Â Â Â Â Â Â Coconut Oil FAQs Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
How is Wilderness Family Naturals virgin coconut oil different from the other virgin coconut oils?
Both of our virginÂ coconut oilsÂ experience very little heat during processing. TheÂ centrifuged virgin coconut oilÂ is exposed to maximum temperatures of 40Â° C (about 104Â° F) and theÂ cold-pressed coconut oilÂ is processed at about 98.6Â° F or 37Â° C. Neither oil is exposed to extremely “low” or high temperatures.
Coconut oilsÂ sold by other companies are made using processes that require heat. For example,Â traditional fermentation coconut oilÂ may say it is produced with “low heat”, when in reality they heat their coconut oil to 200Â° F ( near the boiling point of water) for 2 hours during their final processing step. Since a finger stuck in 200Â° water would suffer first degree burns, many people do not consider this low heat. Other coconut oils are made by drying coconut to create a standard desiccated coconut. Standard drying of coconut exposes the flakes to temperatures of 180Â° Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes. Then theÂ desiccated coconutÂ is pressed with an expeller press. The pressure increases the temperature of the oil once again to levels over 200Â°. Unlike the above oils, allÂ Wilderness Family Naturals’ virgin coconut oils are raw, and never heated.
WhenÂ virgin coconut oilsÂ are made by a heated process they tend to have a stronger, almost toasted coconut taste. That is why many chefs select roasted oils. When oils are heated it enhances their flavor. Because ourÂ coconut oilsÂ are completely raw, the coconut flavor is very mild, smooth and subtle.
The free fatty acid content and moisture content are very low in ourÂ virgin coconut oils. Wilderness Family Naturals has evaluated over 50 different Virgin Coconut Oils and carry what they feel are theÂ two best Virgin Coconut OilsÂ available. This evaluation is based on the fatty acid content, free fatty acids, the moisture content, the temperatures used during processing, the laboratory analysis, organic certification, shelf life and taste.
How is Virgin Coconut Oil different than standard coconut oil found in retails stores and grocery store chains?
Standard coconut oils, found in most retail stores, are generally less expensive thanÂ virgin coconut oils. StandardÂ coconut oilÂ is produced on a large scale and made from copra. Copra is naturally dried coconut meat that becomes slightly rancid as it is air dried or smoke dried. Flies may land on it and mold spores may begin to grow as the copra dries. If copra is dried quickly, then an outside smoking pit is used which covers the copra with soot. Oil pressed from the copra may have a solvent used during the extraction process. Oil made from the copra is originally called crudeÂ coconut oilÂ and is labeled “not fit for human consumption.”
When using a standard process, the crudeÂ coconut oilÂ made from copra must then be refined with lye, bleached with acid and alkaline clays, and then deodorized at high heat with a vacuum (steam distilled). This RBD process not only removes the bad taste and smell from the original rancid oil, but it also removes much of the nutrients and nutritional components. This RBD oil is mass produced and the oil is cheap to buy. It is a fairly bland oil containing a slight burnt-bacon taste, is odorless, and exhibits a light tan-beige color. This oil retains most of the triglycerides of the original coconut, but it is missing the flavors and quality that is intact inÂ Wilderness Family Natural’s Virgin Coconut Oils.
Wilderness Family Naturals’ Virgin coconut oilsÂ are made from the first pressing of fresh coconut without the addition of any chemicals. They retain the light taste of coconuts and are never refined, bleached or deodorized. Virgin Coconut oils are not made from Copra and are never exposed to solvents. Because of the special, careful way in which they are produced, they are a little more expensive, but most health-conscious people feel the extra expense is worth it.
How should I store my Virgin Coconut Oil? Does it need to be refrigerated?
Because Wilderness Family Naturals’ coconut oilÂ has such low moisture content, no break down products or contaminants, it is very stable. Therefore, it is not necessary to refrigerate this oil.
If you do refrigerateÂ coconut oilÂ it will become “hard as a rock” and you will need to warm the oil in order to scoop any out of the jar. The most important thing to consider when deciding how you will store yourÂ coconut oilÂ is to keep it out of direct sunlight or high heat. I would not recommend a damp place such as moist basements. Over time, with repeated exposure to mold spores, you may get some growth in the oil. The best place to storeÂ coconut oilÂ is a cupboard or closet that does not become overly hot in the summer.
A pantry, closet or shelf in your kitchen will work fine. At room temperature, your virgin coconut oil will easily last 2 years in your pantry. The manufacturers say it has a 3 year shelf life.
How much coconut oil should a person ingest?
The research done by Dr. Mary Enig and Dr. John Kabara in the US and Dr. Dayrit in the Philippines used 3 Â½ tablespoons per day. Some people have eaten as much as 8 tablespoons a day for extended lengths of time. Others use only a few teaspoons a day. Coconut oil is a food not a supplement or a drug so there is no real “dosage.”
Is your coconut oil organic?
Yes, all of ourÂ coconut oil is organic.Â Wilderness Family Naturals’ Coconut OilsÂ are organically certified through International Certification Services.
If you store this oil on top of your hot water heater it will always be a liquid for you. If you keep it where it is cooler, it will always be a solid. Some people use solidÂ coconut oilÂ as a butter substitute and the liquid oil as cooking oil. Some, who do not like the strong coconut taste, mix theÂ coconut oilÂ with olive, natural palm oil or butter for cooking. Sometimes they mix theirÂ coconut oilÂ with a nut-butter (like peanut, almond, or cashew butter) for a spread.
Some people who want to make sure they get several tablespoons ofÂ coconut oilÂ each day add theÂ coconut oilÂ to their smoothies or green food drinks. Others just eat it off the spoon.
Is it safe to fry foods with virgin coconut oil?
Yes,Â coconut oilÂ is the most stable of all natural oils. It has a long shelf life and can withstand higher temperatures than any other natural nut or seed oil. This oil will not form trans-fatty acids, oxidize, nor breakdown at high temperature.
Do I still need to worry about essential fatty acids?
The uniqueness of coconut oil is found in its medium chain fatty acids. Though coconut oil supplies a healthy body with a large amount of medium chain fatty acids there are no essential fatty acids in coconut oil.
Essential fatty acids are needed by the body in small amounts and they must come through the diet. These fatty acids will need to be found in other foods.
Does your coconut oil see any heat?
Both of Wilderness Family NaturalsÂ Virgin Coconut OilsÂ are raw and never exposed to heat above 40 degrees C.
Wilderness Family Naturals’ Certified Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut OilÂ is not aÂ virginÂ coconut oilÂ and itÂ isÂ exposed to heat above 200 degrees F. However, it is an organicÂ refined coconut oilÂ that is never exposed to solvents. This oil is unique, when compared to otherÂ refined coconut oils, because it goes through a special cleaning process in Holland. After the cleaning, it is almost completely clear when warm (liquid) and white when solid (cooled). In many respects it is very similar toÂ virgin coconut oilÂ but contains no coconut taste. Because the oil is so clean, many people favor it to cook with. Since they will be cooking with the oil they do not care that it is produced at higher temperatures and most cooks do not want coconut flavors inÂ allÂ their dishes.
Is this oil partially hydrogenated or can it become partially hydrogenated?
Coconut oilÂ is a very stable oil and it is not readily oxidized or hydrogenated. It contains mostly saturated medium length fatty acids (64-74%) that will not and cannot form trans-fatty acids or oxidize.
To partially hydrogenateÂ coconut oilÂ would take a powered nickel catalyst like the hydrogenation processors use and high heat along with hydrogen gas. This will not happen in your kitchen. When you see partially hydrogenated coconut or palm oil listed as an ingredient on a label, it is usually the palm oil that is hydrogenated and not theÂ coconut oil. However, the 0-2% of fatty acids inÂ coconut oilÂ that are poly-unsaturated can theoretically be partially hydrogenated in a hydrogenation laboratory. This would then yield a small amount of trans fats. But this cannot happen in your kitchen.