How to Extract Emu Oil

Of you are the curious type, you have probably wondered how emu oil is made. The process, although relatively straight forward, is one that requires great care. That is because unlike other animal fats like lard and butter, emu oil is very sensitive to contaminants and once contaminated it is useless. The area where the extraction is done has to be thoroughly sanitized before extraction can begin.

The bird has a thick layer of fat on the back. After it is slaughtered and feathered, the thick layer of fat is removed. It has to be washed very carefully to get rid of any contaminants that may have been picked up during slaughter. The washing can e done manually but in bigger operations machinery may be used. It is washed in water that is between 120 F and 140 F.

The next step is to cook the fat so that you can get it to release the oil. Once heated, the fat tissue separates and slowly releases the oil that it contains. Two things are important here; there must be no oxidation and the heat must be high enough to melt the fat. There are two types of cooking that are used The first is wet rendering where the fat is thrown into a pot and then hot water is chucked after it and the pot is covered. The oil slowly separates from the fat and rises to the surface of the water from where it is siphoned. The other method is dry rendering where the fat is heated in a closed vessel. As the fat dehydrates it slowly releases the oil. One important fact: you have to choose between the amount of heat and the quality of emu oil that you want to get. The higher the heat the more oil is extracted but its quality is reduced.

The emu oil that results from the cooking is high in fatty acids and these need to be removed as well as any other impurities that may be present. It has to be filtered and sterilized and for these processes, different equipment can be used. The last process is deodorization to give the oil a good smell.

Some emu oil doesn’t go through these processes; manufacturers simply render the oil and pass it through simple filter to remove visible impurities. This kind of processing leaves behind bacteria and other contaminants that reduce the efficacy of the oil.

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