With the popularity of coconut oil skyrocketing over recent years, it's easy to get lost in the chaos...
What exactly constitutes a high quality oil?
Because coconut oil has many uses -- from cooking, baking, and frying to hair care and for the health benefits --it's important to consider the source, processing, and overall quality of the oil you're purchasing.
Despite what you may have heard, not all coconut oils are created equally!
In fact, many factors determine the level of quality of coconut oil, like:
- Have the coconuts been grown organically?
- How fresh are the coconuts prior to processing?
- Is heat used during processing?
- What sort of processing methods are used?
- Whether heating has been applied to the process
- Is the final product mixed or cut with any other oils?
The Importance Of Quality
Like with most food you consume, it's important to consider not only how something is produced, but how it has been processed.
Especially when it comes to something as critical as cooking oils -- products you're likely using on a daily basis.
While coconut oil is a highly stable saturated fat, not easily damaged by high heat temperatures, there may be some cases when a particular coconut oil may not contain the full spectrum of nutrients for which it has been praised.
In some instances, you may even be duped into buying old or even rancid coconut oil. No coconut oil should ever be discolored or have an "off" smell. (Discard immediately any coconut oil that is discolored or smells "off".)
To help you make the best decision (and get the most out of your hard-earned dollars), here's why all coconut oils are not created equally.
Ask these questions as you seek out the highest quality products. You'll be able to narrow down your choices and know which coconut oil is right for YOU.
Is it 100% pure coconut oil?
Unfortunately, the word "pure" doesn't always carry as much weight with manufacturers as it does with consumers. Just because the word "pure" is on the label doesn't mean the product is completely pure coconut oil.
In fact, cooking oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, are sometimes mixed with cheaper vegetable oils -- like canola oil -- to dilute the product (and save manufacturers a few dollars).
Always read labels. And if anything seems strange about an oil's smell or flavor, it never hurts to call the company and ask questions.
Wilderness Family Naturals' range of 100% pure coconut oils do not contain other filler oils.
Is the coconut oil refined or unrefined?
Standard coconut oil is processed using copra
, naturally dried coconut meat. Copra is commonly air-dried or smoke-dried which can induce rancidity. Depending on the facility, the copra may be exposed to flies or mold spores through this drying process.
Furthermore, if coconut oil has not been properly filtered, some coconut proteins may remain in the coconut oil. It's these proteins that may cause spoilage and rancidity.
After drying, the copra is refined with lye, bleached with acid and alkaline clays, and then deodorized at high heat using a vacuum (steam distilled). This process removes any lingering bad aromas or tastes whilst also removing much of the nutrients. Even though this process, the triglycerides remain intact, however the full flavor profile and quality is diminished. It is odorless, retains a slightly burnt taste and is light tan-beige in color.
Wildly Organic does not use copra for our coconut oil. Rather, we use fresh coconut to extract coconut oil. You can read more about how we process each of our coconut oils here.
Has the coconut oil been expeller-pressed or cold-pressed?
Where a company has used a drying process, such as in making copra, the desiccated coconut may be exposed to temperatures of up to 180° Fahrenheit. The desiccated coconut is then expeller-pressed using temperatures of up to 200° Fahrenheit. Because these coconut oils have been roasted, they have a stronger, almost toasted flavor.
Wilderness Family Naturals cold-pressed coconut oil and centrifuge-extracted coconut oil are raw and never heated so they retain the full spectrum of nutrients and quality with a mild and smooth taste.
Learn about each type of coconut oil we produce
-- expeller pressed, centrifuge-extracted, and cold-pressed.
What does a high-quality coconut oil look like?
Wilderness Family Naturals' coconut oils are all made from cold-pressing fresh coconut, not copra. This eliminates the risk factors mentioned prior. Our range
of organic virgin coconut oils are cold-pressed in a gentle manner to preserve the high quality of our products. No chemicals, bleaching or deodorizing agents are used through this process.
This processing produces a truly superior flavor profile and preserves all the nutritional qualities coconut oil is so well known for.
Are you aware of the differences in coconut oils? Do you look for quality every time?