Coconut oil is a semisolid fat extracted from the meat of fresh and matured coconuts. It includes antifungal, antioxidant, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which stem from the existence of caprylic and lauric acids. The natural property in the oil helps the body to heal and become energetic.
Processing coconut oil:
One can extract coconut oil through wet or dry processing. In dry processing, the meat is extracted from the shell and dried using kilns, fire or sunlight. Drying process create copra, which is dissolved with solvents to produce the coconut oil and high fiber, high protein mash.
The wet process uses raw coconut. The coconut has protein, which creates a mixture of water and oil. It is difficult to break the emulsion to recover the oil. While prolonged boiling can help recover the oil, it is not economical. Most people, therefore, resort to modern technologies, which use pre-treatments and centrifuges.
Wet process is less viable because it has several limitations. It produces lower yields, usually between 10 and 15%. It needs investment of equipment and energy. This means that capital and operating costs will be high. Dry processes, therefore, remains the most efficient method of processing the oil.
Uses of coconut oil
For industrial use:
The oil is a great feedstock for biodiesel, which is used as diesel engine fuel. It can power generators and transport using diesel engines.
Used in foods:
People have used coconut oil to cook for thousands of years. Today, the oil has become popular in health and food circles. Movie theater chains use it to pop pop corns. The body converts lauric acid to monolaurin, which is a fat found only in breast milk.
For personal use:
It is a perfect skin moisturizer, which helps with dry skin. It can reduce the loss of protein when used in hair. One can also use it as a sexual lubricant. However, it can destroy latex condoms.
Advantages of coconut oil
It provides the body with energy:
It can boost your energy and metabolism. It is not stored in the body like fat. Instead, the body metabolizes it and uses it to provide energy. It speeds up the rate of metabolism making it easy for you to lose weight if you want to. The oil can also support your thyroid by restoring it to its normal function.
It can build and strengthen your immune system:
The anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties in coconut oil can help your body fight unnecessary attacks. It is a perfect solution, which can help build immunity fighting compounds in your immune system.
It protects the body from illness:
Consuming this oil can help you avoid heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It has no trans-fats and this makes it healthy and safe for consumption.
The oil reduces cholesterol:
The oil promotes the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone. The body needs the thyroid to function optimally. If thyroid fails to operate optimally, it could result to a higher level of cholesterol in the body. Luckily, this oil has type MCT saturated fat, the lauric acid. Lauric acid is what helps to improve the level of cholesterol in the body.