Facts of Virgin Coconut oil is the content extracted from kernel. Its oil is equally in demand just as other products such as coconut water and meat (kernel); and indeed, is the chief source of cooking oil consumed in many South-east and East Asian regions. Additionally, it also found wider applications in the traditional medicines, and as a carrier oil in pharmaceutical industries.
Cocos nucifera (coconut palm) belongs to the large Palmaceae family of palm trees.
The coconut palm is an unbranched, erect, tall-growing tree. In a season, a single coconut palm can yield 20-150 mature nuts. The fruit is almost spherical to oval in shape and measure between 5-10 inches in width. Initially, its rough outer husk is light green which turns gray as the nut matures. The husk is about 1-2 inches in thickness and made of tough fibers. Underneath this husk, is a woody-hard shell enclosing an edible kernel (endosperm), known as “coconut meat.” When this nut ultimately matures and dries to become “copra,” it is employed in pressing.
Physical characteristics of coconut oil
Coconut oil composes of more than 85% of saturated fats. The majority of saturated fats are the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) of which lauric acid being the dominant fatty acid. It is this lauric acid which gives white cream colour in its stable (solid) state. Cold pressed (VCO) features light-yellow colour and has pleasant coconut flavour and sweet taste. Its specific gravity @ 25 °C is 0.917–0.919, Iodine value-7.5–10.5, and saponification value-251–263.
1 tbs of coconut oil contains:
- 121 calories
- 0 g of protein
- 13.5 g of fat,
- 11.2 g is saturate
- 0 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol
- 0 sugar
Contains vitamin E, but no fiber and little to no other vitamins or minerals.
Is almost 100% fat, most of which is saturate fat. However, the structure of fat in differs from that of many animal products, which mainly consist of long-chain fatty acids.
Facts of Coconut oil is high in MCTs. These are harder for the body to convert into stored fat and easier to burn off than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Supporters & attribute many of its benefits to the high MCT content.
However, researchers have questioned these perceived benefits from coconut oil itself because many of the reported benefits stem from MCT oil itself. Experts have called on people to treat as they would any other saturated fat until there is enough evidence to prove otherwise.