Organic flaxseed oil, is on its way to becoming a mainstream product. Although its use as health supplement or as food condiment gained popularity as early as the 80’s, flaxseed oil appeals only to a select few who see the benefits of consuming this health product.
Over the years, word-of-mouth recommendations among consumers led flax oil to its current standing – a global product with wide acceptance among health conscious people and the public in general.
Organic flaxseed oil and conventional flaxseed oil offer basically the same promises to users. However, because only subtle distinctions are made when comparing these two variations of flax oil, consumers are left clueless on what sets apart one from the other and likewise the advantages and downside of organic and conventional flaxseed oil.
Cultivation-Wise: Understanding What Makes Flaxseed Oil Organic
Flaxseed oil, also shortened as flax oil, is a plant-based, oily substance derived from the seeds of the flax plant. Flax oil products are grouped according to two broad classifications – organic and conventional. The basis of this categorization lies on the quality of the soil, farming methods used and planting treatments undertaken in growing the parent flax plant.
When branded as conventional flaxseed oil, this means that the flax plant used as source of the seeds and oil were grown using conventional farming methods. This farming technique usually employs pesticides, chemicals and additives in growing the flax plant. In the field of agriculture, industrial chemicals like these hasten the growth of the plant (to make the harvest as early as possible) and reduce the likelihood that pests will develop around the plant (pests are the primary enemy of harvesters as these nuisance hinder the healthy growth of the crop and compete for the crop’s nutrition).
On the other hand, organic flaxseed oil is grown without the use of pesticides or other industrial chemicals. Organic methods of production greatly rely on the quality of the soil and the integrity of the seedlings used in growing the flax plant. This is one of the reason why this method is relatively tedious than the conventional technique – harvest takes longer time to expect; pests easily develop and once they appear, affected crops may not be fit for human consumption.
Extraction-Wise: Understanding What Makes Flaxseed Oil Organic
The organic characteristic of flaxseed oil does not end with the quality of the soil and absence of pesticides in growing the plant. The method of extracting the mixture from the seeds likewise determines whether the value of the organic oil is retained.
Cold-pressing is known as one of the best methods of processing organic flaxseeds. This process, though yields only a very small amount of oil, involves the minimum heat possible and does not make use of added chemicals. As a result, cold-pressed flaxseed oil retains the rich nutritional value of organic flaxseeds.
In the case of some flaxseed oil brands, solvent-extraction is the primary method of obtaining the oil. Compared to cold-pressing, chemical solvents such as hexane is added to increase the volume of oil squeezed from the seeds. Most of the time, traces of these chemicals can be found on the commercial oil consumed by users thus they reduce the organic value of the original plant source.
Pros and Cons of Organic and Nature-Made Flaxseed Oil
Consumer reviews are in agreement with enthusiasts of natural foods in saying that organic flax oil is the best flaxseed oil available in the market. The following section is a run down of the advantages and disadvantages presented by organically-grown and extracted flaxseed oil products.
- Organic flax oil does not contain traces of additives that are found in conventional flaxseed oil. Consumers are assured that what they take in is purely natural and chemical-free.
- The absence of chemicals in organic oils lessens the probability that the body will respond unfavorably after intake; hence the body has lower tendencies to develop allergies or adverse skin/physiological reactions.
- Consumer reviews indicate that organic flax oil tastes better compared to conventional oil. This can be explained by the interaction of the chemicals and the natural components both present in flaxseed oil which may alter the distinct taste of the product.
- Organic oils rarely contain preservatives, this makes organic flax oil very sensitive to light, heat and other storage concerns. Organic flaxseed oil in liquid form has shorter shelf life but consumers have the choice of taking the capsule format. When chilled and sealed, organic flax oil can last at most for three months and for less than two weeks if it has been opened but refrigerated.
- Cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil is relatively more expensive than the conventional version. This is primarily because of the lesser yield of the oil substance when cold-pressing is used as a method of extraction.
- Purchase of organic flaxseed oil may prove to be challenging especially to those who buy them online. Shipping concerns include how long would the transportation be and whether the flax oil products will be stored in the ideal and required condition.
One of the criticisms of consumers to organic flaxseed oil is the higher price they have to pay to procure the product; this is a concern especially that alternatives such as conventional flaxseed oil can be obtained at a relatively cheaper price. A product’s price tag however does not singly justify an individual’s purchase action. The above article presents the distinction between organic and conventional flax oil and several reasons why users and diet experts consider organic flaxseed as preferable over the conventional ones.
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