All About Coconut Oil
Organic, Extra Virgin, Tasteless & Odourless
Coconut oil has a unique combination of fatty acids which can have positive effects on health including fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits. It’s also one of the few foods that can really be classified as a “superfood”,
Recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world, the coconut palm is commonly referred to as kalpa vriksha (Sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”) in ancient India,
People are discovering the wonders this oil can create and it is again gaining popularity throughout the world. How many of these benefits you are aware of?
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is made from using fresh, raw coconuts without the addition of any heat or chemicals. There are three main ways to manufacture virgin coconut oil.
- QUICK DRY
Quick drying involves fresh raw coconut meat and heat to quick dry and press out the oil via mechanical means.
- WET MILLING
Also involves fresh raw coconut meat but without the drying of the meat first. Coconut milk is expressed first by pressing The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration and mechanical centrifuge.
- COLD PRESSED
If a coconut oil is cold pressed it means when the oil is mechanically pressed its temperature does not exceed 48 degrees. The reason cold pressed oil is so popular is because keeping the oil at a low temperature preserves all of the coconuts phytonutrients.
Tasteless/Odourless Coconut Oil
Produced by using copra (dried coconut). The extracted coconut flesh is gently smoked, creating a seal over the flesh that prevents the surface from gaining any fungal growth. The temperature at which coconut oil begins to smoke, and its medium chain structure begins to change/be damaged is very high (180°C). Our tasteless oil gets nowhere near this high temperature.
Once the coconut has been harvested and smoked to form copra (a word used to describe smoked coconut meat), the next step is to extract the oil. The copra is broken up, placed in huge vats, and then immersed in water. Using ambient temperatures (tropical temperatures are more than adequate, as coconut oil is a liquid at temperatures above >25°C), the oil is allowed to separate and rise to the top of the vat. The oil is then removed and the copra mechanically pressed to extract any remaining oil.
The extracted oil has an orange color and smoky flavour. Thus, the oil is pumped through diatomaceous clays to filter out the orange colour. In a very sustainable fashion, the last process is to pump the oil through carbon charcoal filters, which removes the smoked coconut flavour. The same charcoal that was created by burning the coconut shell in the first step (when smoking the coconut flesh to create copra) is used.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT Oil or Liquid Coconut Oil)
Fractionated coconut oil has a fraction of the fatty acids of virgin coconut oil, it has had the long chain fatty acids removed and contains only medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), which are indisputably much healthier than long-chain fatty acids. (FCFAs). One of the main benefits of fractionated coconut oil is its ability to stay liquid at temperatures under 0 degrees.
Fractionated coconut oil is popular with skin care products, hair care & as a massage oil. It has a huge shelf life of over 5 years and is a very stable oil. MCT oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides) is another name for fractionated coconut oil though I have noticed in the marketplace many fractionated coconut oils are not for human consumption and are only to be used topically as a carrier oil. This is compared to MCT oil or liquid coconut oil where I have seen it safe to consume orally.
Benefits of Virgin, Tasteless & Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Provide a quick source of energy due to its medium chain saturated fatty acid profile (MCFA)
- Benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs
- Moisturises the skin & relieves flaking
- Promotes weight loss by increasing metabolic rate
- High smoking point of 180⁰, (unlike olive oil that forms harmful by-products when heated)
- Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin & age spots
- Ketones found in coconut oil may slow down & prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Stop sugar cravings
- Very Long Shelf Life (doesn’t oxidise)
- Supports strong bone and teeth development
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
According to numerous studies, the high lauric acid content of coconut oil is very beneficial in attacking pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, and it also builds the body’s immune system just as human mother’s milk does, which also contains lauric acid.
Promising studies have been done on patients suffering from immune deficiency diseases, such as AIDS. See the research.
With polyunsaturated seed oils now largely replacing coconut oil in the American diet, there is a huge deficiency of lauric acid in the American diet that was present prior to World War II. The need for quality coconut oil is greater than ever!
10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil!
By Cloudy Apples
Prices of Coconut Oil
People assume because fractionated coconut oil is synthetically made and is a “fraction” of virgin oils fatty acid complex that it is cheaper, this is not true. Fractionated coconut oil is made using a rather complex process which takes more time to extract than virgin oil. Typically speaking virgin coconut oil can range in retail prices of between $12-$35/litre depending on the quality, packaging & origin of the oil. In the past 5 years in Australia coconut oil has exploded and is sold everywhere including supermarkets making the price points very competitive.
Fractionated coconut oil on the other hand is not as mainstream as virgin and is usually sold in a retail environment in smaller volumes (100ml, 200ml & 500ml bottles. You would typically pay upwards of $30-$40/litre for fractionated coconut. Doterra, a popular carrier oil company sells for 115mls for $16, and people pay it!
Tasteless/Odourless coconut oil which is not as popular as the virgin oil typically sells for between $15-$25/litre. As tasteless oil is mainly used for cooking people tend to buy this oil on larger quantities to replace unhealthy trans fat vegetable oils.