Coconut oil as the name suggests is an oil extracted from the coconut fruit. It may be derived from fresh coconut meat or from dried coconut meat. It smells typically like coconut (if not refined, bleached, and deodorized). It is highly valued nowadays as a cooking fat. It possesses favourable qualities such as a low melting point, resistance to rancidity, pleasant flavor, and easy digestibility, making it an ideal ingredient in the food industry. It is most widely used in the Indian subcontinent. It is available in two forms refined and unrefined form. Refined coconut oil comes from dried coconut and is treated with high heat and then bleached and deodorized. It has a neutral odour. Unrefined coconut oil comes from the fresh coconut fruit. The process doesn't require high temperatures, hence it is called "cold-pressed." Unrefined coconut oil (virgin) smells like coconuts.
When buying coconut oil a few things to be considered are the taste and smell of the coconut oil should be mild. If it has a roasted or nutty smell, that means it has been treated to high heat and has lost its nutrients. Also, check that the coconut oil has a pale yellow colour with a semi solid texture.
Coconut oil may cause diarrhea or acne breakout. It may also cause intestinal distress and allergies.(2)
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