics of each grade.
Sheer Tree Extra Virgin Avocado oil is a highest-grade cold-pressed oil made out of finest avocado fruits sourced from New Zealand. We take pride in the quality of our oils and how well they are manufactured.
|Extra Virgin||Virgin||100% Pure||Blends|
|Quality of fruits used||Highest quality fruits are used (i.e. minimal levels of rots, physiological disorders, or damage)||Good quality fruit are used but may contain some rots and physiological disorders||Fruit quality is not important||Fruit quality is not important|
|Extraction method||Cold-press||Cold-press||Extraction method not important||Extraction method not important|
|Solvents or preservatives||No||No||Most likely||Most likely|
|Refined||Unrefined||Unrefined||Refined to remove defects.||Refined to remove defects.|
|Colour||Bright emerald green||Green with yellow tone||Pale yellow||Depends on the blend|
|Odor and Taste||Moderate (i.e. above 40 on a 100-point sensory scale) avocado flavor, with grassy and delicate butter-like flavors.||Some (i.e. above 20 on a 100-point sensory scale) avocado flavor, with grassy and delicate butter-like flavors.||Bland||Depends on the blend|
|Other comments||Highest grade||Second highest grade||Third highest grade||Refined avocado oil is blended with Extra Virgin avocado oil to add color, flavor, and aroma into the otherwise bland refined avocado oil.|