This presentation on ‘What is Virgin Coconut Oil’ explores the fundamental question defining the oil. Understanding the basics of virgin coconut oil is important prior to exploring the oil in more details. A quick survey of the literature and internet reveals that there seems to be no universal definition for virgin coconut oil.
Virgin coconut oil may be defined as oil extracted from coconut while the coconut is still fresh. It means the coconut used for producing virgin coconut oil must be freshly plucked or harvested coconut. Normally, the plucked coconut is processed within 24 to 48 hours. Anything longer than that would not be considered fresh. This condition for virgin coconut oil production is vastly different from normal coconut oil, also known as RBD coconut oil.
RBD stands for refined, bleached and deodorized. In essence, RBD or normal coconut oil is highly processed by refining, bleaching and deodorizing the oil obtained from coconut meat. Unlike virgin coconut oil, RBD coconut oil requires drying of the coconut meant. The dried coconut meat is known as copra. Copra needs to undergo the processes mentioned before the oil can be consumed. During the processes mentioned, enzyme, heat and other additives are used in order to produce the final oil. As a result, the quality of RBD coconut oil differs from the virgin coconut oil.
One source also defines virgin coconut oil as a product which is minimally processed. In other words, external substances should not be added or used during the process of extraction. As a result, you will see labels of virgin coconut oil with words such as cold-pressed, or no heat process. Different brands usually compete on the ground of different extraction process. In the market, each brand will argue that their brand is superior.
There are many brands of virgin coconut oil in the market. Price ranges quite widely. Most brands of virgin coconut oil try to ride on the strong points of extraction methods. You will often see terms such as cold pressed being attached to the name. Some will emphasize the organic source of the coconut.
In the market, you will also come across name which includes the word ‘Extra’. What do they mean by extra? Does it mean better quality than virgin coconut oil? I believe that is what the marketer is trying to imply to the consumers. Is that really so? Extra virgin coconut oil is more superior than virgin coconut oil?
If you search the literature on virgin coconut oil, you will not be able to find the definition for extra virgin coconut oil. Researchers of coconut oil says that there is no such thing as ‘extra’ virgin coconut oil. Some researchers have tested virgin coconut oil products with and without ;extra’. They find that the quality is virtually the same. There is nothing inside the virgin coconut oil that is more superior than normal virgin coconut oil.