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All Coconut Oil Is Not The Same

Natural, Organic, Holistic...What Does It Mean?

Natural: AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Official) defines the word "natural", when used to describe a pet food as: "A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources either in its unprocessed state or having been subjected to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to chemically synthetic except in amount as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.

Organic: To be termed as "organic", a food must be grown without the use of Pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides. However, these products may be used as a last resort in some instances. Organic meat must come from animals that were never administered antibiotics or growth hormones.

Holistic: Dog foods labeled as "holistic" should comprise of natural ingredients of human-grade quality that are well-cared for during the creation of the product. These foods contain no byproduct or fillers, which makes them more easily digested. Feeding a holistic food will help you avoid most food-related allergies that your dog might have.

Aside from the technical differences of how coconut oil is made, the easiest answer would be that there are different grades of coconut oil: Cosmetic grade, food grade, and therapeutic grade coconut oil.

Cosmetic grade is usually used as ingredients in cosmetics such as skin care, hair care, shampoos, etc. Usually this is refined coconut oil and is the least expensive .

Food grade coconut oil can be refined, semi-refined, or un-refined (virgin) coconut oil. This is commonly found in grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s.  Food grade coconut oil is good for cooking and using as ingredients for food and recipes. Food grade coconut oil is less expensive as it can be partially refined or a blend between refined and virgin coconut oil, and the label can still legally say “Virgin Coconut Oil” on the bottle. There are no standards for the label “Virgin Coconut Oil” on packaging. This is very sad as it confuses the consumers.

Therapeutic grade coconut oil will have a higher Lauric Acid content and a lower moisture content than a food grade coconut oil. Lauric Acid content for most food grade coconut oil is 40-43% while the Lauric Acid content in therapeutic virgin coconut oil is 54-59%.  Moisture content for food grade coconut oil is .6% and higher, whereas moisture content for therapeutic Coconut oil is between .01 - .06%. 

Therapeutic grade is more expensive as the coconuts used must be fully ripe at 12 months of age before processing the coconuts into coconut oil. Most brands that buy their coconuts from various independent small farmers; they often use unripe coconuts that are harvested at 4-6 months old. They also cannot guarantee that the coconuts are USDA Organic Certified and non-GMO. As long as 80% of the coconuts they purchase and use are organic certified, they can use the organic certification. The brands we use are 100% certified organic and non-GMO.  

There is also confusion with the term “cold pressed”. Even though a lot of brands claim to be “cold-pressed” on the label, food grade coconut oil is usually expeller pressed, or machine pressed. Expeller pressing usually yields more oil, thus making it more economical to produce. Expeller pressing also generates heat from 250F, and higher.

In European standards, to be truly “cold pressed” and raw, the oil should not be processed above 115 F. Since there are no standards in the USA for “cold pressed” any supplier can also put “cold pressed” on their labels even though it is expeller –pressed, which is how food grade coconut oil is produced.Type your paragraph here.

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