Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coconut "The Good" Oil

A while back a national magazine featured on its front page an article about dementia.  Sad, but a reality we may have to face.  There are stories of people finding success in staving off the some aspects of dementia by consuming a regular intake of good quality virgin coconut oil (search "Alzheimer and Coconut Oil" on YouTube).

That’s why we’re featuring the range of KOKONATIOrganic Coconut products on the website this week.  Beautiful coconut oils, coconut flour, coconut cream… This company specialises in high quality Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Coconut.  They live, think, drink, eat coconut and know lots about it.

The following table has been put together by KOKONATI and may help you to understand the three main types of coconut oil on the market - that is, Virgin (cold-press), White (from fresh coconut meat) and Deodorised Coconut Oil (from dried coconut meat).


Types of Coconut Oil
Virgin1 Coconut Oil
(cold-press virgin)
White Coconut Oil (from fresh coconut meat)
Deodorised (or RBD3) Coconut Oil
Extracted from
Fresh coconut meat
Dehumidified, fresh coconut meat
Dried coconut meat or from copra
Fresh coconut aroma
Fresh, slightly toastier coconut aroma. Similar to desiccated coconut.
No aroma
Gentle  coco-nutty taste
Pleasant,  toasted coco-nutty taste
No coconut taste
Colourless, water-like when liquid or pure white when solid. If mature, wild, forest coconuts are used they contain a very high lauric acid5 level and the oil can retain a slight golden colour.
Colourless when liquid at temps >24.4 C.  Pure white when solid
Slightly yellow tinged liquid. Off white tinge when solid
Method of extraction
Wet / Dry cold press
Raw, virgin (unrefined), coconut oil is cold pressed using only fresh coconuts. High quality Organic virgin coconut oil such as KOKONATI is cold pressed at temperatures less than 40 C, ensuring all nutrients and antioxidants are retained intact.
This is a RAW, unrefined oil.  If it does not have the coco-nutty aroma, it cannot be a Virgin Coconut Oil. There is actually no “Extra” Virgin oil; it’s either virgin or not virgin. “Extra” is a marketing term.
Mechanically expeller pressed & filtered under 100 C.
Raw materials enter one side of the press and waste products exit the other side. The machine uses friction and continuous pressure from the screw which moves and compresses the coconuts. Pressure involved in expeller pressing creates heat in the range of 60-99 C. No chemicals used in the processing.
Mechanically expressed at temps up to     180 C.
Deodorised by steam vacuum. Bleached using  Fullers Earth (a natural clay).   In KOKONATI Sri Lankan Coconut Oil no artificial chemicals or bleaches are allowed in manufacture.
Price relates to quality
Due to low the temperature extraction, 40% of oil is all that can be extracted as the first and only press, hence ‘Virgin’ Coconut Oil. That is also the reason why Virgin Coconut Oil is higher in price than White Coconut Oil.
Expeller presses can recover 75% of the oil from coconut. Hence a higher yield compared to cold press extraction for Virgin Coconut Oil.

Virgin Coconut oil is best used as a spread, in smoothies, as a daily health supplement, or in salads. Virgin Oil can also be used for high temp. cooking but is more expensive being the first and only press extraction.
White Coconut Oil is a more or less a ‘budget’ option for heavy use such as in deep fryers and in baking while still retaining most of the same potent properties of Virgin Coconut Oil.
High heat cooking oil with no aroma. Sometimes you need to cook without the coconut aroma.  A quality de-odorised coconut oil is a better option than using any other de-odorised oil as it still remains one of the healthiest oils to use due to its high MCT4 content.

1 Virgin Coconut Oil. Raw coconuts, when opened, will quickly ferment and unless the moisture is removed properly during processing the oil will sour. Coconuts used for this oil are usually processed within 48 hours of picking. Good quality Virgin Coconut Oils should have a shelf life of at least 2 years without any deterioration of the oil at all.
2 Copra or dried coconut flesh is what is made into basic coconut oil. It is a completely different form of oil compared to Virgin Coconut Oil.
3 RBD: refined, bleached, deodorized
4 MCT: Medium Chain Triglyceride, fatty acid
5 Breastmilk is a very high source of lauric acid. Coconut oil is roughly half lauric acid, so it has about 6.5 grams per tablespoon.

Today, because of the high demand for Virgin Coconut Oil some manufacturers purchase cheap copra oils and run them through centrifuge spinning machines to clean up the oils. While the centrifuges remove the smell and all flavour from the oils the Copra Coconut Oil is a much thicker oil, that, except for a higher level of lauric acid, it is very similar to all other trans-fat food oils on the market and is not recommended.

So let’s be informed about the coconut oil we buy.  Less refined is much better for our health. Use the more expensive Virgin Coconut Oil for smoothies and health supplements.  Use the less costly White Coconut Oil for high heat cooking and use a good quality Deodorised Coconut Oil (like the ones we sell) if you just don’t need the flavour or aroma of coconut in the preparation of your dish.  Remember to store oils at an even, cool temperature out of the light.

Click on the various Coconut Oil products on the website and you’ll find more specific information about its health benefits.

Here’s to wise health,

Penelope & Rodney

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