In today’s consumer market, where customers are just as concerned with production practices as they are with ingredients, cold pressed foods are seeing a surge in popularity. This is due, in large part, to the positive perception of cold pressed juices, oils and other consumables compared to other common extraction processes. The prominence of cold pressing information on packaging has also increased significantly over the past two years and some stores are developing cold press only sections in their produce departments.

What is cold pressing

Cold pressed juices or oils are made by applying thousands of pounds of pressure to a fruit or seed with a hydraulic screw press. This pressure allows the press to extract the maximum amount of liquid without additional heat or chemicals.

How AURI can help

AURI is in a unique position to help small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to innovate in the oil seed and consumable oil markets thanks to its coproducts lab in Waseca, MN. One of the lab’s many resources is a M70 single-barrel oil press with the ability to cold press a variety of common and emerging oil seeds. AURI added
this new equipment in 2017 after receiving requests for this type of assistance.

This resource is especially helpful to entrepreneurs during the early stages of their product’s development because the press can further initial ideas. Most importantly, utilizing the coproducts lab press can establish process efficiencies and determine baselines for future stage upscaling. “We do a lot of research and development work with the cold press,” said AURI Engineer Riley Gordon. “This is a great tool for that early stage as well as a little further upstream when a client needs pressing done for analysis purposes.”

The benefit of the cold press process

Product quality is typically at the top of the list when an entrepreneur chooses to use a cold press in their production. Other extraction methods, where external heat is applied, can cause nutritional degradation due to thermal stresses inherent to the process. “Research shows that pressing at temperatures above 130 degrees may cause a loss of nutrients, such as vitamins and antioxidants in the product,” said Gordon. “What’s more, when the temperature rises above that point, there can also be a negative impact on flavonoids and other compounds, affecting the overall flavor of the product.”

Another benefit of utilizing cold press process technology is the potential to add value to the primary product through coproduct development. Often, after pressing is complete, there is left-over product called “cake” or “meal” which has its own value. For example, the resulting cake from pressing oil seeds may have additional value as livestock feed, an industrial product, a biobased fuel source, or even for human consumption, depending on its qualities.

“AURI’s Waseca facility is perfectly suited to assist entrepreneurs in this sort of endeavor and has the resources necessary for developing coproducts from the remnants of the cold press process,” said AURI Senior Scientist, Coproducts Al Doering. “There are so many opportunities in this area, so it’s definitely enticing to entrepreneurs.”

AURI’s capabilities

AURI’s coproducts team has hands-on experience with cold press projects across a wide range of oil seeds including soybeans, sunflowers, hemp, camelina, pennycress and canola. In addition, AURI can offer expertise on utilizing this process for creating products in the animal feed and human consumption sectors.

If you have a project which could benefit from cold press technology as part of your early stage development, or require special analysis, contact AURI today at auri.org.