At your request, we remind you of the differences in the production of different types of coconut oil class:
- natural coconut oil of the first cold press
- refined oil (RBD)
- MCT grade coconut oil
Creation of virgin coconut oils
First of all, it is necessary to understand the methods of squeezing coconut oil, as well as the characteristics of the raw material – one or another oil is extracted from fresh or dried coconut pulp.
The best varieties of coconut oil and coconut milk are usually extracted from the fresh pulp of the nut. During the extraction process, the butter is separated from the cream and moisture using one of several methods: a centrifuge, fermentation, or boiling.
Oil from dried coconut pulp (copra)
The most common method of squeezing coconut oils is using a press. The oil is squeezed from pre-dried coconut pulp.
Methods of pressing virgin coconut oils
After squeezing the fresh coconut flesh, the oil is separated from the cream using a specialized centrifuge, without using additional heat and chemical treatment. That’s why these types of coconut oils are also called “raw” and this is one of MASALE’s favorite coconut oils.
- Advantages: premium quality, the maximum amount of useful natural properties of coconut is preserved
- Disadvantages: expensive
As in the centrifugation process, cream is extracted from the fresh coconut pulp, which is then left overnight in a container for heating. This allows the protein curd (cheese) to rise, while the oil is directly underneath. The heavier components of the coconut mixture settle to the bottom. In the next step, the cheese and butter are removed and heated to further separate these two components.
- Benefits: More antioxidants
- Disadvantages: short shelf life
According to studies conducted in Malaysia, coconut oil obtained through the fermentation process contains the highest amount of antioxidants. Unlike thermally processed fruits and vegetables, which lose their beneficial properties at high temperatures, the chemical composition of coconut is more stable to high temperatures. This fact in itself destroys the myth of banning the use of coconut oil in cooking. Buy high-quality coconut oil, use low and medium heat when cooking, and you will be happy!
Despite studies showing that heating does not harm the quality of coconut oil, this information still has not received enough official scientific confirmation. Therefore, many companies continue to follow the traditional method of cold pressing coconut oil.
In this case, ground or crushed coconut pulp, pre-dried at a temperature of 35 to 70 degrees Celsius, is used. The coconut curd is then filtered, leaving only the butter.
- Advantages: refers to natural crude oils depending on the temperature of production (the lower the drying temperature of copra, the healthier the oil is considered to be)
- Disadvantages: the taste and quality of this line of oils can differ significantly from different manufacturers, since the temperature and humidity level when pressing the oil is always different
Refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) coconut oil
At one end of the production spectrum is high-quality virgin coconut oil, at the other is refined, bleached and deodorized oil. The level of mass production and its quality are often below average.
RBD oil starts with copra, which is coconut pulp that has been smoked, sun-dried, or kiln-dried. This drying process creates a crude, oily product in its original form that is unsafe to use, let alone eat.
The next step involves deodorizing the oil with steam and filtering with bleaching clay to remove the brown color of the oil.
Fatty acids in the composition of the oil, in principle, remain intact, but some phytonutrients of the coconut disappear during the process of its processing, as a result of which the oil loses not only a large part (if not all) of its useful properties, but also loses the taste and aroma of coconut.
- Advantages: cheaper than natural coconut oil
- Disadvantages: aggressive processing of the raw product, which makes the oil of this class potentially dangerous for consumption.
Experts recommend using coconut oil of the RBD class not for food, but in cosmetology or for massages. In this case, it is not even about the benefits of this kind of oil, but about the fact that it does not harm the body.
MCT oil or liquid coconut oil
Due to the ability of coconut oil to solidify at a temperature below 24 degrees, you definitely will not dress your salad with it (if only warm), but a solution to this problem has already been found.
Coconut oil MCT (MCT – medium chain fatty acids) is produced in liquid form and is an industrial product
MCT coconut oil (MCT – medium-chain fatty acids) is produced in liquid form and is an industrial product created by extracting fatty acids from coconut oil. It usually contains two fatty acids – caprylic and capric. Because lauric acid has a high melting point, it is usually removed to yield a liquid product. However, it is believed that lauric acid is the most valuable component of coconut oil. To eliminate this shortcoming, some brands of MCT coconut oil keep a certain percentage of lauric acid in the product
Most often, this oil is sold as a dietary supplement for weight control and increasing energy, and it is also prescribed to patients suffering from dementia, especially if they do not like the smell of coconut.
On the Ukrainian market, such oil in good quality is practically not found, its place is taken by fakes, for example, refined coconut oil – we talked about the caution of its use in cooking a little above.
People have been using coconut oil for centuries, it has had its ups and downs from time to time due to the reaction to the information about it in the media, but one thing is clear: if you follow a healthy lifestyle, a jar of good coconut oil will add a special exotic flavor to your daily diet food and will save money on cosmetic and medical drugs.