Raw coconut oil is, of course, processed without heating. Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, involves a severe heating process during the refining process. Raw coconut oil is also known as virgin coconut oil as it is pressed from coconut meat in a similar manner to that of olive oil from olives. Well kinda. While there is also extra virgin coconut oil available, this is nothing more than a marketing ploy, according to Bruce Fife, who certainly knows his coconuts!
Raw coconut oil is solid and looks like the picture after processing. It will melt in your fingers and is very stable to cook with. It is NOT cheap to buy, however, BUT once you understand the laborious process involved you will realise why.
Refined coconut oil
Refined coconut oil such as KTC coconut oil brand isn’t hydrogenated and so is very safe to use and infers many health benefits BUT organic raw coconut oil is simply so much better.
The reason is that refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut kernel ( meat), known as copra. This is produced by drying via smoke, sun or in a kiln often this drying process is not hygienic so to make it safe for human consumption it needs to be refined. The modern refining process is called RBD – refined, bleached and deodorised. Clearly, this method is not suitable for raw food people. Sometimes it will be hydrogenated but usually only in tropical climates so it won’t melt on the shelf! It seems we should be safe from the hydrogenated stuff in the UK, phew! Click the link to read what the tropical traditions website says.
RBD coconut oil and even modern methods of producing expeller pressed coconut oil often use chemicals in the refining process and so many people will want to avoid these and opt for raw coconut oil instead. I know I want to, but the expense is an issue.
Raw coconut oil processing – from tree to jar
The following video is a great insight into the full raw coconut oil production process as performed in the Philippines. First coconuts are selected, split then the kernel/meat is removed. This is then pressed to remove the milk, it’s then left for 12-15 hours to separate into three layers – skim milk, oil and protein. The protein is removed and the oil is harvested which is then bottled and checked for stray liquid. And tada, raw coconut oil, from tree to jar without heating.
I love this video as it shows the care taken to produce a quality product. I didn’t really need persuading that raw coconut oil was the way to go but now I know why it is superior.
Is raw virgin coconut oil really healthy, it’s saturated fat, right?
But it is healthy, to read an in depth version of the next paragraph just click through to the pure coconut oil post which looks at whether coconut oil is good for your heart or indeed provides a greater risk of getting heart disease. The answer is, of course, raw coconut oil is very healthy. The medium chain tryglicerides (MCTs) which behave differently to the short chain tryglicerides in saturated animal fats.
Not only is coconut oil not a “dietary poison”, but it contains a remarkable fat called monolaurin. This medium-chain fat, first discovered in my laboratory, represents one of the most exceptional and inspiring group of fats found in nature. This is the same unique fat, available naturally from mother’s milk and coconut oil
Jon Kabara, PH.D., Professor Emeritus, Chemistry and Pharmacology, Michigan State University
Monolaurin is what makes raw coconut oil fab! And the reason why Rich Roll was keen to keep using it despite having some (unfounded) reservations about the saturated nature of coconut oil. I will produce a post on the benefits of of raw coconut oil in your diet and why monolaurin is so good. Keep em peeled for that forthcoming masterpiece!
|Essential is my favourite virgin coconut oil, raw organic and just luscious!
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|Biona organic raw virgin coconut oil from amazon, lush. This stuff is never cheap, in fact it is always expensive but it’s great, I’m a big fan!
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