How Do You Grade Your Coconut Oil? (1 Viewer)

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Linda

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As I started to pick up my usual organic coconut oil, I saw another jar with a label saying "cold press" and "extra virgin". I have to admit that I was not aware of different grades in this oil because I buy organic. Wow - there is a whole lot going on in this industry, and now I see it is a buyer beware situation. I thought this would be a simple post, but instead, my head is bouncing around with all the info. This always seems to happen when something gets popular. Remember the scandals with adulterated olive oil?

Step 1 - source of oil
Some oils are derived from copra, which is dried coconut meat. It may have been smoked and/or stored for a long time.
Other oils are made from the fresh coconut meat and may be labeled virgin oil. However, there are no set standards, so you have to read the label carefully.
It does not appear that GMOs have moved into this crop, yet.

Step 2 - how is the oil extracted
The dry process is used with copra and solvents, which produce a mash.
The wet process uses centrifugal machines or expeller presses with fresh coconut meat. This usually is labeled as virgin oil. Some companies are calling their products extra-virgin, but from what I've read, this is not an industry delineation but perhaps a way to charge more money. In other words, extra-virgin is the same as virgin. Also, a product may be labeled expeller pressed but has gone through high heat or solvent purification.

Step 3 - purification
Natural means minor processing
RBD means refined, bleached, deodorized.

Confused yet? Yep, me, too. So now to look at the 2 jars I have. Oops - got sucked in with the "extra" label.
Garden of Life - Raw, Extra-virgin, certified organic, expeller cold-press, made in Philippines and bottled in Canada
Natural Grocers - Certified organic, extra-virgin, cold-press, made in Sri Lanka

I have shopping options for organic foods, but if I did not, I would read the label carefully and look for raw, virgin, expeller/cold pressed.

Here is a link with a lot of info, if you really want to understand the ins and outs of the coconut oil industry.

http://virginoildecococreme.com/types-classifications-of-coconut-oils/#
 
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Lila

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It does not appear that GMOs have moved into this crop, yet.
Thank goodness!
 

codrus

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Coconut Oil has a very low amount of oleic acid, which means it oxidizes fast. Oxidized oil is what damages the arterial cells and leads to plaque buildup in the arteries. Even an oil with a high amount of oleic acid like Olive Oil or Avacado Oil will still oxidize, just at a slower rate. The way we still process oils leads them to absorbing enough oxygen to oxidize even if they are bottled with an inert gas and will still oxidize on the shelf.

Until better methods are found to process and bottle oils we either have to get the healthy oils directly by eating olives, raw nuts, coconuts, avocados, etc or we have to cut vegetable oils from our diet altogether to remain healthy.

I had to give up dairy (butter) and turned to healthy oil only later to find I had jumped from the pan into the fire... Oh well. You can research this online, ofc.
 
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Linda

Linda

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The way we still process oils leads them to absorbing enough oxygen to oxidize even if they are bottled with an inert gas and will still oxidize on the shelf.
I did look up this info and found a couple of key points - processing and shelf life.

It comes down to the processing method - high heat and chemicals will yield an oil with reduced nutrients and quicker oxidation. This type of oil may increase the possibility of inflammation, as well as other problems, including heart disease.

The better and less refined oils, which are preferable, will have a shorter shelf life than the highly refined oils.

There are benefits to using coconut oil, but like everything else, moderation is important, and now we know so is the manner of processing and age of the product.
 
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Hailstones Melt

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"Deodorised"? I'm pretty sure people on the Indian sub-continent ate their coconuts fresh from the palm trees, for millennia. It's a pretty stinky place, but surely the smell of stale coconut is not one of the contributory causes. What we in the West have imported through empire is not necessarily the way it was meant by the origin culture.
 
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