Some of us have been chatting here recently about coconut oil and its various benefits. I hate the taste of it so some of you told me to use the no taste or smell one. OK. But hang on, how do they do that? Is it safe? Do they use chemicals? Does it affect the goodness? I thought I would dig around a bit.
I asked Higher Nature about their aroma and taste free one. They said:
the coconut butter is indeed deodorized using a low temperature, but under vacuum conditions. Because it is under vacuum, this process doesn’t affect the fatty acid profile and so minimizes the formation of trans fatty acids. The vacuuming process not only expels air (and the Hydrogen and Oxygen in the air) and helps to minimise any formation of trans fats, but also allows the volatile odours and flavours to evaporate at lower temperatures (than they would evaporate at normal atmospheric pressure/room conditions), while fatty acid molecules remain unaffected.
Okaaay…, but that didn’t tell me if any chemicals or gases were involved, so I double-checked?
There are no chemicals involved. The virgin coconut oil is heated under high pressure in a special vessel that will allow evaporated molecules responsible for taste and smell to evaporate from the product and to be extracted as vapour. Molecules responsible for taste and smell are usually aromatic organic compounds and are very volatile. By closely controlling the temperature applied it is possible to evaporate these volatile compounds from the coconut without evaporating the rest of the coconut fats and oils.
Because the process is carried out under high pressure, the temperature necessary to evaporate the molecules responsible for the coconut smell and taste is a much lower temperature than the smoke point for coconut oil. Therefore, the fatty acids are not damaged and the fatty acid profile is not affected.
For the customer to visualise the process, it is similar to a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are able to cook foods at lower temperatures with less heat, because they allow to cook at a higher pressure than the atmospheric pressure. The process for deodorising the coconut oil is very similar, although at a much bigger scale and there are extraction pipes that allow the odour and taste molecules to be extracted from the coconut oil.
Fascinating. And isn’t it nice to get such a comprehensive reply? Contrast that with this response from NOW yesterday when I asked for some practitioner-level information to back-up the use of a particular immune product type I am looking into:
We do not have any research information to send you but you can google the ingredients to see the efficacy of the ingredients.
I was flabbergasted.
Anyway, hope that helps with the deodorised coconut oil question at least; I was worried it would spoil the fatty acid content. I would imagine Tiana is made in the same way.