Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Refined Coconut Oil vs Unrefined Coconut Oil

Refined Processing
Refined coconut oil starts out as dried coconut meat, known as "copra." Because coconut oil producers frequently dry the meat in open air, it can gather hazardous bacteria and pathogens---so any oil extracted from copra needs further purification before it's safe to consume. During the refinement process, copra undergoes bleach filtration to screen out impurities, as well as heat treatment to remove its distinctive odor. - E How

Tropical Traditions defines refined oil as a product that has undergone bleaching and deodorizing. Such treatment becomes necessary because of the unsanitary conditions in which farmers often store the coconut solids before they send them to a factory for processing. - Live Strong

Unrefined Processing
Unrefined coconut oil, on the other hand, starts with fresh coconut meat rather than dried copra---ensuring the extracted oil is sanitary without the need for further purification. To produce unrefined coconut oil, the meat goes through one of two methods: "quick drying" or "wet milling." Quick-dried coconut meat receives a small amount of heat to remove moisture, and then mechanical extraction separates the unrefined oil from the meat. With the wet-milling process, machines press the liquid out of fresh coconut meat---and then use boiling, refrigeration, centrifuging, fermentation or enzymes to isolate the oil from the extracted liquid. With both the quick drying and wet milling methods, the resulting coconut oil is safe for consumption without bleaching or deodorization. - E How 

Unrefined oil, also known as virgin coconut oil, does not undergo the same process as its refined equivalent. Tropical Traditions explains that producers make the virgin product by mechanically pressing the coconut meat soon after picking. Because of this difference, they need not use any chemicals to treat the oil and it retains more of the compounds naturally present. - Live Strong 

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