Organic Coconut Oil

  • Posted on: 17 August 2015
  • By: Admin
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The best coconut oil is an extremely healthy product that is produced using generally accepted organic farming techniques. This means that no chemical fertilisers are used on the crops and the soil is treated with respect by rotating the crops in a sustainable way.

Pesticides are not allowed to be used in organic farming as natural methods for removing pests from crops are used instead.

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What Is Organic Coconut Oil?

There was once a mistaken belief that coconut oil was unhealthy owing to its supposed cholesterol-raising properties. It has, however, been discovered that the findings were based upon the use of hydrogenated coconut oil, and not organic coconut oil. As the name suggests, organic coconut oil means that the coconuts used for the oil were grown devoid of the use of pesticides. On the whole, this is important when selecting a coconut oil.

Organic coconut oil that you use must be certified by an accredited institution which inspects the areas where in the product is farmed and processed so as to guarantee that they’ve never used pesticides, chemical solvents, dyes, or preservatives in the processing or packaging of the crop. When something is termed “organic”, it guarantees its purity.

Is All Coconut Oil Organic?

Not all coconut oil is organic. There are also cases where oil is derived from coconuts grown with the use of pesticides, chemical solvents, artificial fertilizers, and which are processed with the use of ionizing radiation, artificial additives, dyes, and/or preservatives. This is known as non-organic coconut oil.

Where Does Organic Coconut Oil Come From?

Organic coconut oil is derived from coconuts farmed without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and which are processed without the use of preservatives, ionizing radiation, dyes or artificial additives. It is mostly unrefined coconut oil, the crude coconut oil directly obtained from the coconut and the process of oil extraction.

Organic coconut oil is unfiltered, unrefined and without any additives. This is sometimes also called “pure coconut oil” in order to mark its difference from refined, deodorized, bleached coconut oil, commonly known as “refined coconut oil”.

How Is Organic Coconut Oil Produced?

Organic coconut oil can be derived through the “wet-milling” method. With this process, the oil gets extracted from the coconut’s fresh meat without first drying it. “Coconut milk” is first expressed by means of pressing it out of the wet coconut meat. The coconut oil is then further separated from water. Techniques which can be used to separate the coconut oil from the water include fermentation, refrigeration, boiling, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.

In some instances, organic coconut oil is also directly extracted by cold compression of the fresh dried coconut meat, a process also called Micro-expelling. Cold-pressed coconut oil is derived from fresh, low-temperature dried coconut flakes. The oil has a stronger coconut flavor as well as tiny traces of the soluble constituents that are extracted from the dried coconut meat. It’s also considered “raw” and gets to retain all its nutrients. In the case of virgin organic coconut oil, the raw materials and the extraction process is designed to not allow any involvement of heat.

Good and reputable firms which manufacture virgin organic coconut oil, throughout the entire process take the utmost care to ensure that the kernels and the raw material – the coconut milk – aren’t subjected to heat or sunlight. Virgin organic coconut oil can also be derived through expeller pressing the oil from dried coconut.

Using this approach, the fresh coconut meat is first dried, and then later the oil gets pressed out of the coconut. This method makes it easier to mass produce virgin organic coconut oil. Because the desiccated coconut (dried coconut) industry is well-established in coconut producing countries, several of these industries have managed to add virgin coconut oil to their product line.

How Is Organic Coconut Oil Labeled?

There are some brands which claim to use coconuts that are farmed in more remote locations without use of pesticides and that don’t go through the process of organic certification. That is where reading labels and also doing some research could save you cash without compromising your food-standards.

Labeling can get quite tricky with coconut oil, and so the first step is to simply read the labels. In this case, Google really is your friend. For certified organic coconut oil, you should always look for the label “USDA Organic”. Beware that most commercial coconut oil you find in your typical grocery store isn’t what you want to ingest in your body.

Besides for the most part, in case something isn’t labeled, you should just assume it is the chemically processed, hydrogenated coconut oil that you want to avoid. Avoid coconut oil that is labeled as “deodorized” or “extra” virgin. Organic coconut oil is quite readily available for purchase via many online outlets, in grocery stores, health food stores, as well as large chain stores such as Costco and Walmart.

It is worth mentioning that if you are concened about the quality of organic coconut oil purchased from large supermarkets, that these stores will refund your item. Usually to do this you will need to take your items back for a refund within 30 days of your purchase.

What Are The Different Types Of Organic Coconut Oil?

There are two types of organic coconut oil: refined and unrefined, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. Refined coconut oil is more processed compared to unrefined oils.

Refined vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil

Refined Coconut Oil

The refined version of coconut oil is derived exclusively from dried coconut meat, also called copra. The meat is bleached and treated to decrease potential bacteria in the coconut meat. Organic coconut oil produced from copra has to be treated since the drying process produces contaminants within the copra. The oil is then treated by a high-heat process so as to extract the coconut’s flavor and smell from the oil, and most producers will also utilize chemicals to extract or derive as much oil as possible from the organic coconut meat.

Often, sodium hydroxide gets added to boost shelf life, although this isn’t the case with all refined organic coconut oils. Sometimes, refined coconut oil is partially hydrogenated, which produces trans fats.

Unrefined Coconut Oil

In contrast, unrefined oil is often referred to as “pure” or “virgin” coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat instead of dried. The oil is extracted either through a quick-dry method or by a wet-mill process. Quick drying, as the name suggests, dries the organic coconut meat very quickly, and the oil is then pressed out mechanically.

Wet milling will require that the coconut meat be processed into coconut milk, and by boiling, fermenting or straining, and using a centrifuge or enzymes, the milk is separated from the oil. Since both processes are quick, the oil doesn’t require additives or bleaching. In addition, it retains more coconut flavor as it isn’t exposed to high temperatures.

How Is Organic Coconut Oil Different To Other Types Of Coconut Oil?

Organic coconut oil is never processed using chemicals. Choosing an organic and unrefined coconut oil which hasn’t been hydrogenated is the healthiest option, if you can find it. Fewer chemicals in the process of treating the oil means there are less chemicals in the final product.

Organic coconut oil is typically cold-pressed and unrefined, unbleached, and never deodorized! Savor its smooth, sweet flavor and its rich aroma. It is ideal as a nutritious substitute in baking, a medium heat cooking oil, and even “better than butter” on popcorn, bread, or vegetables.

The Appearance Of Organic Coconut Oil

Organic coconut oil looks somewhat different from non-organic coconut oil and this difference cannot be made with the naked eye. The difference is mainly because of the presence of certain colloidal as well as other particles and moisture within it.

Non-organic oil, on the other hand, is refined and is primarily left with the fatty acids within it and virtually nothing else. Organic coconut oil should be ideally as clear as water. Yet, its color may vary slightly depending on its processing.

The Composition Of Organic Coconut Oil

The 2 varieties don’t differ much in composition and nutrition, except for the fact that a couple of good things, like some polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins that contribute to the taste, fragrance, and also goodness of coconut oil found more in organic coconut oil than the its non-organic counterpart.

Organic coconut oil is more nutritious than the non-organic variety, being unprocessed and not subjected to any detrimental heat. It’s richer in proteins (that is almost totally absent in refined non-organic oil), vitamins, and antioxidants. Furthermore, it’s richer is medium-chain fatty acids, good cholesterol, and possesses almost no trans-fatty acids.

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The best organic coconut oil should be labelled clearly as such and may not be as cheap as the oil that you find in the big supermarkets

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