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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the first cold pressed process?

This is a process in which non-preheated oilseeds are pressed once, without the addition of heat and at the lowest possible temperature, in order to extract part of the oil they contain. This type of pressing preserves the oil's nutrients (vitamins, tocopherols, essential fatty acids, pigments, etc.) as well as its aromas. This heat is the result of the friction created by the auger that conveys the oilseeds through the press, crushing them and trying to expel them. The extracted oil is then filtered to remove the seed residue and bottled. The term virgin is equivalent to first cold pressed and can be used for all varieties of oil.

Why are first-cold pressed oils so expensive to buy?

Because the raw material is only pressed once without the refining operation and at the lowest possible temperature. This manufacturing process offers a greater nutritional and taste quality. By pressing oilseeds only once and while it is cold means that there is still oil in the cake. And also, because the seeds or fruits selected are of better quality therefore more expensive to purchase.

What is the extraction method used to make olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil can be derived from 2 different processes: 1) cold extraction and 2) the first-cold pressed process

The cold extraction involves the malaxing and centrigugation (spinning) of the olive paste so that the oil is extracted in the form of fine droplets agglutinant to each other in order to be harvested. The first cold pressed process uses a hydraulic press which crushes the scourtins (fibre disks) on which the olive paste is extended. It creates a pressure allowing the oil to be harvested. The 2 extraction methods are cold (under 50C, in accordance with the international standard).

Nowadays, cold extraction is preferred as a method of production for olive oil, because it is a cleaner process and allows better control of the manufacturing parameters.

The name of olive oils is based on the quality of these and is the subject of a standard developed by the International Olive Oil Council. For example, extra virgin olive oil must demonstrate a free acidity rate of less than 0.8% and comply with specific organoleptic quality criteria.

Why "Extra virgin"?

First of all, it is important to know that the official term to use is extra virgin and not extra virgin. It is a term that is used only on olive oils and not on other varieties of oils. 

The term extra virgin is the subject of a standard developed by the International Olive Oil Council and designates the best quality olive oil. Thus, extra virgin olive oil must have a free acidity level of less than 0.8% and comply with specific organoleptic quality criteria, including the absence of defects and the presence of positive attributes in balance (Peppery, Fruity and Bitter). 

Why does olive oil not always taste the same thing?

Our olive oils are made from small producers. These are not assemblies made by large consortia in order to balance the taste to the year. This is why olive oil can change from one year to the next. In addition, in the North hemispher, olive oil is pressed from November to the end of January, February, depending on the years. It is then stored in drums under controlled atmosphere. At the beginning of the season, the spice and bitterness of the olives is more noticable, whereas at the end of the season, ripe olives give a softer oil to taste. Like wine, depending on the terroirs and the types of olives the oil will have a different taste.

My olive oil froze in the fridge, should I throw it away?

This is a normal physical phenomenon that is not reserved to first cold-pressed olive oil. In fact, all virgin oils freeze at a low temperature. The oils most prone to freezing are those with high monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids (e.g. olive oils). The oil that reacts to the cold can become completely or partially solid and whitish, it does not affect its nutritional and taste qualities. To remedy the situation, you only have to let the oil stand at room temperature for several hours (can take up to 48 hours to become liquid again). This unpleasant phenomenon can be avoided by preserving the oil in the pantry.

Why are there flakes in my sunflower oil?

This physical and natural phenomenon is due to the presence of natural waxes contained in the envelope of certain seeds (including sunflower). Since we do not overfilter the oils, in order to keep the maximum amount of nutrients, the waxes pass into the oil and form a more or less thick veil. Waxes are more concentrated in oil depending on the age of the seeds, the time of year and the ambient heat at the time of pressing and filtration. The veil or deposit found in the oil is not harmful to health, it is rather a proof of the quality of the process of manufacturing the oil.

How do you recognize rancid oil?

The first time a person uses a cold pressed oil, it can be surprised by the more pronounced flavour and smell and think that the oil is rancid. Don't be mistaken!!! An oil or other rancid fatty body leaves a very bitter, unpleasant and pungent taste in the back of the throat. In addition, your sense of smell can also be a good indicator. The clear smell will then be very strong and aggressive. Do not confuse with the scent of the original product!

The difference between green and black olives?

It is the same olive except that the green olive is not ripe and the black is at full maturity.

My olive oil is not green, why?

It is the pulp of the olive that supplies the oil and therefore the pigments it contains color the oil. The pulp is mostly of "old gold" or "green ochre" colour. But the color depends mainly on the terroirs and the types of olives. Some manufacturers add chlorophyll to tint their olive oil green.

How long can I keep my oils?

Just read the expiration date on the bottle (on average between 12 and 18 months). With the exception of those that contain a high percentage of omega 3 such as flaxseed oil whose best before date is 9 months, after opening we advise you to consume it within 4 weeks and to keep it in the fridge.

What guarantees that there are no GMOs in canola oil?

First of all, you should know that traces of genetic modification cannot be found in the fat bodies. It is for this reason that seed analyses must be carried out before the oil is pressed, as genetic changes occur in DNA, which is protein-bound. Our canola oil is certified organic by an accredited organization (QAI). It is forbidden for an organic farm to use non-organic products (chemically treated: pesticides, herbicides, insecticides..., and derived from genetically modified organisms). In addition, we systematically perform genetic identity tests on each batch of raw material to ensure that the seeds are not contaminated by genetically modified organisms.

Why is canola oil so yellow and so strong in taste?

Simply because it is a first-cold pressed oil.

Where do you get supplies for the manufacture of your oils?

We manufacture here in Quebec weekly: flaxseed oil, canola, sunflower and sesame. We are able to obtain these certified organic raw materials in Canada. For Sesame and sunflower, part of the raw material comes from South America if we are not able to find oilseeds in Canada.

Which oils can I use in the pan?
For light stir-frying (always avoid the smoke point which is very harmful for the organism) we recommend these oils: Olive, Sesame, Sunflower oil for cooking, Grape seed.

What are the best sources of Omega 3?

Flaxseed oil (58%)
Canola oil (14.5%)
Walnut oil (12%)

Why refine an oil?

To increase: the Yield of the oil extraction, the conservation (no expiration date indicated on the bottles) and to allow to press seeds of low quality and to sell on the market oils at low prices.

Do I have to keep my oils in the refrigerator?

It is not necessary to keep ALL oils in the refrigerator. They can easily be stored in the pantry, away from heat and light.
However, some oils MUST be refrigerated at all times, such as Linseed oil.

Can we mix oils together?

It is even advisable to mix oils together. First of all to seek an optimum blend of EFA (essential fatty acids), especially Omega 3, because the organism is often deficient, and allow them to work in synergy and thus cover our needs. What could be more pleasant than to savour in a vinaigrette a mixture of 3, 4, 5 and why not 6 oils. Especially when a person is not too fond of the pronounced taste of olive oil, advise him, for example, to add a walnut oil in his vinaigrette, because it would be a pity to deprive himself of the nutritional advantages of olive oil.

How many Omega 3 and 6 are advised to take a day?

Omega 3: 2 g per day
That's 2 teaspoons of flax or 2 tablespoons of canola or 3 tablespoons of walnuts.
Omega 6: 7 to 11 g per day
That's 2½ tablespoons of sunflower oil or 3 tablespoons of walnuts or sesame

We often consume too much omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. It is necessary to consume 4 to 7 times more omega 6 than Omega 3 (ratio 4:1 to 7:1). Currently, the North American diet provides a ratio of about 10:1, so unbalanced. That's why it's so important to add omega 3 to your diet.

What are essential fatty acids? And what are their roles?

Lipids are formed of triglycerides. Triglycerides are formed of glycerol to which are fixed three fatty acids. The fatty acids are formed by a chain of carbon atoms to which hydrogen atoms are attached. Fatty acids are said to be saturated or unsaturated depending on the nature of the links between the different atoms that make them up. It is important to remember that quality lipids are necessary for the organism because some cannot be manufactured by the human body and play vital functions (essential fatty acids: linoleic and alpha-linolenic). In addition, lipids are used as transport vehicles for lipo-soluble vitamins and other compounds.

They are also growth factors, participate in the transport of excess cholesterol, promote the proper functioning of the immune system. They participate in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the cells, they regulate the formation of blood clots and blood pressure and they are precursors of prostaglandins (type of cellular hormones that promote a good functioning of immune, circulatory and hormonal systems).

Do Maison Orphée products contain gluten?

No, Maison Orphée products do not contain gluten. We have a gluten-free logo on our packaging to help you make an informed choice. 

Do your mustards and vinegars contain sulphites?

Our mustards do not contain sulphites. As far as our vinegars are concerned, they may contain traces of sulphites in the natural state. Sulphites are often used in conventional products to preserve the product and therefore to protect it from mold, bacteria, yeast...

What is the amount of raw material needed to make 1 litre of oil?

For FLAX : 3kg
For OLIVE : 5kg

What is the deodorization process for your sunflower oil for cooking and deodorized coconut oil?

Deodorization is done by a vacuum process where a water vapour is injected at a high temperature, the result is a softer oil to taste, since the volatile oil compounds have been eliminated. Deodorization ensures that the oil can better withstand the heat, so it gives it a higher smoke point. No chemical element enters this process, it is a purely physical process.

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