You may ask me that why one should buy the unrefined coconut oil when we have the cleaner and more hygienic refined one. The answer is, “It has its own uses and own advantages”. That is true. The crude or unrefined coconut oil is real serious business. Let us get in touch with it.
What is unrefined coconut oil?
As the name suggests, it is the crude coconut oil that has been obtained right from the expeller; unrefined, unfiltered and without any additives. Sometimes, it is also called the pure coconut oil to mark its differences with the refined bleached deodorized coconut oil, commonly called the refined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil, organic coconut oil and the organic virgin coconut oil can be unrefined too.
What are its advantages over refined coconut oil?
Well! Let’s check them one by one;
Taste: Unrefined coconut oil is tastier than the refined coconut oil as it is neither bleached nor refined.
Flavour: Again, unrefined coconut oil has a beautiful flavour of that of fresh coconuts which is absent in refined coconut oil, since it is deodorized.
Nutrients: It is more nutritious than the refined one, being least process and subjected to least heat. It is richer in proteins (this is almost absent in refined oil), vitamins and anti oxidants.
Natural: It does not undergo any chemical processing, unlike refined coconut oil which is treated with sodium hydroxide and bleached. So, it has that more natural touch.
Wholeness: It is wholesome coconut oil.
What are its disadvantages?
Every coin has two sides. Here is the other side.
Hygiene: It is less hygienic than the refined coconut oil, since it does not undergo any refining and may contain dust particles and other unwanted stuff.
Therapeutic uses: It may not be suitable for therapeutic uses.
Internal applications: The refined coconut oil is better in this respect, being more hygienic.
Cost: Despite being less processed, it is bit costlier than the refined one, since most of the coconut oil produced is converted to refined oil and hence there is much less crude oil in market than the refined one. Further, it is less in use too.
Availability: Again, unrefined coconut oil is less easily available than the refined grade.
Where it should be used?
If it has to be used as an edible oil, it should be heated well, to eliminate contaminations if any. Raw consumption should be avoided. It is best suited for external applications such as for massaging and for hair. Unrefined Coconut Oil is also used in soap and cosmetics industries.
Where it is available?
As told earlier, this oil is bit hard to find as compared to the refined type, the main reason being less in use. Still, you can check it out with big grocers or wholesalers.
Finally: Despite all odds, I must also say that crude unrefined coconut oil has been in use, both as edible oil and otherwise, for centuries in India and countries like Philippines, Burma, Sri Lanka etc. (they were unaware of any process called refining and that did not make any difference). And frankly speaking, there has been no such report of any harm done to anybody for consuming Unrefined Coconut Oil (perhaps due to its own anti microbial and anti fungal properties).
On the contrary, these people look younger and healthier by their skin and hair. Decision is, as usual, yours of course. Bye for now.
Sources of Information:
Reports of Coconut Development Board of India,
Reports of KERAFED.
Text books of various courses of agriculture.
Various other reports on internet.