Maybe you’ve ordered the same oil two separate times, from the same company, and the oils don’t match. It’s very possible for the same oil to have a different color or even consistency from one batch to the next. But this is no cause for alarm— variation in oils and in batches are standard whenever you have plant-based ingredients. Here’s a quick reminder of how that can happen and why it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Causes of Variation in Oils
The factors that influence how a plant grows are numerous—think about good and bad seasons or crops, or even climates and wine growing. The amount of sun and rain impacts the way a plant develops. Perhaps temperature fluctuated, or it was a warmer season than normal. Maybe the plants were harvested at a younger stage of development, or producers mixed batches from different fields. It’s not hard to imagine the variation you might see in how plants develop, and how color and consistency might fluctuate over time. For example, tamanu oil can noticeably fluctuate between each season. The properties are the same, but the appearance varies–this variation in oils is quite common.
You may see a big difference between the organic and non-organic varieties of oils, too. Depending on the process, traditional versus organic ingredients may smell and look completely different from one another.
What does Variation in Oils Mean to You?
This matters when you buy ingredients. Many times we will receive an oil from the same farmer or supplier where the color is noticeably different—but the properties of the oil remain the same. If needed we can color-correct a product, but in general we leave it as is. Although it might be inconvenient, it’s a great reminder that we source oils made from real plants that grow in the earth, not just using ingredients produced in the lab.
Refined oils tend to be more consistent across batches because of the refining process. Impurities are removed and the oil itself is refined a great deal. Cold pressed oils, however, are very susceptible to color and consistency changes. Cold-pressed oils are made simply from the plant being pressed, collecting just the oil, and bottling it up. It’s best to experiment with your needs and try out a few different oils until you find the perfect one.
A final note—variation is normal, and variation between suppliers is too. However, source your oils from a supplier you trust who does their research. If they can’t tell you the country of origin, they’re not doing their homework. We are always here to help, so let us know if you have any questions!
You can check out blogs on other oils here.