Cold pressed oils have gained significant traction over the past few years, and the trend is expected to grow. According to Bloomberg News, the cold pressed oil market is estimated to reach $36.5 billion by 2026. This expansion represents a 5.3% growth predicted to take place between 2019 to 2026. Moreover, perhaps due to increased attention on the potential health benefits of cold-pressed oils, they have the highest price point on the market when compared with solvent-extracted or traditional hot-pressed oils.

With the right equipment, oil processors can benefit from the growing demand and high-price points of cold pressing. But what exactly does cold pressed mean, and what should processers know about cold pressing equipment to capitalize on this trend? Read on to learn about cold pressing and four considerations for investing in cold press machines.

How is cold pressing different from traditional hot pressing and solvent extraction processing

Let’s start with solvent extraction, where processors wash crushed oilseed in a solvent, typically hexane, to recover the fat inside. The mixture is then heated to distill off the solvent from the oil before moving into the RBD (Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized) process. Solvent extraction is the most efficient of the three methods, resulting in the extraction of up to 97% of the seed’s oil.

Traditional pressing uses mechanical force to squeeze the oil out of the seed rather than using chemicals. Typically, traditional pressing methods utilize upstream heat for cooking and drying the seed to allow for more efficient separation of the oil in the press. Once in the press, oilseeds generate additional heat from pressure and friction that can exceed 200 degrees F, aiding in oil separation. This traditional “hot” pressing method results in about 80-90% oil removal from the seed depending on the seed.

Cold pressing is similar to traditional pressing in that the process involves a mechanical, solvent-free oil extraction. In a cold press operation, however, steps are taken to remove heat from the process and minimize temperature rise through built-in cooling methods and by controlling the speed the oilseeds flow through the press. When it comes to efficiency, cold pressing varies widely, especially when processing tough specialty materials like grapeseed, coconut, and coffee bean oils. Recovery percentage depends on the amount of oil you start with in the seed. 

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Considerations for cold pressing equipment

Any oilseed press can become a cold press. Cold pressing is a change in process, not necessarily in machinery. But not all machinery is created equal. A quality cold press will be efficient, durable, and provide flexible cooling options needed to produce a high-quality, more valuable product for your customers. Here are four of the top considerations when purchasing a cold press system:

(1) Torque
Torque is likely the most crucial consideration for cold pressing equipment. It refers to the rotational force inside a press used to generate pressure on the product to extract oil from the seed. 

Since processors are required to keep the oil as cool as possible throughout cold pressing, the oil has a higher viscosity than in a hot press, making it more difficult to extract. The solution for cold pressed oil producers: squeeze harder and squeeze longer.

When researching cold press equipment for your operation, take a close look at each press’s specifications to ensure maximum torque. The Anderson Super Duo™ Series Expeller® presses have the highest torque per ton of product processed, ideal for capacities of up to 30 tons per day on the toughest specialty materials such as corn germ, grapeseed, coconut, and coffee beans. 

(2) Efficiency
Because of the difficulty of extracting oil without heat, some manufacturers will run the product through the press twice to remove as much oil as possible. The overhead cost of re-running the entire process wastes valuable energy, time, and labor, making it highly inefficient.

Investing in a screw press that can complete cold pressing in a single pass cuts costs and helps manufacturers get their products to market more quickly. 

The Anderson Duo and Super Duo systems run seeds through two independent pressing sections in a single machine, each with a separate shaft, drainage cage, reducer, and motor. This unique design allows for the lowest possible residual oil levels in a single pass, capturing about 85-90% of the oil, depending on set type.

Read more: How to Make a Cold Pressed Oil a Worthwhile Investment

(3) Keeping the product cool
When designing, implementing, and maintaining cold press operations, oilseed processors need to build in flexibility for controlling both the flow of product through the press and for maintaining proper temperatures.

The Anderson Duo Series Expeller presses are designed with built-in barrel cooling and flushing systems and a fully adjustable lens type choke, along with optional water cooling on the horizontal shaft, for the most precise temperature control. 

(4) Quality parts
When processors are working with highly specialized cold press products requiring increased torque, precise temperature control, and durable and efficient mechanical systems, quality should not be compromised. Simply put, squeezing harder and longer on oilseeds with increased pressure at lower temperatures means you need a more robust and adjustable press. 

With previous models of the Anderson Duo Series Expeller presses in continuous use since the 1920s, oilseed processors benefit from more than a century’s worth of expertise building durable machines with proven success for various applications, including numerous cold press installations worldwide. 

“The quality and longevity of Anderson presses mean we have machines operating longer than many of our competitors have been in the industry.” – Eric Stibora, VP, Sales & Marketing, Anderson International.

The Anderson difference

When considering the start-up or expansion of an oilseed processing plant to take advantage of the highly profitable and growing cold press oil market, the benefits of installing or repurposing a Duo Series Expeller press are clear. With the highest torque rating per ton of product, multiple cooling options for steady temperature control, and proven parts quality, Anderson Duo presses can handle any specialty cold pressed oilseed application efficiently in one pass, with little residuals remaining. 

And with minimal modifications, Duo presses can transition from one oilseed application to another, allowing processors to adapt quickly to changing market conditions.

To learn more about the Duo Series Extruder presses and Anderson’s oilseed processing design, delivery, and maintenance capabilities, contact our Anderson International team today.