Rice bran oil is typically refined for a few reasons:
Extraction: The oil is extracted from the grain through a process that involves chemical solvents or extremely high temperatures. This process helps to separate the oil from the grain effectively.
Purification: The refining process also involves bleaching and de-odorizing, which helps to remove any impurities and unwanted odors from the oil. This results in a clear, pure oil that is more appealing for cooking and other uses.
Nutrient Removal: Unfortunately, the refining process can also remove many of the vitamins and nutrients that are naturally found in rice. This is a downside of refining, but it’s necessary to produce an oil that’s suitable for cooking at high temperatures.
High Smoke Point: Refined rice bran oil has a high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F), making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.
So, while there are some downsides to refining rice bran oil, the process is necessary to produce an oil that’s suitable for a variety of culinary uses. It’s worth noting that some rice bran oils are extracted by a cold-press process, which can make them healthier for human consumption.