Harvard Cocopro Coconuts
Manufacturer and exporter of Desiccated Coconut, Virgin Coconut Oil, Creamed Coconut, Coconut Concentrate, Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk, Coconut Water and Coconut Juice.

What is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)?

Virgin Coconut Oil is derived from the fresh meat or kernel of a mature fruit of coconut rather than the sundried coconut meat known as copra.

Virgin Coconut Oils are produced one of two ways:

  1. Quick drying of fresh coconut meat, which is then used to extract the oil by mechanical means.
  2. Wet-milling method. Coconut milk first is extracted from fresh coconut meat by mechanical pressing. The oil is then extracted from coconut milk by way of boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes or mechanical centrifuge.

What are the differences between quick drying and wet-milling method?

Quick drying method definitely involves heating, whereas wet-milling method may or may not involve heating depending on the oil extraction process from coconut milk. Both methods produced Virgin Coconut Oils of nearly colourless, had slightly detectable acid aroma, sweet and salty tastes, and perceptible nutty aroma and flavor. Cooked coconut with sweet coconut aromas were generally associated with Virgin Coconut Oil, which were heated. Whereas rancid attributes describe the Virgin Coconut Oil, which were none heated. Acid and rancid aromas were highly correlated. For details, click “Descriptive sensory evaluation of virgin coconut oil and refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil.”

What are the differences between Virgin Coconut Oil and Coconut Oil derived from copra?

Virgin Coconut Oil is water clear in colour, has mild sweet coconut aroma. Virgin Coconut Oil is chemical and additive free, and is the purest form of coconut oil. Whereas, coconut oil derived from copra is known as copra oil. Copra oil is yellow in colour, odourless, slightly salty and has no perceptible flavours. It has to undergo chemical refining, bleaching and deodorization processes before they can be fit for human consumption. Copra oil is yellow in colour because of bacterial contamination of the copra before oil extraction and due to high processing temperature. For details, click here. Moreover, copra oil is often partially or fully hydrogenated to increase its melting point. This may produce trans fats.

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Aren’t coconut oils bad for health?

Virgin Coconut Oil is currently a hot topic due its benefits to human consumption and the researchers’ challenge on the dogma, which is the domination of diet-heart hypothesis in atherosclerosis research.

Coconut oil is a fat consisting of about 90% saturated fat. Saturated fat was widely “labeled” as unhealthy fats, which was once believed to cause heart disease. Researchers since early 1950 have focused on a single hypothesis or idea – the diet-heart idea, sometimes called the lipid hypothesis, which proposes a sequence of etiologic relations between the saturated fat content of the diet, serum cholesterol concentrations, and the development of disease.

Until recently, most epidemiological and clinical investigations of diet and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) have been dominated by the diet-heart hypothesis. However, the original hypothesis was overly simplistic because the effects of diet on CHD can be mediated through multiple biological pathway other than serum cholesterol or LDL.

The tropical oils are coconut oil and palm oil being the saturated fats are the victims behind the over simplistic diet-heart hypothesis. The conclusion of an analysis of the history behind the diet-heart hypothesis was that after 50 years of research, there was no evidence that a diet low in saturated fat prolongs life.

Fifty years later, researchers started to challenge the dogma of diet-heart idea, the strong belief of saturated fat causes heart disease has started to shake. And was later found that trans fats cause the disease, not saturated fats. However, there is common misconception of trans fat and saturated fats. The term “trans fat” and “saturated fat” is interchanging.

Trans fats are formed during the process of hydrogenation. The process of unsaturated fats is to imitate the physical properties of saturated fats, in which, to become solid at room temperature. Thus, the unnatural saturated fats are produced. Trans fats and saturated fat are both solid at room temperature, their similarities end there. You can find the differences between trans fat and saturated fat here.

All the research of the past 50-plus years proving saturated fats to be "harmful” had failed to differentiate between saturated fats and trans fats. Except for the trans family, all fatty acids in particular the saturated ones raise the good HDL cholesterol. And now, there is good reason to believe that trans fats – not saturated fats – are the true cause of heart disease, obesity and other degenerative disease.

“The full story about saturated fat and heart disease is very complex and much of it remains a mystery.
…we don't know exactly what causes arterial blockages, or why some people who eat large amounts of saturated fat have comparatively healthy arteries.”

Reference: http://www.annecollins.com/saturated-fat.htm

“For the past 50 years, saturated fats have been taking the blame for problems caused by trans fats. It is time for consumers to be enlightened.”
Reference: http://www.stop-trans-fat.com

The Framingham Heart Study, started in 1948 and still on-going, is one of the biggest research projects on heart health. In 1992, study leader Dr William Castelli wrote in Archives of Internal Medicine: “In Framingham, Massachusetts… the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
Reference: Castelli, William, Archives of Internal Medicine, 1992 Jul; 152(7): 1371-1372

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What are the Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil?

The benefits of virgin coconut oil:

  1. Abundant in Medium Chain Triglycerides for Boost of Metabolism and Loss Weight
  2. Abundant in Lauric acid and strengthening of Immunity System.
  3. Can withstand wide heat ranges without oxidation and free radical formation.
  4. Delicious coconut flavor and aroma.

Abundant in Medium-Chain-Triglycerides (MCT) for Boost of Metabolism and Loss Weight

  1. Coconut oil was previously mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of high saturated fat content.
  2. Majority (Some 98 to 100%) of fats and oils we consume whether saturated or unsaturated composed of Long-Chain-Triglycerides (LCT). LCT circulate in our blood stream. LCT are slow to metabolise and readily deposit as body fat.
  3. Coconut oils has high percentage of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (generally about 64%), or known as Medium-Chain-Triglycerides (MCT), which do not circulate in blood stream and are therefore do not block our blood vessels.
  4. MCT oils are sent directly to liver for immediate convert into energy, and are fast to metabolise, therefore, coconut oils increase the metabolism rate.
  5. Recent studies confirmed the potential of MCT to reduce body weight and particularly body fat. However, this effect was not transient. For details, please read "Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men."

Abundant in Lauric Acid and strengthening of Immunity System

  1. Virgin coconut oil is known as Lauric oil due to high Lauric acid content (50%).
  2. Body converts Lauric acid into fatty acid derivatives – monolaurin, which is the substance for anti-viral, anti-bacterial or protozoal.
  3. Lauric acid is naturally found in mother’s milk, which protects baby against viral and bacterial infection.

Can withstand wide heat ranges without oxidation and free-radical formation

  1. Coconut oil is not easily damaged by heat.
  2. It does not readily oxidise like unsaturated oils do when heated, leading to free-radical formation.
  3. Nor does it turn into a trans-fat on heating.

Delicious coconut flavour and aroma

  1. Copra oil is bland in taste due to the Refine-Bleach-Deodorise process. However, Virgin Coconut Oil has the mild sweet coconut flavour and aroma.

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Applications of Virgin Coconut Oil

  1. Natural health food
  2. Cooking oil
  3. Raw and fresh bread spread (while hardened at temperature below 23 deg C.)
  4. Stable carrier oil for other dietary supplements
  5. Skin moisturizer
  6. Massage Oil
  7. Baby Oil
  8. Hair Oil
  9. Base ingredient for organic cosmetics (stretch mark, wrinkle and tissue repair)
  10. Best oil for premium soap and shampoo - with natural glycerin - it even lathers in salt water.

Storage of Virgin Coconut Oil

Shelf life for Virgin Coconut Oil is 18 months. Virgin Coconut Oil is ambient stable. It is as solid as butter at temperature below 23 deg. C. Virgin Coconut Oil melts at temperature exceeding 23 deg. C. Virgin Coconut Oil should be stored in a cool, dry, clean place, away from direct sunlight.

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Are there any bad things about Virgin Coconut Oil?

Yes, there could be especially if your body is not accustomed to high fat in the diet and if you are taking it for the first time. The most common side reaction is diarrhea.
However, this type of diarrhea is not accompanied by stomach pain or stomach spasms unlike the usual diarrhea that is caused by toxins or food poisoning.
You will just have a liquid bowel movement which is in a way could be considered as removing toxins from your intestines. So for first timers, do not start with the full 3 tablespoons dose. Instead, start with one tablespoon for a few days and gradually increase the intake as your body becomes acclimatized to it until you reach the full dose. You can also take it in divided doses at different times of the day instead of taking at one time the full 3 ½ tablespoons full dose.

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