Virgin Coconut oil (also known as VCO) has had a lot of hype in recent years, if you haven’t heard about it yet here is a little catch-up on the products, its uses and reasons for all the hype.
In last couple of years, virgin coconut oil or VCO has become very popular because it, unlike other oils, which cause saturation of cholesterol and formation of blockages in the blood vessels which are bad for us, Virgin Cococonut oil has been proven to work in the reverse way. The benefits of virgin coconut oil are many – weight management, prevention of heart disease and strengthening of the immune system to name a few.
What is Virgin Coconut Oil?
This type of coconut oil is extracted from the coconut meat. The oil is different in it’s chemical composition from the oil that is extracted from the dried coconut (which is known as copra) The main differences being that Pure Virgin Cococnut Oil is colourless, sediment free and has a natural fresh coconut scent and tastes lighter.
Methods used in the manufacture of Virgin Coconut Oil
Following methods are used to extract virgin coconut oil from fresh coconut meat:
Drying: The most commonly used method, this involves extracting the oil through a process of drying it by applying pressure to the coconut meat. However this is less commonly used for medical purposes as the chemical composition is different compared to the virgin coconut oil derived from the cold-press or wet milling process.
Wet-Milling: The fresh coconut meat is used to obtain the oil without drying it. Coconut milk is used at the first stage of the process – squeezing out the coconut meat and then further processing it to separate the oil from the water. There are many methods used to separate the oil from water. Our Ghanaian Virgin Coconut oil is made by a the traditional method of obtaining oil from coconut meat. The milk is extracted from coconut meat and is left for up to 4 days until it naturally separates from water and turns solid.
Cold-pressing: Cold Pressing is a preferred methods of extraction of coconut oil, because it involves little interference with the oil’s natural qualities (much like Wet-milling). Our Virgin Coconut oil from Sri Lanka is made in this way – using machinery to obtain the oil from the cobra (dried coconut kernels). Since boiling or heating destroys many nutrients the coconut oil obtained this way is considered to carry less health benefits.
Benefits and uses of Virgin Coconut oil:
- Hair care
- Fight off illness
- Stress relief
- Skin care
- Heart disease
- Weight loss
- Swine Flu
- Dental care
So you can see there are a lot of uses, I’ll go into more detail on each in another blog.