Microblog: A Beyond Meat Ingredient – Refined Coconut Oil

By now we know that saturated fats aren’t bad for us and coconut oil being high in saturated fats is not a bad thing. But what about refined coconut oils?⠀

👩🏻‍🔬An oil has been refined by using chemicals, what the manufacturers call purifying. Purifying can mean the oil was treated with acid, purified with an alkali, or purified with bleach. The oil can then be neutralized, filtered or deodorized. All of which require chemicals like hexane. (remember canola oil?)⠀

⚠️When oils are refined, oftentimes they become rancid PUFAs, oxidize and turn into trans fats. The smell is rancid that bleach is used to deodorize and make the oil tasteless.⠀

🧪So back to refined coconut oil, or RBD coconut oil: Refined, bleached and deodorized. They are dry milled, where they are first baked, then the oil is extracted.⠀

🚫The oil from the copra, the dried kernel is not fit for human consumption. So the oil is then bleached to kill off microbes and remove dust particles, insects and fungal spores.⠀
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🥥This bleaching clay for filtration results in a clear, mild-tasting coconut oil. But the baking and bleaching also reduces the benefits of coconut oil, such as the polyphenols and MCFAs.⠀

❗️Some refined coconut oils add partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats) for lower cost and longer shelf life.⠀

✅The best option is unrefined coconut oils where the oil is extracted from fresh coconuts spun in a centrifuge and undergoes no bleaching (wet milling). Oftentimes these coconut oils are called virgin, raw or pure. These unrefined coconut oils have a coconut flavor and has most nutrients intact.⠀

🔥And in case you’re wondering, refined coconut oil’s smoke point is 400 but unrefined coconut oil is 350. But do you want to cook with a fat that may already have trans fats?⠀

💰If you consume coconut oil for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits then stick to unrefined. Next time you see coconut oil on the shelves and see the variance in prices, now you know why.⠀

☠️So while Beyond Meat attempts to use coconut oil in its foods, it’s high likely the oil has gone rancid with its canola oil buddy and both combined make a strong pair of trans fats.

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