Post the Covid outbreak, people have become more health-conscious and have started using wood pressed oils in their meals.
Bengaluru: The demand for wood-pressed oils or cold-pressed oils, which are organic, has increased in the last two years. Around three to four per cent of the people in Bangalore use wood pressed oil for cooking.
The cost of one litre of wood pressed oil is around Rs. 300, whereas regular refined oil costs around Rs. 150 per litre. Despite wood pressed oils being more expensive, there has been an increase in the sales of organic oil.
A big chunk of the consumers has become health conscious after Covid. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, people have changed the type of oil they consume. Refined oils are harmful to health and have more cholesterol content.
“Anything cold-pressed is healthier. The goodness of the nuts which is important for our heart regains its properties, so the good fats remain. Otherwise, in refined oils, distilling it and filtering it, the goodness goes away,” says Anu Krishna, a consumer who regularly buys wood-pressed oil.
Currently, the market size of wood pressed oils is very small. According to the surveys conducted by Millsaga, only two to three per cent of the people of Bangalore consume organic oil. The market size is expected to grow up to 6.5 per cent by 2026.
Ravindra, the owner of Millsaga which is an oil mill, said, “I see a big change in people’s attitudes. People (are) buying this kind of healthy oil extracted from different seeds like ground nuts or sunflower. People are slowly but increasingly getting to know the actual value of their health, which is good for them.”
Even though it is available easily, the consumer base of wood pressed oil is limited to the middle class and upper-middle-class families due to its high cost.
“Only those people who are health conscious go for Gaana oil (Wood pressed oil). Most of the people, who are poor or are not that careful about their health, prefer refined oil. Refined oil is cheaper. One can buy 2 litres of oil at the same price as that of 1 litre of wood pressed oil,” said Manjunatha, owner of a grocery store.
Dieticians and nutritionists suggest wood pressed oils to their clients because they are rich in essential nutrients and are free from harmful chemicals.
Amrita Mukherjee, a nutritionist, said that heating and distilling oils at a high temperature reduces the nutrient values of the oil and makes it unhealthy for one to consume.
“The regular refined oil is highly processed through extreme heat and goes through various chemical processes and hardly have any nutrients left in them. Cold-pressed oils are extracted with less heat. It is great for skin and helps to digest due to low cholesterol level,” said Amrita Mukherjee.
These oils are certified by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, assuring customers of the quality of the product.
These mill owners do not have any association yet due to their market size. But the big players in the industry are planning to form an association to increase awareness among the masses and to make sure that people from all financial backgrounds would be able to afford wood pressed oil.