Coconut oil extracted from coconuts has drastic variation in the price in the national and international markets. Have you ever wondered why? Well, your quick thought could have given you a clue that it is because of the quality of coconut oil. Now, what causes this difference in quality? You could probably say it is the influence of various factors like the soil, water and weather conditions in different parts of the world. Basically, these are some of the factors that decide the quality of coconut oil. But, there are more than just these factors that influence the coconut oil.

The highest quality coconut oil improves your health. It ensures maximum health benefits as you add it as a regular part of your diet. Similarly, low grade coconut oil can deteriorate your health as well. This is why it is important to choose the highest quality oil. A high grade coconut oil will have highest Lauric acid content and lowest moisture content. All Inorganic genetically modified and hybrid coconuts do not contain the essential amounts of Lauric acid and are harmful to your health. Extraction methods other than the cold press method will not ensure lowest possible moisture content.

There are three main factors that influence the quality of coconut oil.

Age of the coconuts:

Age really is a primary factor, as coconuts that are too young or too old cannot produce a good yield of high quality coconut oil. Sourcing mature coconuts is the first important step. Coconuts that are 12 months old are determined to be eligible for oil extraction. The oil obtained from these nuts will contain high Lauric acid content.

Types/varieties of coconut:

Coconuts are basically classified into three types,

Tall variety:  They have the longest life span and are capable of giving high yield. They have high resistance to pests and diseases and are suitable for all types of soils.

Dwarf variety:  This bears flowers earlier than the tall variety. The nuts are smaller and each nut contains 65% oil content.

Hybrid/Genetically modified: Though hybrids are efficient in bearing flowers and nuts, the quality of coconut oil is not of the highest grade. Oil extracted from genetically modified coconuts is also not good for your health.

Process used for oil extraction:

Most of the commercial manufacturers used dry process to extract oil. They use copra which is obtained by drying the coconuts in fire, sunlight or kilns. This copra is then pressed for oil. The oil obtained from this process is not pure and unsuitable for consumption as it contains impurities. Therefore, it is Refined, Bleached and Deodorized to make it eligible for use. This RBD oil is further processed using Sodium Hydroxide to extend shelf life. This oil is not healthy, fresh and flavorful. Though there are a couple of different practices to extract oil, virgin coconut oil obtained by the cold press method has the high nutritive value. It is 100% healthy, pure and natural.