So coconut oil is pretty big at the moment, and for good reason! This unique combination of fatty acids has some amazing medicinal benefits, from keeping our hearts healthy, to leaving our hair luxuriously soft. However, there has been talk of a “new” coconut oil making its way to the market, advertised as “liquid coconut oil”.
Now if you are not already aware, pure coconut oil is solid up until 24 °C (76 °F), at which point it starts to soften and eventually becomes a liquid. This is all very normal and does not interfere with the positive effects of the coconut oil. So you may be wondering, “is this the same as solid coconut oil?” and the straight answer is no! Put simply, everything that makes coconut oil so good has been taken away by a separation process called fractionation, that is, taking away the solid fats, and leaving behind the liquid by-product. My immediate response to discovering this was “why would I want that?”
Now this product itself is not new, but it is new to the baking/cooking industry. As more and more people are choosing the cook with coconut oil, there was a huge chance for manufacturers to jump in and market this “new” product as the next big cooking oil for consumers who are not so keen on a solid cooking oil. You may see it being sold as ‘fractionated coconut oil’. Below is how a good quality natural coconut oil should look!
Next important point. For anyone who does not want to consume processed or unnatural foods, it is important to be aware that liquid coconut oil does not appear in nature and needs to be manufactured to maintain its liquid consistency at low temperatures. I myself prefer to go for what nature offers, and this just doesn’t make the cut!
But now lets talk about what is so good about the fats that are being removed. Well the most dominant fatty acid found in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is a medium chain trycliceride (MCT) fatty acid. Unlike cheese and cakes, which contain long chain trycliceride (LCT) fatty acids, MCTs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat. Simply put, coconut oil contains good fats. On top of being great because of its medium chain, lauric acid can be used to treat viruses and infections, from the common cold, to bronchitis. It is definitely not something you want removed if you are consuming coconut oil for all of its rich health benefits. This fat can never be liquid as low temperatures, and so must be removed if the consumer desires a liquid coconut oil.
Different manufacturers of liquid coconut oil may produce a “better quality” product, but overall, it is still just a by-product of something so much better. There are so many great brands out there that sell fantastic organic coconut oil, such as Biona, Essential and Tiana, just to name a few! Solid coconut oil may be off putting if it is different to what you are used to, but it is very easy to work with, and the results will not disappoint!