Coconut oil is a popular nutritional oil derived from the meat of matured coconuts. Coconut has long been a primary source of food throughout the tropics. Its various industrial and cosmetic applications have made it a very viable commodity. Coconut oil is heat stable, making it suitable for cooking at high temperatures. It is slow to oxidize, resists rancidity and has a shelf life of approximately two years or more.
The main exporting countries are the Philippines, Indonesia, and India. Coconut oil makes up less than 3% of annual global vegetable oil production.
Coconut oil can be either Virgin or refined. Virgin coconut oil is usually expeller-pressed, meaning the oil is mechanically squeezed out of the coconut meat at room temperature. Refined oil is usually extracted using heat, chemicals and solvents that both increase the yield, and remove any coloration or odors.
Once castigated for its generous saturated fat content, coconut oil has been given a second life as a (gasp!) healthy fat. And while drinking it by the tablespoon still isn’t a great ide…