Refined or Unrefined?

All of Spectrum's refined oils are processed using natural processes, without any harsh chemicals or contaminants. The decision of which Spectrum oil to buy really depends on what you plan to use the oil for and your preference in taste.

Unrefined oils are just that—left in their virgin state after pressing. These oils tend to be rich, robust and ‘true' in their flavors. Take Spectrum's Peanut Oil for example—it quite literally smells and tastes just like fresh roasted peanuts. Or Spectrum's Unrefined Coconut Oil, which has an aroma so pure it transports you to the tropics.

Unrefined oils are also much richer in nutrients. For instance, the peppery tingle from unrefined olive oil comes from antioxidant-rich polyphenols which are largely destroyed during any kind of refining.

The drawback to unrefined oils is they have a lower smoke point than refined oils. Refined oils, oils that have had impurities filtered out, can stand a much higher heat on the stove. So High Heat Canola Oil would be a more appropriate choice for a stir fry or high heat sauté than Organic Tuscan Olive Oil.

Here are some bottom-line bullets to help you choose wisely:

  • For culinary oils, choosing a refined or unrefined oil is a matter of taste and what you'll use it for in the kitchen.
  • Choose unrefined oils for fullest flavor and highest nutrient content.
  • Choose refined oils for high heat uses.
  • For refined oils, choose those that have been refined without chemicals.