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Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Oil

What’s the difference between virgin coconut oil and the other types available?
Virgin coconut oil is pressed from the flesh of top quality coconuts. The oil is then filtered and packed. Nothing is added or taken away. The other type of coconut oil is referred to in the foods and cosmetics industries as “RBD”, which indicates refined, bleached and deodorised. This type of oil is extracted from the dried flesh of inferior coconuts. The flesh may then be left in the sun or smoke dried. Sun dried coconut flesh (also known as copra) may have been exposed to flies etc. Smoke dried copra has an intensely smoky flavour, far too strong to enjoy. However it’s been dried, the copra is then pressed to release the oil. To ensure maximum yield, solvents may also used to get out the last vestiges of oil. At this stage the oil is smelly and discoloured so it’s then bleached (because at this stage, like margarine, it is a grey product), and then dyed to get it back to white (as a semi-solid). As with all oils which are extracted or partly extracted by solvent there may be an inevitable residue. RBD coconut oil may also contain traces of lye and dye. Virgin coconut oil is virtually the only fat which has not been tampered with in some way.

What is “extra” virgin coconut oil?
There is no such product. The “extra” is marketing hype and that is all. It has been borrowed from the olive oil industry where it refers to a specific stage in the production of that product. We’d advise avoidance of coconut oil labelled “extra” virgin. If they’re wanting to pull the wool over the eyes with one thing, there may well be others.

What is “raw” virgin coconut oil?
Raw means different things to different people. To some it means uncooked, to others it means processed below a certain temperature, to others it means something else. There are no regulations, inspections or certifications for a company to use the term "raw" and it is unregulated.

I suffer from an under-active thyroid gland. How do I use virgin coconut oil to help?
We’re constrained by the law regarding medical claims. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority would look unkindly upon us if we offered medical advice. We’d recommend you to read the works of Dr Mary Enig and Prof. John Kabara, who are both published on the internet. Ray Sherwin, the founder of coconutoilcompany.com came to the product from the same direction.

Some coconut oils, even virgin and organic types, taste of plastic. Is this because they’ve become contaminated with chemicals from the containers used?
The different flavours of coconut oil are largely accounted for by source, that is the soil and climate conditions where the trees grow. Oils from Sri Lanka and Southern India, tend to be described as soapy or plasticy. There’s nothing wrong with these oils but if you don’t like the flavour of them there’s no point in spending your money. We source our oil in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean that all Filipino virgin coconut oil tastes as good as ours.

How can you sell coconut oil when saturated fat is so bad for us?
We’ve all had it drilled into us for years that there are different types of unsaturated fats which are good for us and that saturated fat is unhealthy. In fact the right kind of saturated fat is crucial to health. There are three kinds of saturated fats, short, medium and long chain. There is a huge body of research which demonstrates the unique nature of the medium chain fatty acid. Medium chain fatty acids are not easy to come by. Coconut oil is nature's richest source, composed of over 60% medium chain fatty acids.

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