Different Processes Deliver Different Results
So, you may have read about the benefits of coconut oil recently. It is wonderful for your skin, hair, weight loss, and often used as an intimate lubricant. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acid that aid the body in moving toxins out via transportation and set up an environment many organisms abhor. Here is some information to help you choose the best coconut oil for your needs.
Coconut oil is available almost everywhere. IMPORTANT: If the coconut oil smells bad or is discolored, it is recommended to NOT use it as the manufacturer may have used solvents in the extraction process. Read the label and research the company before you purchase so you get exactly what you want. Three types of coconut oils can be purchased.
Centrifuge Extracted Virgin Coconut Oil
Centrifuged coconut oil is made from fresh coconuts opened less than 48 hours after they are picked from the trees. They first shell the coconuts and then chop the flesh, placing it in an expeller press. The temperatures of the coconut flesh and the resulting coconut milk emulsion do not exceed 25° C or 78.8° F (room temperature).
Once the coconut is shelled, it takes less than 45 minutes to produce the milk. The resulting coconut milk emulsion is then chilled slightly to 10° C (50° F) so that the oil will “pull out of solution.” In other words, the chilling helps to break the protein emulsion that holds the oils in solution. Next, the cooled milk, by use of a large centrifuge, is separated into the pure oil and “skim” coconut milk.
This method of extraction requires no heat at all. It works like a cream separator that is used for separating cream from cow’s milk. It requires quite a few passes through this chilled centrifuge to obtain pure oil, but the resulting oil is fabulous.
Centrifuged, virgin coconut oil is creamy and smooth when it is in a semi-solid state. It is completely clear like spring water when it is in a liquid state. It is pure white when it is in a solid-state. It has a very mild, light coconut taste.
Fermented Coconut Oil
For generations in the Philippines, they have been making virgin coconut oil by hand, using a traditional Philippine method of extraction. First, fresh coconuts are opened and grated. Then the flesh is pressed, yielding a fresh coconut milk emulsion that is approximately 40% oil. The milk is called an emulsion because there is a natural protein that holds the oil in the solution. Within about 12 hours, however, the natural enzymes from the coconut will break down this protein, releasing the oil.
As the oil floats, it is siphoned off and made ready for export to the United States. This oil is never heated. While most traditionally processed Philippine virgin coconut oils experience temperatures close to the boiling point of water. Experiments done by Aajonus Vonderplanitz, a leading raw foodist, have shown that the naturally occurring enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 96° F. Most raw foodists, however, prefer to use food that does not see heat above 117° F.
Philippine manufacturers have perfected the fermentation process so their virgin coconut oil, made the traditional way, has a very low moisture content without having to heat the oil at all.
If you have tasted a coconut oil in the past that tasted sour or fermented, it is because some of the acids of fermentation had remained in the oil. Traditional Philippine Coconut oil does not have any of these acids or the resulting fermented/sour taste. Instead, it has a sweet mild coconut flavor, which is not overpowering, but instead rather tasteful and pleasant.
Fermented virgin coconut oil typically rivals centrifuged oil for taste and quality but can be more expensive as well. Fermented coconut oil is especially good for skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis.
Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil
Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil as an economical choice for high-temperature cooking. This oil is mechanically expressed without the use of solvents or chemicals of any kind.
It is an excellent quality food-grade coconut oil that is NOT hydrogenated and contains NO trans fatty acids. Expeller-pressed coconut oil has a neutral flavor (because it is refined), yet it contains the same healthy fatty acids as virgin coconut oil.
Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil is less expensive than virgin coconut oil because it can be mass-produced. The coconuts are opened and quickly dried. The dried coconuts are then mechanically pressed to remove the oil, without using chemical solvents. Any free fatty acids are removed, the oil is run through diatomaceous earth, and lastly, the oil is steam distilled. This yields a very pure, uncontaminated coconut oil. Though not a virgin oil, it still melts at 76 ° F, is very light and creamy smooth, containing the same medium-chain fatty acids as virgin coconut oil. People in Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, use this as their main cooking oil.
Now you have the information, happy shopping!