Chekku Ennai in Tamilnadu:
Chekku ennai in tamilnadu – Not too far back in time,we drank pathaneer ( a sweet beverage extracted from palm trees) and paruthipal (milk from cotton seeds) in early morning to relieve indigestion.
Indian household used to keep holy cows at their home for their daily milk, those humans don’t use drug or machine to milk a cow before, no rice and pulses were polished at that time, no one knows sugar as jaggery was the only thing they knew, shikakai and egg whites for hair care instead of egg and chemicals mixed shampoos and edible oils (chekku ennai) came out of an wooden press and was sold loose instead of refined oil! Are indians forgetting their culture? What’s so doubtful of this question! Definitely, it is a great big yes!
But now, the usage of chekku oil (cold-pressed oils) has tremendously increased in the market and we are now realising the nutritional benefits of them through awareness and availability through stores and online.
The local mara chekku uses a slow mechanical process at a ambient temperature while seperating the oil from nuts and seeds.They have a low smoking point and cooking with them retains the aroma and nutrition but it’s was not available in all cities.
Now, there are variety of cold pressed oils available in the market. Now, most of us are replacing refined oils with cold-pressed oils including my mom.
What are refined oil? An oil has been refined which means purified by using chemicals. Purified means that it might be purified by an acid, or an alkali or bleached. It may be neutralized, deodorized and filtered.
All of these are done using hexane! Hexane are harmful chemicals compounds extracted from petroleum and crude oil.They are stain removers for art and craft objects.
What happens when it goes into our oesophagus and down to our stomach? Chronic exposure to the chemical can cause
- more damage to our nervous system,
- cause severe abdominal pain,
- impact the respiratory system,
- result in shortness of breath, coughing and heart burn.
What do we do next? Start searching for a good doctor,get an appointment and get in bed for drugs and fluids without understanding the cause behind it! Here, I have not finished about the making of refined oils yet.
In the process of making and extracting refined oils, it will lead to PUFAs (rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids). These oil oxidise and turn upto trans fats. The oil smells so rancid that a cleaning process (bleaching) will take place to deodorize it.
Transfats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce, and make oil last for a long time. Transfats can be used to deep fry food because oil with transfats can be used several times in commercial fryers.
Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, California and new york city have reduced and restricted the use of transfats. Since, packages contain the label “transfats free”, they are not really!
Nutritional benefits of cold-pressed oil
- 40% of tocopherols,50% of sterols,and 90% of polyphenols are natural nutrients in oil which gets destroyed in the refining process.
- Tocopherols have anti cancer properties prevents alziemer’s and parkinson’s diseases,prevents glaucoma and cataract.
- Phytosterol reduces blood cholesterol and risk of developing cardiovascular diesease.
- Polyphenols lowers bp. Since blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and glucaoma took a place of major disaster of the world, what’s the use of consuming oil refining the nutritional contents.
- The oil is devoid of transfats.
- No chemicals and preservatives are added as they have their own oxidative stability.