Drying the Seed
The moisture content of the seed has to be reduced to approx. 6-8 %, which is obtained by using a dryer. This moisture percentage is necessary for the storage of the seed for several months and especially for the subsequent optimal pressing of the seed.
Storage of the Seed
The preconditions for optimal storage of the seed are a high degree of ripeness and low degrees of moisture and impurities.
Cool storage temperatures with sufficient air exchange are essential. This is achieved by the use of a computerised temperature storage system, this unit turns the cooling fans on/off (depending on external humidity and air temperature) in order to maintain crop temperature within the required range.
Cleaning of the Seed
The seed is then cleaned by a screening machine which removes any impurities, such as weed seed, metal fragments, sand/stones as these can affect product quality and may cause damage to the screw press.
In order to achieve cold pressed extra virgin standard the seed cannot be heated prior to cold pressing, the temperature within the press has to remain below 27°C and no additives can be used. Also the pressed cake (residue after pressing) cannot be repressed to extract further oil. Therefore the seed is feed into a screw press without preheating, the temperature does not exceed 27°C and no chemical extractive agents are used. This process ensures that the oil is of a cold pressed extra virgin standard and that its health benefits are maintained. Wicklow Rapeseed Oil has completed a laboratory analysis to certify this standard has been reached.
After pressing the seed reforms into a residue called cake. This is suitable for animal feed as it is high in protein. It is also suitable for solid fuel for furnaces (to heat homes).
Settling of the Oil
The extracted oil is allowed to settle for 5 to 10 days.
Filtering of the Oil
The oil is passed through several filters to produce a crystal clear oil which is then bottled.