Coconut Oil FAQ's
What is Organic Virgin Coconut Oil?
Fresh wild coconuts are harvested by hand and the coconut meat is quickly hot air dried to remove water to inhibit bacterial and mold activity. The coconut meat is then mechanically crushed and pressed without the use of excessive heat or solvents. This natural process retains the fresh aroma and taste of real coconut. The coconuts and the entire oil expression process have been certified as Organic by a 3rd party, USDA-approved certifying agency. This ensures the production of the highest quality Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. NOW® Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is Non-GE (non-GMO or non-genetically modified), with no harmful trans-fats.
Are all coconut oils alike?
Most commercial-grade coconut oils are made from coconut meat that has been dried by heating by the sun, with smoke or by high heat. The resulting product is called copra. Much of this copra is handled in a manner with poor sanitary controls, causing it to be more susceptible to mold and bacterial contamination. The copra is pressed and the oil is refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) in order to purify it and make it suitable for cosmetic or food use. Unlike our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, these RBD refined copra oils do not have the fresh coconut taste or aroma, and do not qualify as ‘Organic’ under USDA standards.
What is so special about Virgin Coconut oil?
Virgin Coconut Oil is one of the richest plant sources of naturally-occurring Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), such as caprylic, capric and lauric acids. Although these MCTs are considered saturated fats, they are not digested like longer chain saturated fats. MCTs are digested by saliva and gastric juices, and are absorbed directly from the intestines into the portal vein to the liver where much is burned as fuel for instant energy needs. Very little ever gets stored as fat. The longer-chain saturated fats require more energy just to digest them. They require pancreatic enzymes to break them down. After being absorbed into the intestinal wall, they must be transported through the lymphatic system and incorporated into lipoprotein carriers, then secreted into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. Whatever the body doesn’t use at the cellular level is stored as body fat. It’s no wonder why a high percentage of the saturated fat in Mothers milk is in the form of high energy, efficiently burned MCTs.
Is there any therapeutic use for this high MCT Virgin Coconut Oil?
It is believed that another function of MCTs in mother’s milk is to act as one of the protective factors in the milk. Of the several fatty acids that comprise the MCTs of Virgin Coconut Oil, research has shown Lauric acid to be an effective supporter of the immune system. Our Organic Virgin coconut oil contains an average of 50% Lauric acid. Research indicates that Lauric Acid and its monoglyceride form monolaurin exert this effect via several mechanisms of action.
Why does the Organic Virgin Coconut oil sometimes have white clumps in with the oil? Why is this oil sometimes liquid and sometimes solid?
These are natural characteristics of Coconut oil. Coconut oil melts at about 78o F, so at normal room temperature it will be solid. Putting the bottle in some warm water or near a heating duct register blowing warm air will heat it above the temperature needed to liquefy it. This phase change from liquid to solid and back again does not affect the quality of this fine oil.
You may see clumps in partially melted coconut oil. The clumps are just the natural crystal structure of the saturated fats, which are near that 78o melting point at that moment. When the temperature of the oil warms completely above this temperature, the product will typically become liquid and clear of these clumps. As the oil is cooled it will then become a solid white mass again.
Is this product tested for purity?
To ensure the highest quality available, NOW’s Organic Virgin Coconut oil is tested for fatty acid profile, peroxide value, specific gravity, melting point and other oil stability indicators.
What heat level is your organic coconut oil exposed to during the extraction process?
In humid countries, the sun-drying of oilseeds with a high moisture content, such as mature coconut, is slow and inefficient (e.g., copra). Such conditions promote mold growth, which could result in high free fatty acid levels and poor quality oils. To prevent this, the coconut "meat" is quickly hot air dried (70-80 degrees C), then mechanically crushed and pressed without the use of excessive heat, solvents, or chemical refining. This natural process retains the fresh aroma, taste and qualities of real coconut.