Frequently Asked Questions

What does first cold-pressed mean?
What do designations such as first cold-pressed, pure, extra virgin, etc. mean?
How do I recognize a first cold-pressed oil?
What is the best oil?
Which oils can be heated in the pan?
How do I store the oils?
What are the best sources of omega-3?
Why are there flakes in my sunflower oil?
What is the difference between fruity and mild olive oils?
My olive oil has coagulated in the fridge. Should I throw it out?
How can you tell if oil is rancid?
How come olive oil doesn’t always taste the same?
What is the process of deodorization regarding our sunflower oil for cooking and our deodorized coconut oil?
Is there any gluten in Maison Orphée products?



What does first cold-pressed mean?

It is a process in which non-preheated oil seeds are pressed only once, with no additional heat and at the lowest temperature possible, in order to extract their oil. This type of pressing preserves the nutritional properties of the oil (vitamins, tocopherols, essential fatty acids, pigments, etc.) as well as their aromas.

The temperature never exceeds 50oC during pressing. This heat is a result of friction created by a rotating screw mechanism that moves the oil seeds through the press, grinds them and tries to expel them. The extracted oil is filtered to get rid of its seed residue and then bottled. The term “virgin” is the equivalent of first cold-pressed and can be used for all varieties of oil.


What do designations such as first cold-pressed, pure, extra virgin, etc. mean?

The term “extra virgin” only applies to olive oil. It means that it is the best quality olive oil with the lowest oleic acidity (< 0.8%). The term “virgin” is the equivalent of first cold-pressed and can be used for all varieties of oil. Used to qualify olive oil, the word “virgin” refers to second quality, i.e. oil with less than 1.5% oleic acidity. The word “pure” is not a standard of quality. It merely indicates that there is only one variety of oil, not a blend, in the bottle. For example, a bottle of pure sunflower oil only contains sunflower and nothing else. Watch out for the term “mechanically-pressed” as even industrial oil mills use mechanical pressing, but it is followed by chemical refining processes.



How do I recognize a first cold-pressed oil?

By its colour: it’s not too light and not too dark. Translucent oil has generally been refined and oil that is too dark indicates that it has been preheated or pressed at a high temperature. Furthermore, the taste and aroma of the oil must be reminiscent of the oil seed used. It is important for the oil to be in a dark glass container (inert material) with a clearly-indicated expiry date.



What is the best oil?

Answering this question is like answering “What is the best fruit?” Remember that it is important to vary our sources of good fat as well as our other foods. All the oils do not contain the same fatty acids and vitamins and do not have the same properties. We can meet our nutritional needs by varying or mixing sources of fat. Try to regularly consume oils rich in essential fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic fatty acid (omega-3) as it is often lacking in the body.



Which oils can be heated in the pan?

Olive, coconut, sunflower oil for cooking, hazelnut and sesame oils are recommended for light sautés. Do not overheat the oil (when exposed to a temperature that is too high, a noxious smoke emanates from the oil).



How do I store the oils?

Oils have been around for thousands of years. The fridge did not exist until recently so it is not necessary to keep oils in the refrigerator. The exceptions are flaxseed, hempseed and Bio Alpha + oils because they contain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats that are susceptible to oxidation. Good quality first cold-pressed oils can be stored for an average of 18 months in a cool dry place away from light. Again, oils rich in omega-3 are the exception. Their shelf life in a sealed bottle is 4 months for flaxseed and 9 months for Bio Alpha + and hempseed. Once opened, flaxseed and Bio Alpha + oils must be consumed within 4 weeks.



What are the best sources of omega-3?

Flaxseed oil (55 to 63%)
Canola oil (14,5%)
Walnut oil (12%)



Why are there flakes in my sunflower oil?

This physical and natural occurrence is due to the presence of natural waxes in the shells of certain grains (notably sunflower).

Given that we do not overfilter the oils in order to preserve the maximum amount of nutritional elements, the waxes pass into the oil and form a relatively thick film. The waxes are more concentrated in the oil according to the age of the seeds, the time of the year and the ambient heat at the time of pressing and filtration. The film or sediments found in the oil are not harmful to your health. In fact, they prove the quality of the oil’s production process.



What is the difference between fruity and mild olive oils?

Fruity olive oil comes from olives that are not fully ripe, harvested at the start of the season in November. They are a purplish colour. They give the oil a more peppery taste and a freshly-cut grass flavour. We have fruity olive oils from four regions: Spain, Italy and Argentina.

Mild olive oil, also referred to as “ripely fruity”, is pressed with ripe olives that have been harvested between December and February. It has a sweet taste that is reminiscent of sweet almonds with a hint of bitterness. We have mild olive oils from Spain and Tunisia.



My olive oil has coagulated in the fridge. Should I throw it out?

This is completely normal and it doesn’t only happen to first cold-pressed olive oil. In fact, all virgin olive oils coagulate at relatively low temperatures. The oils most likely to coagulate in the cold are the ones with high monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids (e.g. olive oil). Oil that reacts to the cold can become completely or partially solid with a whitish colour but this does not in any way affect its taste and nutritional properties. To remedy this situation, simply leave the oil at room temperature for several hours (it can take over 48 hours to liquefy). This unpleasant occurrence can be avoided by storing oil in the pantry.



How can you tell if oil is rancid?

All first cold-pressed oils have their own relatively strong taste and aroma that is reminiscent of the oil seed used.

Do not confuse this with rancid oil or other fats that leave a very bitter and very unpleasant taste in the back of the throat. Your sense of smell is also a good indicator. Its smell would be very strong. Do not confuse this with the aroma of the actual product!

Please note that spicy, peppery and bitter flavours of some olive oils are their own attributes and are not a sign of poor quality.



How come olive oil doesn’t always taste the same?

Our olive oils are made by small producers. They are not blends made by large consortiums aiming to deliver a consistent flavour from year to year. This is why the taste of olive oil can change from one year to another. Furthermore, olive oil is pressed from November to the end of January or February, depending on the year. It is then stored in barrels in a controlled atmosphere. At the begining of the season, the spicy and bitter flavours of the oil are brought out even more. Olives harvested at the end of the season give a mild olive oil.

Like wine, the taste of oil will differ according to region and type of olive.

What is the process of deodorization regarding our sunflower oil for cooking and our deodorized coconut oil?

Through a vacuum packed process, where a high temperature water steam is injected, we obtain a more delicate tasting because the volatile organic compounds have been removed. This oil will have the advantage to tolerate the heat better (higher smoke point). There is no chemical element involved in this process; it is simply a physical process.

Is there any gluten in Maison Orphée products?

Maison Orphée products are gluten free. We have a gluten free logo on our packaging to help you make an informed choice. Regarding Walnut of Pérogord oil , Hazelnut oil and Organic Toasted Sesame oil, we unfortunately can not guarantee the absence of gluten in our raw material suppliers, then the gluten free logo doesn't appear on these 3 oils.