How Coconut Oil Is Processed Refined Coconut Oil
Generally majority of commercial grade coconut oils are made from copra. Copra is basically dried meat of a coconut. IT is made either from smoke drying or sun drying or kiln drying or derivatives or by using a combination of all three methods. It the standard copra (meat) is used as an initial material, the oil extracted from copra is unrefined and also it is not suitable for consumption. It must be purified and refined. This is due to the reason that the way most copra is dried is not sanitary. The standard end product produced from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. To deodorize the oil, high heat is used, and then the oil is filtered through bleaching using clay to separate the impurities. Sodium hydroxide is used to remove free fatty acids and to prolong the shelf life. This is the most common method to mass produce the coconut oil. Earlier the oil used to be refined through physical/mechanical refining. These days modern technique is used which involves use of chemical solvents to extract the oil from the meat for higher yields.
RBD oil is sometimes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. This usually happens in tropical areas since the natural melting point of coconut oil is 76 degrees F and is naturally found in solid form in cold climates or areas. As the oil is mostly saturated, there may be little unsaturated oil left to hydrogenate. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids.
Virgin Coconut Oil
As such there is no definition for virgin coconut oil as there does exist for virgin olive oil. Virgin coconut oil is produced by using fresh coconut meat which is also known as non-copra. There is no use of chemicals and high heating process in further refining as the natural pure coconut oil is already stable with a shelf life of many years. It involves quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. This method requires minimum heat to quick dry the meat of coconut and then the oil is pressed out using mechanical ways.
The second method involves extracting the oil from the fresh coconut meat without drying it. Then coconut milk is pressed out first. Thereafter the oil is further separated from the water. Tricks that are used to separate the oil from the water involve boiling, fermentation, refrigeration and mechanical centrifuge.
How You Can Make Your Own Coconut Oil
First crack 2 coconuts and grate the coconut meat using spoon or knife. You can also use other ways to grate the meat.
Next step is to blend the coconut meat with cold water at a very high speed for a couple of minutes until the texture of pieces is fine. Now take out the coconut from the blender and add non-chlorinated water to it. Squeeze the coconut flakes and water together using your hands until the mixture seems creamy and white. Continue to squeeze for about 30 minutes. Then leave the mixture as it is for 3 hours at room temperature.
After 3 hours you will the cream risen up to the top level. Now we need cheesecloth, 2 bowls and sieve. Keep a sieve on the larger bowl and the cheesecloth on the top. Then ladle the coconut liquid mixture on the cheesecloth and press to extract the liquid from the coconut. Repeat the same process until the liquid has been extracted. Keep the coconut flakes left out in the bowl and liquid in the other one. Now cover your bowl of liquid and place it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the cream to slightly solidify. Then after 24 hours slice the cream and transfer it to another bowl or pot.
Then put this cream on sim heat for approximately 30 minutes and keep stirring at little intervals. After a while you will be able to see remnants turning brown. This is the time to turn off the stove and pour the oil into a jar. Your coconut oil is ready to use which is fresh, healthy and natural at the same time.