Can a fish be "Cold Pressed"?
I find it interesting how many fish oil manufacturers market their oil as being “cold pressed”. Perhaps it has become a way of defining the quality of a product rather than a factual statement but either way it is an inaccurate way to describe the way that fish is processed for oil, and customers should be aware of this.
I can’t count how many times I have been asked if our Salmon Oil is “cold pressed”, nor the number of times I have tried to explain in an easy to understand way why our oil CANNOT be “cold pressed” or indeed why any fish oil CANNOT be “cold pressed”.
Extracting oil through cold-pressing involves crushing seeds or nuts and forcing out the oil. Presses come in a range of sizes, from small sizes for home use to huge commercial presses. The seeds are dropped inside a cylinder that contains a rotating screw. This screw grinds and crushes the seeds until the oil is extracted. Small holes in the bottom of the cylinder allow the oil to escape into a collection container. Although some heat is generated through friction as the screw breaks down the seeds, it’s usually not enough heat to damage the oil. Because no heat is actively applied and the produce is squeezed/crushed this is where the term “cold pressed” comes from.
Clearly a Salmon is not a nut or seed and does not lend itself to being pressed like an olive. Good luck trying to “press” oil out of a “cold” fish. Some fish oil marketers use the term incorrectly to promote their oils, but it is a term that has merely been borrowed from vegetable oil processing, where cold pressing is a normal process.
It is common practice for fish to be heated briefly in order to release the oil from the meat. However the length of time and temperature the fish is exposed to will vary between manufacturers.
Our Salmon oil is heated at the lowest possible temperature and for the briefest possible time around 5-10 minutes, in order to preserve the best qualities in the oil. The lower temperatures and briefer exposure to heat will yield less oil but the oil it does produce will be of a far higher quality.
So, when next looking at different brands of fish oil to feed your dog please don’t get too distracted by the term “cold pressed” as the reality is that is has no bearing in the market of fish oils.
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