General Information

Everything, generally, you want to know about Spectrum. If you can't find the answer here, try a key word search, or contact us.

Are Spectrum products available in Canada?
Can I freeze Spectrum Oils?
Can I get a job with Spectrum?
Can I purchase Spectrum products through your web site?
Does Spectrum have a charitable donations program?
Does Spectrum have a dedicated Food Service division?
How do I know if an oil has gone rancid and what should I do if it has?
How do I know Spectrum Oils are safe?
I would like to replace the butter in my recipe with olive oil or canola oil. How should I calculate the conversion?
Is coconut an allergen?
Should I refrigerate my Spectrum Essentials Oils?
Should I refrigerate my Spectrum Naturals Oils? What is the best way to store them?
What are high oleic oils?
What is the difference between your refined and unrefined coconut oils?
What does distilled mean?
Is distillation the same as pasteurization?
What is Olive Oil cold pressing?

Are Spectrum products available in Canada?

Some of Spectrum's products are available in Canada. You can find Spectrum in most larger natural food stores such as Capers and Choices Markets in Western Canada, or Whole Foods Market in Toronto. Ask your local market to carry Spectrum if it doesn't already.

 

Can I freeze Spectrum Oils?

Freezing oil will extend the longevity of the oil. However, be sure not to freeze any oil in a glass bottle as breakage could occur during the change in temperature.

 

Can I get a job with Spectrum?

Spectrum is an equal opportunity employer. To learn of current job openings, visit the employment opportunities section of our website.

 

Can I purchase Spectrum products through your web site?

Yes, you can now purchase all of your favorite non-refrigerated Spectrum products right here, through our order fulfillment partner, World Pantry. Items for sale on-line are designated with a "Buy Now" button next to their individual description in the Product section of the site. Click the "Shop On-line" button in the top right hand corner of your screen to visit our On-line store.

At this time, we do not sell our refrigerated flax oils and spreads directly to consumers. Spectrum products can be found in natural food stores and better grocery stores across the nation. Visit our store locator to find stores that carry Spectrum products near you. It's always a good idea to call the store in advance to make sure they carry the specific product you are looking for.

 

Does Spectrum have a charitable donations program?

Spectrum is proud to have a donations program to support non-profit organizations primarily in the arena of organic and sustainable agriculture. Most of the organizations we support are in our immediate community (Sonoma County, California). If you feel that your non-profit is a likely candidate for our donations program, please visit our Corporate Giving page to learn more.

 

Does Spectrum have a dedicated Food Service division?

Yes. Many of our products are available in Food Service sizes. For more information, please email our National Food Service Sales Manager, Heather Granahan, at heatherg@spectrumorganic.com.

 

How do I know if an oil has gone rancid and what should I do if it has?

Rancidity is easy to detect, but it is often confused with the intense flavor characteristics of unrefined oils. The odor of a rancid oil will be distinctly stale, and you may experience a gag-like reaction as you consume the oil.

Many unrefined oils, such as extra virgin olive, sesame, peanut, safflower and corn, have naturally intense flavor characteristics and a higher level of micro-nutrients than those that have been refined. Good extra virgin olive oil, for example, should have a pungent taste with a peppery finish, both of which are indications of naturally occurring polyphenols, the strongest anti-oxidants found in nature and the secret to the Mediterranean Diet.

If you are certain that a Spectrum product is rancid, return it to your retailer for credit. We guarantee the quality of our products, and will credit the retailer through their distributor.

Every bottle of Spectrum culinary oil receives a production and lot code date, and retained samples are kept for analysis in the event of a problem.

We have done extensive shelf stability testing over the years, and can proudly say that in our 18 years of bottling oils, we have never had an incident requiring a recall.

 

How do I know Spectrum Oils are safe?

Culinary vegetable oils do not contain sufficient moisture to sustain food-related bacteria and viruses, making them the safest food class available. We follow the FDA issued food process standards for vegetable oils as well as all Good Manufacturing Practices.

All of our products are satisfaction guaranteed. If you are ever dissatisfied, do not hesitate to contact us, with the product date code to receive a refund.

 

I would like to replace the butter in my recipe with olive oil or canola oil. How should I calculate the conversion?

Oil substitution works best in recipes that call for melted butter or shortening. Recipes that call for solid butter or shortening are using the solids to create ‘air pockets' which occur as the fat melts away during cooking. For recipes such as these (normally pie and other flaky pastry dough) we recommend using Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening, which has 0 trans-fat and is cholesterol free. A general rule of thumb for direct substitution of oil for shortening, margarine or butter is to reduce the oil measurement by 20-25%.

 

Is coconut an allergen?

According to the FDA coconut is now considered a tree nut and therefore an allergen. You can access the Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding Food Allergens at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrguid4.html for more detailed information.



 

Should I refrigerate my Spectrum Essentials Oils?

All Spectrum Essentials Oils should be refrigerated to maintain and preserve the integrity of the oils. Light, heat and oxygen are all elements that gradually degrade the quality and nutritive content of the oils. That's why most Spectrum Essentials products are found in dark, argon-flushed bottles in the refrigerated section.

 

Should I refrigerate my Spectrum Naturals Oils? What is the best way to store them?

Refrigeration is not required for our oils, but it does keep them fresher for a longer period of time. We recommend refrigeration for all of Spectrum's culinary oils with the exception of our Coconut Oil, which is very stable due to the amount of saturated fat in the oil.

Frequent Use: If you use the oil frequently and will go through it quickly—-within two months for example—it's fine to leave it in in a cool, dark place. Once opened, its best to consume within 60 days.

Extended Storage: if you plan on using your oil infrequently, you may want to consider refrigerating it to extend its freshness and shelf life. Please note that many oils with a high monounsaturated fat content, such as olive oil, will partially solidify if refrigerated. This does not harm the oil, but it does make it inconvenient. To re-liquefy, simply allow the oil to return to room temperature.

The Details:
Proper storage is important in maintaining the integrity of the oils. Heat, oxygen, and light are the most common damaging elements for oils. The more natural an oil, the more protection it needs. Spectrum Culinary Oils are properly sealed in glass bottles, without oxygen trapped at the top (oxygen initiates deterioration), and are quite stable until opened. Breaking the seal lets in atmospheric oxygen which begins breaking down the oil. You can slow this process dramatically by refrigerating your oils once you've opened them.

To ideally safeguard the nutritive value and longevity of your oils, keep them in a cool (40° F to 72° F), dark cupboard until opening, and then store them in your refrigerator. Storage under these conditions provides a shelf life of 10-14 months for unrefined oils, and 14-20 months for refined oils.

 

What are high oleic oils?

High oleic oils are naturally developed through traditional methods of plant breeding and hybridization; they are not genetically engineered. This hybridization enhances the fatty acid profile of the oil by making it higher in monounsaturated fat and lower in both saturated and polyunsaturated fats. That means it's good for your heart and pure heaven for high heat cooking. Our Super Safflower Oil, Super Canola Oil, and High Heat Sunflower Oil are all high oleic oils.



 

What is the difference between your refined and unrefined coconut oils?

Spectrum actually sells three coconut oils. Two are Spectrum Naturals Organic Refined Coconut Oil and Spectrum Naturals Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil (they come in 14 oz glass jars), and are labeled as culinary oils. The other is Spectrum Essentials Organic Coconut Oil (comes in a 15oz plastic tub), and is labeled for skin and hair care. Our unrefined coconut oils have a distinct coconut flavor and aroma and the refined coconut oil has a neutral flavor for a greater variety of applications. Our Spectrum Essentials Skin and Hair Coconut Oil is edible.

We did a comparative analysis of several different coconut oils and found that the nutritional benefits (such as caprylic, capric and lauric acids) derived from the refined, unrefined and "virgin" coconut oils have little variance. The term "extra virgin" only applies to olive oil; at present, no authoritative US agency such as the FDA or USDA regulates the use or misuse of the term "Extra Virgin".

Our organic coconut oils are stable at room temperature and have a relatively long shelf life of 18 months from the date of manufacture. They are an excellent alternative to butter and shortening for sautéing, medium heat baking and frying. You can find Spectrum Naturals Organic Coconut Oils in the cooking oil section and Spectrum Essentials Coconut Oil in the health and beauty section of your natural foods store. If your natural food store does not have the particular Spectrum Coconut Oil you want, ask the grocery manager to special order it for you.

 

What does distilled mean?

Distilling removes all coloring and flavoring from the source material, producing pure acetic acid. The acetic acid is then combined with filtered water to a level of 5% acidity. White vinegar can be distilled via heat or freezing. Either way, there is no negative health effect because the resulting vinegar is pure acetic acid and water, neither of which is damaged or altered by heat or freezing.

 

Is distillation the same as pasteurization?

No. Heat pasteurization is used for some foods to eliminate potential harmful bacteria. Distillation is a different process than heat pasteurization, and is done to create neutral flavor.

 

What is Olive Oil cold pressing?

It might surprise you to discover that the United States does not set standards for olive oils. All Spectrum olive oils conform to strict IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) standards for freshness and flavor. Olives used for our products are crushed at low temperature and the oil is left in its unrefined state to provide maximum flavor and nutritional benefit. Because the oil is unrefined, it is not suitable for use at high heat levels. For higher heat cooking, use High Heat Safflower or Canola Oils.