Turning Archive 2007

Re: Olive Oil? Rancid?
Response To:
Olive Oil? ()

Russ Fairfield
>I have never found Olive Oil to be any different from any other nut, seed, or vegetable oil when it comes to turning rancid. It all depends on the process by which the oil was removed. It has nothing to do with whether it comes from a fruit, nut, seed, or plant.

There are two (2) processes for extracting the oils. It can be squeezed out in a high pressure press, or it can be distilled (cooked) out. The proteins come out with the oil that is squeezed, and they are left behind in that oil that has been cooked.

These proteins are the culprit. The proteins are what makes the oil turn rancid, and it is the proteins that people are allergic to. Since distilled oil has no proteins, there is nothing to rot, and there is nothing to be allergic to.

There can be exceptions to the rule because there are differences in the extraction processes that are used, and there are sometimes additives in the oil to prevent it from becoming rancid or hardening with age. These hybrid oils don't make a very good finish either dry or wet, so they are best left on the shelf.

However, for the most part, we can buy the oil by reading the label, and noting whether it is pressed or distilled. Leave it on the shelf if it doesn't say which process was used, or whether preservatives or colorants have been added.

I have always preferred Sunflower Oil. Note that I wrote Sunflower, and NOT Safflower Oil which is more common on the grocery store shelves. It is not considered a drying oil, but like RAW Linseed Oil, it will eventually, in about a year, become dry enough that it can be oilished to a soft satin gloss. It also has a more pleasant "seedy" odor than Olive Oil.

There are SOME oils on the grocery store shelves that can be used as a finish, but not ALL oils on the grocery store shelves make a good finish. Rather than try to sort it out, I would recommend letting the finishing manufacturers determine which are or aren't a suitable finishing oil.

Why would anyone want to use a non-drying vegetable oil, and run the risk of it turning rancid and having a foul oror, when they could use Mineral Oil to do the same thing. Mineral Oil is inert, it doesn't dry, it is odorless, and nobody is allergic to it. Mineral Oil is the perfect neutral oil for adding scents such as citrus, nut extracts, flowery scents like lavender, or anything else that you think might entice people to buy.

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