Before we begin with the different types of coconut oil- If you havent tried this heavenly oil, I suggest starting with organic expeller pressed oil. It is light in flavor and creamy in texture and works well for any use.
I am no stranger to this oil. My first purchase was organic expeller pressed. It was delicious. Smooth and creamy with a slight coconut flavor. When iit was gone, I ordered unrefined/virgin oil from a different company.
Wow! there was a huge difference in the texture and flavor. I was a bit surprised- my thoughts were all oils were the same.
The question I often get is "what type of coconut oil to use", often they had tried the oil and had a bad experience. After talking, it was revealed they purchased a low grade oil or RBD(refined,bleached and deodorized).
Here we will explain the difference and so you can make a decision based on your needs.
Where to buy the different types of coconut oil is the second question. We will offer guidance here too.
Arent they all the same?
They all have their own characteristics. It is surprising. They vary in flavor and texture depending on the way it is produced.
Different coconut oil brands come from many sources. Take note of where it is produced and the rating. Organic-Certified and/or Fair trade.
The 2 main classifications of coconut oil are-
Unrefined and Refined
Unrefined is the best quality. It is made from raw coconut. With minimal processing, without the addition of chemicals or an outside heat source.
Refined is made from copra(dried coconut) and often uses chemicals and high heat to purify the oil. This is a lower grade oil.
Virgin, Expeller pressed, Cold Pressed, RBD(refined, bleached and deodorized. Fractionated, and Centrifuged.
How do I choose which type of coconut oil is best?
It is a matter of preference. There is a slight price difference that may be a factor for some.
The 3 types of coconut oil used most often are- Virgin, Expeller pressed and RBD(refined, bleached and deodorized) and organic coconut oil.
I once heard a man in the produce department, questoning organic. As he looked around, he said "isnt it all organic?"
At one time, this was my belief. I thought anything grown was organic. I now understand- Organic means to be free of pesticides and herbacides.
To simplify things, I have made my own names for the types of coconut oil. We relate to word recognition rather than the virgin, refined, unrefined, RBd to decipher what is what.
Unadulterated-Purest type of coconut oil
Unrefined/virgin coconut oil- Made from the raw coconut meat, this is the purest form of this tropical oil. It is chemical free, outside heat sources are not used in the production.
The label will say unrefined virgin coconut oil. If it is organic, it will be stated on the label. This oil is the closest to nature that producers can achieve.
Expeller pressed- This method does not use chemicals or excessive heat to produce the oil. Any heat is natural, created from friction due to the pressing of the nut. Using an expeller press, the nut is pressed, squeezing out the oil. Imagine a sponge between a vice, the water is squeezed out, letting the water drain into a bowl, leaving the sponge.
The processing of RBD is less desirable. Chemicals and heat are used in the process.
RBD- Refined, bleached and deodorized. This oil is made from copra. Copra is the meat of the coconut, dried in a kiln or the sun. This often brings bugs and mold. This is not fit for consumption.
At this point, the oil is refined, bleached and deodorized. This purifies it, making it acceptable to consume. Yet, this process removes some of the antimicrobial benefits we desire. This is acceptable for high heat cooking.
I have talked to people that had tried coconut oil and didnt like it. It smelled funny, tasted bad. It turned out they had RBD oil.
Fractionated oil- This process extracts specific fatty acids from the whole coconut oil. Lauric acid is used for industrial and medicinal uses. Capric/caprylic acid oil(mct oil) has medicinal uses, and for specific types of diets, such as the ketogenic diet.
You can use any of these types of coconut oil as you wish.
Using this method, the coconut meat is mixed with water and spun, separating the oil, meat and The oil is removed, retianing some water. This can cause the oil to become rancid.
Producers of this oil have varying techniques. The quality remains the same, regardless of which oil you choose.
The only coconut oil to avoid is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated- This can bring the formation of free radical. All benefits are gone once hydrogenation takes place.
With several types of coconut oil to choose from, an important note to remember. All oils are not the same.
Avoid any that say hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
If you have any questions, or want to share an experience with the types of coconut oil, drop us a line.
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