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coconut oil refining process

What is Refined Coconut Oil?

Refined coconut oil also known as the RBD Coconut Oil, which refers to the oil that has been refined, bleached, and deodorized. The oil is derived from dried coconut meat known as copra. Actually, the oil that is expelled directly from copra is not fit for consumption, since it may contain dust particles, insect remains, spawns, microbes, fungal spores and many other such substances that may be harmful for health.

Refined Coconut Oil is the most easily available, most sold, and most consumed form of coconut oil. In fact, nearly all the coconut oil that comes packed in bottles, sachets and bigger packs in the market is refined coconut oil.

refined coconut oil

Why Coconut Oil Refining is Necessary?

In almost cases, the kernels are cut open and spread open in the strong sun to dry, with their flesh facing the sun. They are kept like that for days, weeks, or even months until they dry up as desired. They are not even covered with nets. In the absence of sufficiently strong sunshine or in cloudy weather, there are plenty of chances for fungal growth in the kernels, which are neither thrown away nor cleaned before the oil is extracted. Basically, for our own safety, we are left with no choice but to clean the oil instead.

Coconut Oil Refining Process

coconut oil refining process

The refined organic coconut oil is processed using the organically approved methods of physical extraction and refining. For the extraction step, the coconuts are broken into pieces and the coconut meat is allowed to dry, and once it is dried, the meat or flesh of the Coconut is hydraulically pressed at 100 - 130 degrees to extract the oil. The resulting oil is passed through a filter press to produce the finished material, but it still has to go through the RBD (refining, bleaching and deodorizing) process. The refining, bleaching, and deodorizing process goes as follows:
  • Product is de-gummed through addition of citric acid.
  • Product is bleached through addition activated charcoal.
  • The filtering aid diatomaceous earth is added prior to filtering step, which removes the processing aids added in the previous steps.
  • Product is deodorized with steam and vacuum methods.
This physical refining process is entirely acceptable and approved under organic processing regulations. Note that the items added during the process (citric acid, activated charcoal, and diatomaceous earth) are classified as “processing aids” and not additives because they are entirely removed during processing and are not found in the finished product.
Henan Kingman M&E Complete Plant Co., Ltd ©