How VCO is Made

There is no disputing that VCO is beneficial to us. This oil should be used unrefined as refining removes essential elements such as antioxidants that protect the body from certain diseases.

VCO is extracted by two different methods (quick drying and wet-milling, as mentioned in the article ‘Introduction to VCO and FCO’).

Quick Drying

Here, the fresh coconut meat is quickly dried and then the coconut oil is instantly pressed out. This method, being suited for mass production, is quite common.

Expeller pressing is a marketing term used in coconut oil products to denote this process. Expeller pressing uses heat of up to 98.8 degrees Centigrade.

Cold-pressing process involves extracting the coconut oil in a heat-controlled environment of a temperature below 48.8 degrees Centigrade.

Wet Milling

In this method, ‘coconut milk’ is extracted from the fresh coconut meat. Coconut milk comprises oil, water, and coconut curds (solids). Oil needs to be separated from this mixture for it to be useful. This is done using several methods: fermentation, mechanical centrifuge, boiling, refrigeration and enzymes. Let’s look at two common methods.

Fermentation is the oldest process of producing VCO and can be done at home. Once the coconut milk is extracted, it is allowed to ferment for around 2 days in a container. Fermentation causes three layers to form; water at the bottom, oil in the middle, and curds on top. The oil and curds layer is scooped out into a container and heated until the curds sinks. The oil is then filtered; this is VCO.

Centrifuge process involves making cream out of the fresh coconuts. The cream, which is like the coconut milk, is then put in a centrifuge and spun. The centrifuge separates the oil from the other components. The product usually has a mild flavour in this process.

Now that we understand how VCO is made, the natural question to ask is: what are the benefits of VCO?

Sources/Additional Reading

1. How is Coconut Oil Produced? | The Coconut Diet™
2. Methods to Make Virgin Coconut Oil | The Superfoods!
3. What is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)? | PT Harvard Cocopro
4. What Is the Difference Between Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil & Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil? | Livestrong.com