Coconut oil has practically become the mascot of the health food industry, and more products than ever before are utilising coconut oil for its many useful properties. From skin and oral care to butter replacement, coconut oil can do it all! However, coconut oil is not a one-size-fits-all type of ingredient; it exists in many different forms, each of which offers unique benefits based on your needs. Read on to gain a better understanding of what each variation of coconut oil really has to offer.
As the name suggests, refined coconut oil has been processed more thoroughly than unrefined coconut oil. In most cases, refined coconut oil is produced from dried coconut, rather than fresh coconut, and the oil undergoes processing that bleaches and deodorises the “copra”. This refining process helps to make the oil better for cooking foods at high temperatures, but as a result it removes much of the signature coconut flavour from the oil.
Unrefined coconut oil, on the other hand, is made from fresh, raw, unprocessed coconut meat. Since no chemicals or high-heat are used to alter unrefined coconut oil, it still retains its coconut flavour and natural health benefits. This is often labelled as “virgin” oil and it is considered more therapeutic since it retains the majority of its natural properties. However, the quality of both refined and unrefined coconut oils are subject to the processing methods used to obtain the oil.
Many different processes can be used to obtain coconut oil, but expeller-pressed and cold-pressed are the most common. Oils labelled as expeller-pressed undergo a mechanical process that extracts the oil at high pressure and high heat. Cold-pressed oil, meanwhile, avoids all high heat by ensuring the process never exceeds 120 degrees Fahrenheit. These lower temperatures help to preserve the natural qualities of the oil, so many consumers seek cold-pressed oils as one sign that they are spending their money on higher quality oil.
Coconut offers the significant benefit that it is not a high-risk pesticide food or genetically-modified crop. However, it is still important to select an organic variation when possible. Fair Trade certification is also a valuable indicator of quality. The cheapest coconut oil brands tend to most ruthlessly degrade the environment, exploit workers, and refuse fair wages to coconut farmers. Coconut oil with a legitimate fair trade indication means that you are getting not only the quality that you want, but also the social and environmental benefits behind it.
Aromatic Ingredients offers traditional and organic coconut oil that is obtained and produced in the most responsible ways. You can work with a specialist at Aromatic Ingredients to discover the coconut oil variation that best meets your product formulation needs. Call us at 03 9702 3698 to learn more!