At first not everyone took it seriously, then out of the blues, it became a big thing. The hypes soon increased and everyone now seem to love coconut oil. Why wouldn’t they? Its diverse economic value as well as its benefits to the skin and general health, make it a darling to not a few people.
What exactly is Coconut Oil?
It is one of the by-products of the coconut fruit that has medicinal and cosmetic uses. Its uses are near inexhaustible that it is gradually becoming a sought after product in international markets.
This oil cannot only be used as a skin moisturizer, as a hair conditioner, as a mouthwash, it can also be used commercially as an ingredient in cosmetics and soaps, as a weight loss regimen and to provide an immediate source of energy.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
The oil has more pros than cons and some of its benefits include:
- Moisturising effect.
- Boosts metabolism.
- Reduces Cholesterol because it contains saturated fat called lauric acid.
- Can be added to conditioner to reduce frizz and promote hair growth.
- An oil base for various cosmetic and skin care products;
- Carrier oil for aromatherapy and massage oils;
Coconut oil generally contains
- Saturated fatty acid
- Very little or no moisture content;
- Maximum peroxide value of 0.5 mg per kilogram of oil;
- Lauric fatty acid to boost immunity
- Tocopherol (vitamin E).
- Vitamin C
How it is made.
It is made by grating, drying and extracting oils from the coconut flesh. The methods of extraction can either be manual or mechanical.
This extraction process is not as easy as it sounds and can take between one to three days before a decent amount of oil is extracted.
There are different types/qualities of coconut oil including refined and fractionated coconut oil. The purest form of extracted coconut oil is referred to as the Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and it can be extracted via a hot-pressed or cold-pressed method.
The VCO has no chemicals or additives which is perhaps the reason it is called a virgin. It is very natural, pure in its own right and is made from the coconut meat. It also has many nutritional benefits. VCO has a clear color, contains natural vitamin E as well as very low free fatty acid content (even without refining) and low peroxide value.
Shelf Life of Coconut Oil
The number of months it takes before coconut oil becomes rancid is dependent on what method was used to process the oil in the first place – refined or Virgin oil. The average shelf life suggested for coconut oil is 1 year from production date and unless it has been contaminated by something external, it should not go rancid before its ‘Best before’ date. However, VCO could last for many years when properly stored while the refined oil may last for about four months.
Most of our experiments involve using this oil, perhaps because it is also very much available at our disposal. How do you use your coconut oil?