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What are refined oils?

Refined oils are oils that have been "treated" through various processes, finally becoming clear, odorless, and less flavorful than the unrefined oils. The processes involved are bleaching, deodorizing, degumming etc.

The refined oils are more suitable for high temperature cooking. They also have an extended shelf life, meaning thereby that they can be stored for longer times.

When purchasing olive oil, choose oil that is labeled “extra-virgin” or “virgin.” Virgin olive oils are produced from the first pressing of the olives, and are unrefined. As a result, these oils are more flavorful and more healthful.

Store canola, olive, and peanut oils in the refrigerator or in another cool, dark place. When refrigerated, olive oil tends to develop hard, white flakes. These flakes do not alter the flavor or quality of the oil, and disappear once the oil reaches room temperature.

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This page last updated on:
September 14, 2004