Is Your Oil Really Cold Pressed?

You’ve seen the phrases “Cold Pressed” and/or “First Cold Pressed” on the labels of Flaxseed Oil for horses… but do you know what they actually mean?

Let’s reveal the truth behind both phrases so you can make an informed choice when reading a label and choosing a safe Flaxseed Oil for your horse.

Is Flaxseed Oil the same as Linseed Oil?

No, both Flaxseed Oil and Linseed Oil come from the Linseed seed, it is just a difference in terminology — Linseed Oil is the name given to industrial grade oil (the kind you find in hardware stores to stain wood) and Flaxseed Oil is the term used for food grade oil. If the oil meets food grade standards, it is termed Flaxseed Oil.

What Is The Difference Between First Pressed and Second Pressed?

First Pressed is a true Cold Pressed, you can’t have a Second Pressed oil that is Cold Pressed. Here is why:

  • First Pressed (Cold Pressed) – means the flaxseeds were crushed and pressed only once at room temperature (below 40 degrees Celsius). Oil pressed more than once is considered low quality, and does not qualify as food grade.
  • Second Pressed (Raw or Refined) Oil that is “Pressed” more than once is known as a Raw or Refined. This process uses higher heat extraction (up to 90 degrees Celsius) and/or chemical processing. This destroys the quality of the oil and enables quicker oxidation even if stabilised. 

Why Choose A First Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil?

First Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil is food grade, the highest quality, best tasting, contains the most nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins of any of the oil classifications.

Due to the unregulated nature of the horse supplement industry, be careful of the feed company claims of a Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil when in truth, by definition should be termed Raw or Refined, which is not Food Grade.

Raw or Refined Linseed Oil is stripped of nutrients and taste and should be avoided for your horse. Oxidation rates cannot be guaranteed even if stabilised due to the initial levels of oxidation from heat processing. 

So when you look for the highest quality of oil on the market for your horse it must be First Cold Pressed. Anything less you risk an inferior quality of oil, higher oxidation (rancidity) and potential health risk for your horse.

Why Is Raw or Refined Linseed Oil A Health Risk?

A horse consuming Raw or Refined Oils can be ingesting harmful free radicals that can cause long-term cell damage and potentially lead to the development of chronic diseases. Additionally rancid oils can also trigger digestive system distress.

In humans, the compromised cells have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other diseases which develop over time. These free radicals have also been shown to damage arteries, and to function as carcinogens.


When selecting a Flaxseed Oil for your horse, question the validity of the term “Cold Pressed” on the label. Be asking the question is it “First Pressed”, because –

If it is not FIRST PRESSED it is not COLD PRESSED”


By Bryan Meggitt (BMedSc. PGCrtMedSc.)
Blood Scientist and Co-founder of CEN Horse Nutrition


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  3. Zhang Z, Wei Y, Guan N, Li B, Wang Y. Changes in Chemical Composition of Flaxseed Oil during Thermal-Induced Oxidation and Resultant Effect on DSC Thermal Properties. Molecules. 2022 Oct 21;27(20):7135. doi: 10.3390/molecules27207135. PMID: 36296728; PMCID: PMC9607143.
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