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Methods & Processes
Comparatively Speaking: Cold- vs. Solvent- vs. Heat-Processed Oils
By: Anthony J. O'Lenick Jr., Siltech LLC
Posted: June 29, 2010
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The selection of the proper process for cosmetic applications depends upon why a particular triglyceride is being used in the formulation. If the triglyceride is desired merely as an oil phase, the process used is of little significance. If the triglyceride is used for content of actives, including antioxidants, the choice is critical. Solvent extraction results in removal of much of the desirable actives.
Refining is yet another process that can remove desirable active compounds. This is performed by filtering the oil through clay or silica, which can remove color bodies and other desirable compounds.
Cold-pressed oils benefit formulators by offering many of the naturally occurring ingredients that are removed with processing including antioxidants and desirable actives. These ingredients have been known to stabilize fragrances and ensure the oxidative stability of unsaturated oils. Cold pressed oils typically are darker in color, which may be a drawback in some formulations. The formulator needs to look at the different oils available and pick the one that results in the best overall formulation.