Virgin coconut oil is known for its taste, nice fragrance, antioxidants, medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and vitamins among other things. Coconut oil is not an uncommon name, but virgin coconut oil is. It is not simply just a name given to the ordinary coconut oil by some company just to target sales numbers by claiming that it is the purest available form.
Extraction Of The Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is extracted from coconuts without the application of heat.
Difference Between Regular and Virgin coconut oil
- Virgin coconut oil differs from regular coconut oil in many ways.
- The main difference between virgin coconut oil and regular coconut oil lies in the method of their extraction.
- Regular normal coconut oil is extracted by cold compression or cold milling of dried Coconut kernels with a moisture content of around 6%.
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted from coconut milk which is obtained from fresh coconuts.
- So after fermentation, churning, refrigeration, and the action of enzymes, the oil is separated from the water /moisture.
- In some cases, this fresh coconut oil is even boiled to obtain the oil.
- In the case of virgin coconut oil, the raw materials and the process of extraction must not allow the involvement of heat.
- So in reputable firms that manufacture virgin coconut oil, proper care is taken to ensure that the kernels and the raw material, like the coconut milk, are not subjected to heat or sunlight, throughout the process.
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted directly by cold compression of fresh dried coconut meat. This is called the Micro-expelling.
Better Method is used
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted by the cold compression method is definitely better than that extracted by the fermentation method
- Since the oil extracted by fermentation has a high amount of moisture content and goes rancid quickly.
Composition Of Virgin Coconut Oil
The two varieties of oil do not differ much in composition. But polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to the taste, fragrance, and goodness of coconut oil are found more in virgin coconut oil than its ordinary counterpart. Plus, it is richer in medium-chain fatty acids, good cholesterol, and has almost no trans fatty acids.
Virgin Coconut Oil Cost
Virgin coconut oil is a little costlier and the prices differ depending on the manufacturer, quality, and quantity.
Major Producers Of Virgin Coconut Oil
The Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and some other tropical countries are the major producers of virgin coconut oil. The oil is comparatively cheaper in these countries as compared to the US, Canada.
But when we are out to buy virgin coconut oil, we must go for the reputed and brands as there are many players in the market who only just add artificial flavor to regular coconut oil and try to sell it as virgin coconut oil.
The Connection Between The Word “Extra” In Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community has provided APCC Standards for Virgin Coconut Oil. Virgin coconut oil is obtained from the fresh but mature kernel of coconuts by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat (mainly), which does not cause an alteration of the oil. When we refer to coconut oil as extra virgin, the word ‘extra’ is indeed an extra. It is stated that extra virgin coconut oil should be regarded as virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is a safe and healthy oil.
Choosing The Best Quality Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil means that the oil is extracted from fresh coconuts, preferably organic coconuts.
- There are several methods used for making Virgin Coconut Oil to separate the oil from the coconut meat and water.
- The terms “extra virgin” and “virgin” are the same, because Virgin Coconut Oil is only pressed once.
- The main medium chain fatty acid in Virgin Coconut Oil is Lauric Acid and this makes up approximately 50% of the oil regardless of the specific extraction technique used.
Pure Virgin Coconut Oil must include the properties like:
- It is made from fresh coconuts by cold pressing to produce an oil that contains the optimal balance between the medium-chain fatty acids. It is even more sensitive to polyphenols and vitamins.
- It should be reasonably priced.
- A transparent color when liquid. Virgin Coconut Oil gets solidify at a temperature of less than 24 degrees centigrade and becomes a white color when solid.
- It should have detectable water or sediment or even sour smell.
Virgin Coconut Oil can be used in cooking, frying, barbecuing and baking needs to replace regular Omega 6 vegetable oils in the kitchen or even taken as a food supplement directly.
- Children of 2 to 6 years old: 1 teaspoon morning and night.
- Children of 7 to 12 years old: 2 teaspoons morning and night.
- For Adults: Take1 to 2 teaspoons 2 times daily.
When first taking Virgin Coconut Oil try to start with 1 teaspoon with each meal. Rarely, people experience some loose motions for a few days (this may be a sign of intestinal fungal infection or candidiasis as it is being destroyed).
It is said that Virgin Coconut Oil is both safe and recommended for use during conditions like pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is also an excellent antioxidant-rich massage oil to prevent stretch marks.
Diet is the most important factor which is under our control in health and disease prevention. Medium Chain Fatty Acids present in Virgin Coconut Oil provides an essential component in modern diets. The addition of both Coconut Milk and Virgin Coconut Oil in many health and dietary publications and cookbooks is proof of this dietary revolution. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has captured a lot of interest because of its role in enhancing body defense against FREE RADICALS.
It is different from ordinary coconut oil as it contains a lot of more biologically active components such as polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, and squalene. It has been stated that the antioxidant activity in virgin coconut oil is higher than in refined coconut oil. It also has been shown to enhance antioxidant enzyme activity and inhibit lipid peroxidation in rats.
In Malaysia, Dr. Eng Ji Ba, a practicing thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who obtained his medical degree from the University of Cambridge recommending Virgin Coconut Oil to his patients. Dr. Kamariah Long, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute has stated that coconut milk has been underestimated and misunderstood as an important contributor to unhealthy cholesterol levels which he has mentioned in another article entitled “Debunking the coconut milk myth”.
So it is high time to correct the negative perception of coconut milk and recognize the importance of this natural heritage that has been bestowed upon us.