Virgin Coconut Oil
Cooking fun included.
Virgin Coconut Oil -
the story behind our coconut oil.
Everything started in 2004 with Tropicai virgin coconut oil (VCO). When Christine Grotendiek, our company founder, came back to Germany from the Philippines, where she had lived for 8 years, she brought a few glasses of this precious oil home with her.
This in the Philippines much loved oil was virtually unknown in Europe. So she wanted to make the good properties of high-quality virgin coconut oil (VCO) known here and at the same time support the producers in the country of origin. We think she has accomplished that.
Some of the advantages of a high quality coconut oil:
Coconut Oil how it should be and how you can really enjoy it.
- Made of fresh coconut pulp
- Very gently cold pressed
- From fair trade projects in the Philippines
- High share of lauric acid
- Virgin Oil quality (VCO)
- Perfect for cooking, baking, frying and much more
It comes from the beautiful Southeast Asian country of the Philippines. With its 7107 islands the Philippines are the world´s fifth-largest island state and if you have ever been there you know how many facets this county has. It´s fertile and its people are a little different compared to other Asians – you can still feel the Spanish influence here and there.
Here, coconut oil has a long tradition – starting from the production to the application thereof. It´s not only used in the kitchen but also for intensive skin and hair care. The people there have known how to produce high-quality virgin coconut oil for a long time.
One fact we really appreciate is that the coconuts our oil is made from do not come from plantations, but are naturally grown in mixed palm forests. Flora, fauna and the people still share the land in a surprisingly natural way.
Coconut oil is made of the pulp of the coconut (cocos nucifera). The name affix “virgin” in VCO (virgin coconut oil) refers to the freshness of the pulp. It is separated very shortly after the harvest and dried. This white or rather clear coconut oil is cold pressed and otherwise not exposed to any other technical modifications.
Herein lies the most significant distinction to “copra” (dried nut). Here the pulp is very often left in the sun to dry without being protected from animals, environmental toxins or mold growth, or kept semidry in warehouses (mold, stench, etc.). Furthermore heat of open fires is used to accelerate the drying process, which causes the oil contained in copra to be polluted with contaminants. Also rancidity increases with progressing decomposition. The so-called “crude oil” that is won this way is dark brown and must be refined, deodorized and bleached in order to get rid of most of the pollutants and decomposition products prior to marketing. The end product is sold as classic RBD oil.
Whereas palm oil is the oil won from the red pulp of the oil palm (elaeis guineensis). It is a completely different plant that originates from Africa and has only been imported to Asia as an ornamental plant in the 19th century. This is why the production of palm oil is often regarded as being destructive to the local flora and fauna in the Asiatic region. Palm oil is reddish-orange and has a different lipid composition compared to coconut oil. The fatty acids of palm oil are mainly from long-chained palmitic acids. (41-46%).
There is no difference in the composition of ingredients between solid and liquid coconut oil. Solely the ambient temperature determines the physical state. Below 24-26°C the coconut oil starts building different-sized crystalline structures until it is completely solid. Rapid cooling causes a homogenous white structure. Slow cooling however effects rather big structures. According to the guidelines for cooking fats and oils it should be called fat, because the structure is assessed at a temperature of 20°C. However, coconut oil has found another way into legal provisions.
We like to call it coconut oil in order to recall its original character from the Philippines.
Coconut oil goes with every cuisine. You can use it to roast, fry, bake and refine your dishes, use it pure and chilled with fruit or put it into your morning coffee for a powerful start of the day.
Some of you might be a bit surprised here. Coffee and coconut oil? Yes! If you have a mild, high-quality coconut oil it will not taste aggressively of coconut but have a pleasant mild, aromatic flavor. In hot coffee the oil tastes almost like cream and supplies additional, long-lasting energy for the day.
Apart from this not so well known usage of coconut oil there are many more ways you can use it.
Coconut oil is one of the best for frying. Be it vegetable stir-fries, fish, hash browns, tofu or a classic wok-dish, it is relatively heat-stable and keeps its valuable ingredients.
You can use it instead of butter for baking, however you need about 10-20% less of it (depending on the recipe), because oil contains no water, whereas butter does. It gives your cakes and pastries a slight coconut aroma.
Coconut oil even tastes good by itself, if it´s cold espescially. You haven´t tried that yet? Just a trace of it on fruit tastes like an ice cream dessert. Furthermore it strengthens your immune system with the lauric acid it contains and also supplies you with long-lasting energy for the day thanks to its medium-chained fatty acids.
Coconut oil is perfect for roasting. If you want to use it for deep-frying you should especially make sure you use fresh coconut oil (no multiple use). High temperatures together with the water contained in the foods you want to fry can accelerate the decomposition of the oil. In general, however, fresh coconut oil is quite heat-stable, because of its saturated fatty acid residues and low content of free fatty acids and can be heated to up 190°C.
YES! Coconut oil has been used for skin and hair care for centuries! It makes your skin glow and the delicate scent of coconut even gives you a summer holiday feeling. Use it as a hair treatment for your dry ends or make an intensive treatment out of it and leave it in overnight. For this purpose warm up the oil (either leave it in a warm place or carefully heat it in a saucepan) and work the oil thoroughly into your hair from top to bottom. Wrap it into a towel overnight and wash it out properly the next morning. Et voilà – shiny hair for a shiny day.
It also has a tried-and-true tradition as a great skin care product.
As coconut oil also contains lauric acid that has antibacterial properties it can well be used as a pleasant special care for your private parts.
Did you know?
Coconut oil has a low natural UV protection factor of 3-4 which makes it ideal underneath regular sunscreens.
Especially the short- to medium-chained fatty acid residues of the coconut oil (MCT) are easier and simpler absorbed by our body than long-chained fatty acid residues. After our body has absorbed it, it is quickly distributed to the liver and into the body cells by the blood.
Medium-chained fatty acids have successfully been used by nutritionists for decades when it comes to, e.g. disturbances of lipid digestion. Mostly they use synthetically made coconut or palm kernel oil products (so-called MCT oils) that have a very high content of capric and caprylic acids. Coconut oil consists of about 14% of those two medium-chained fatty acids. There is no definition of medium-chained fatty acids as such. Usually lauric acid that makes up about 50% of the coconut oil is considered as one.
A recent scientific study showed that it does make sense nutritional-wise, because lauric acid is also metabolized differently than long-chained fatty acids.
Thus coconut oil in its natural form supplies around 60-65% first-class fatty acids for a healthy nutritious diet – although the word “fat” may suggest otherwise.
The abbreviation VCO stands for Virgin Coconut Oil, which is a term for high-grade coconut oil. It is won by processing freshly harvested and peeled coconut pulp and gently cold pressing it.