KTC Coconut Oil – Hydrogenated or Healthy? Vegan Heath investigates

KTC coconut oil is very cheap, especially when compared to Biona or Essential virgin coconut oil. In Balsall Heath it’s widely available in Asian convenience stores and would be a great affordable alternative.

There is the hydrogenated issue though. If KTC coconut oil is hydrogenated I ain’t touching the stuff. In a comment on a previous coconut oil post Sarojinididi of the Yogi Vegetarian blog wanted to know how you can tell.

It’s not straightforward as coconut oil is sold most of the time in this country regardless of whether it’s Biona or KTC coconut oil.

Answering the KTC coconut oil conundrum

The power of Google has solved the issue, well at least to a point. You do have to believe what other investigators say. Assuming you can manage that then you will be fine.

Ok, so is KTC coconut oil non-hydrogenated and suitable for consumption?

Well, according to a contributor on the Weston A Price message board the answer is yes! In the third or fourth comment in that thread a bloke quotes another contributor who wrote the following

Regarding the KTC coconut oil, I just got the following email response from them:

“KTC Coconut Oil is 100% pure, refined coconut oil. The oil is not hydrogenated in any way and hexane is not used in the refining process.”

Woohoo! We’re in. At least, preliminary investigation suggests so. Further evidence of the suitability of KTC can be found in the comment section of this Wise Geek article on coconut oil. There are seven comments in reverse order.

To summarize the discussion went like this:

I bought some coconut oil but it had no smell
KTC coconut oil has no smell because it is refined and so no good
What do you mean, what’s up with it?
‘related topics’
Some garbled comment suggesting KTC coconut oil IS healthy but unrefined is better.
Pride coconut oil doesn’t smell of coconut but KTC does but both say pure?.
I spoke with them in detail, it’s the same as virgin as coconut oil no fewer or more benefits!.

So there you have it! KTC is the same as virgin coconut oil, well according to KTC anyway.

The important point is that it is NOT hydrogenated, that is good news! In the forum post there is a link to a post about refined coconut oil on a Paleo bodybuilding site, which outlines some of the benefits of coconut oil (such as the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties) and why the unrefined stuff is a waste of money.

Over to Bruce Fife who explains that the refining process is known as RBD and is made from a dried form of coconut called copra. RBD stands for ‘refined, bleached and deodorized’.

He goes on to say that virgin coconut oil can be extracted via various methods but this involves much less refining. These methods include – boiling, fermenting, refrigerating, mechanical press or centrifuge.

He suggest avoiding the yellow stuff as this indicates impurities and a substandard extraction. He does however agree with paleo man that ‘

regardless of processing, all coconut oils contain essentially the same amount of health promoting medium-chain fatty acids. These… are very resisitent to heat and… are not harmed in processing, even when high temperatures are used. For this reason, RBD coconut oil is still considered a healthy oil

So, I’m satisfied that KTC coconut oil is not hydrogenated AND is healthy! In the future I will use this oil as well as the raw organic virgin coconut oil I currently buy. Unlike, paleo bodybuilders I love the coconut flavour and virgin coconut oil really is pleasant.

READ : Are Butterscotch Candies Vegan?

In summary:

Although refined it seems KTC coconut oil is of the RBD variety and so healthy. Being so much cheaper than the raw virgin coconut oil it is clearly a great alternative.

The vegan heath verdict is a big thumbs up! However, there are issues concerning fairtrade and related ethics, which the raw organic virgin coconut oil may trump KTC.

I will carry on with my favourite organic raw virgin coconut oil as I like it so much and love the subtle coconutty taste. But I will use KTC coconut oil too. I’m not sure exactly how as I need to try it again, but I’m sure I’ll let the interested reader know on this blog (see Practicalities below!).

If anyone reading this has any direct interaction with KTC I’d be very interested to hear what they say. Please leave a comment if you have talked to KTC or if you have anything else to add! Thanks!

Practicalities of KTC coconut oil

Perusing the Weston A Price forum thread there’s some debate on the the packaging of KTC coconut oil as their plastic tub is made of PVC and that can leach into the product, apparently. Happily, they have a 250ml bottle of the stuff.

I’ve got one of these KTC bottles in my kitchen, unused for a year at least. Thankfully, coconut oil is very stable so it will be fine, the trouble is getting it out of the bottle seeing as it is solid. One contributor in the forum suggests putting two bottle in a pan of boiling water and decanting your once solid KTC coconut oil into a more suitable glass jar. Another said to keep it in the airing cupboard. Both good tips!

EDIT – I’ve began a review on using KTC coconut oil which includes a Hollywood style video on the decanting process! Exciting stuff!
Also, there’s a lot of debate on the smoking point of coconut oil. This is lower for virgin coconut oil and so it’d be a good idea to use your KTC coconut oil for higher heat cooking. So use the KTC coconut oil in your chip pan and the raw coconut oil in your porridge (this is lovely, by the way)!

Contacting KTC Edibles

This investigation has had no direct contact with KTC Edibles, if you want to ask them questions yourself you can contact them from the contact page on the KTC site.

EDIT – Trans fats in hydrogenated coconut oil

A contributor on the 5:2 fast diet forum linked to a number of interesting pages that seem to indicate that hydrogenated coconut oil was not comprised of trans fatty acids. That doesn’t seem to make any sense to me, as I’m pretty certain that the hydrogenation process IS what produces the trans fats.

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