How profitable is the mustard business

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Most consumers use industrially manufactured cooking oil. They hardly contain any important minerals, but instead contain unwanted additives. Henning Borchers wants to counteract this trend and offers high-quality, self-made oils in his "oil works".

Henning Borchers makes in oil. Mineral oil used to be his topic. But after his career with large energy providers, he wanted to reorient himself again at the age of 50. He has always been bothered by the fact that many foods are called that, but are anything but alive, namely without energy and processed to death, so to speak.

Manufactured oil is one such example. 95 percent of the refined edible oils produced in Germany are repeatedly heated extremely (up to 250 degrees), which means that valuable lecithin and minerals are lost. In addition, chemicals such as fuller's earth, phosphoric acid, caustic soda or synthetic vitamin E are added to make the oil more durable and thus profitable. An end product with no real taste that has nothing to do with the natural raw material. Another problem is that "cold-pressed" is not a term protected by food law and even organic oils that are heated are disguised by terms such as "steam-refined" or "gently refined", as the expert emphasizes.

Naturally produced oils usually only have a short shelf life

Borchers has decided to breathe life and energy back into oil and in April 2013 opened his own small oil factory "Ölwerk - Feinste Biologische Öle" in the middle of Berlin with a partner. "I live in Neukölln, and around the corner from me there was an oil mill where people bottled their own oil until the 1960s. In the 19th century there were 4,000 oil mills in Germany that marketed their oils regionally . " Borchers would like to see the same consumer culture as it used to be in many segments: "Although Berlin has a tradition in the production of linseed oil, when we started there wasn't a single oil mill for seeds and kernels anymore. Linseed oil simply belongs to Berlin With salt, spring onions, quark and an autumn lamb's lettuce, the linseed oil not only tastes good. It is also good against the autumn blues, ”adds Borchers with a beaming smile. A tablespoon every day, just like that or stirred into a warming soup, is said to work wonders. Many of Borcher's customers report on the immune system-strengthening and mood-promoting effects. As a cure or daily. Important: You should let these "life oils with soul and full of energy" melt on your tongue as pure as possible and not overheat them.

His oil plant in Charlottenburg's Gervinusstrasse is a showroom, production and bottling facility in one. The 23 high-quality vegetable oils are obtained from 100 percent organic raw materials. "Only in gentle cold pressing do oils retain their natural aroma and valuable ingredients. After pressing, they start to oxidize and shouldn't be stored forever," explains the oil expert. 42 degrees should not be exceeded under any circumstances. The raw materials are processed into single-variety, high-quality oils with a typical fragrance, unadulterated taste and natural color, and the oil is not treated any further after pressing. On the contrary: it is allowed to rest so that the suspended solids settle. The abundance of fat accompanying substances such as various vitamin E variants, acids or polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive or antioxidant effects, among other things, are preserved. The end product always reaches the customer fresh after pressing, because only as much is pressed as is immediately sold.

Borchers groups them into edible, herbal, health and cosmetic oils that can be sniffed, tasted and purchased in three units of measure (100, 250 and 500 milliliters or as a gift set). The price ranges from 3.50 for 100 milliliters of linseed oil to just under 40 euros for 500 milliliters of black cumin oil. You can reorder in the online shop. Borchers sources its organic raw materials from Germany and Austria. The virgin olive oil from Greece. He only purchases argan, pumpkin and grapeseed oil from proven sources. The palette of flavors ranges from velvety-mild, bitter and fruity to spicy.

During a tasting, anyone can recognize the quality of an oil via attributes such as sticky, oily or clear. If you like, you can let the freshly squeezed linseed oil from mild golden linseed melt on your tongue, smell the scent of thyme and rosemary oils and learn a lot about the anti-allergic and immune-boosting healing properties of black cumin oil. This should even prevent ticks in summer by changing the blood.

The autumn pumpkin seed and walnut oil, which, together with hemp seed and linseed oil, belong to the oils with a very high omega-3 content, are seasonally popular. Apricot kernel oil not only has a mild almond taste, but also has wonderful cosmetic added value. The beneficial skin care with oils has been known for thousands of years. Also new to the range are cold-pressed rapeseed oil, which is great for frying, and strong mustard oil. The oils can be kept for six to eight weeks (linseed oil) up to a year.

Spreads are also part of the range

That nothing ends up in the trash is particularly sustainable. The gentle cold pressing separates nuts and seeds from part of the oil obtained. The resulting press cake is then ground into flour. There are now four types of flour in Borcher’s range. The coconut, almond, flaxseed and hempseed flour are all gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, and full of vegetable proteins, fiber and minerals. However, when baking cakes you have to develop a feeling for the less sticky effect and balance it with eggs and baking powder. Spreads based on coconut and linseed oil as well as types of vinegar, such as balsamic vinegar matured in wooden barrels, complete the oily repertoire. Borchers obtains the "extra virgin basic olive oil" from his colleague Steffen Neumann. He and his family cultivate a small olive oil grove in Greece - and that according to all guidelines for organic cultivation.

Borcher's passionate specialist advice on the essentials of oils, recipes and their health-promoting effects are included in his small shop. He is a member of the "Slowfood Berlin" interest group and also sells specialist books about oil in his shop.

Ölmüller Borchers is now in its third year with the oil works. He observes that the specialty store culture in Berlin is experiencing increased demand again despite the death of owner-managed retail. Special niche stores are in demand, and there is still little competition in its segment in Berlin. In addition to the "Ölmühle an der Havel" and the "Speisegut" (including the oil mill), the "Werder Oil Mill" and the "Schulzendorfer Ölmühle" (only linseed oil) can be found in Brandenburg. On request, you can also look over the shoulder of Borchers during the "warm-hearted" cold press. In the back of the urban mill there is the room for pressing the oil and a store with the finest seeds. And if you are lucky enough to attend the oil pressing, the oil can even be filled into the bottle while it is still warm.

Anke Sademann

INFO: Linseed oil from organic gold linseed
Linseed oil is Berlin's most typical oil and an all-rounder. A favorite recipe of Berliners: linseed oil with quark and jacket potatoes. A spoonful daily in soup or in muesli, the oil is good against autumn blues and depressive moods, allergies, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and has a preventive effect against many unpleasant diseases. It is the most sensitive of all oils and can only be kept for up to eight weeks.

Oil factory
Gervinusstrasse 19
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Dates and tours:
Telephone 030-88944416
On markets:
Wednesday and Saturday:
Karl August Market
Charlottenburg, 8 to 13 or
14 o'clock
Saturday: Boxhagener Platz
Friedrichshain, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.