Coconut oil, a cooking oil, high in saturated fat, particularly used in baking and cosmetics.
[size=75]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [/size]
Coconut oil, also known as coconut butter, is a tropical oil with many applications. It is extracted from copra (derived from Malayalam word “kopra” which means dried coconut). Coconut oil constitutes seven percent of the total export income of the Philippines, the world’s largest exporter of the product.
Coconut oil was developed as a commercial product by merchants in the South Seas and South Asia in the 1860s.
Coconut oil is a fat consisting of about 90% saturated fat. The oil contains predominantly medium chain triglycerides, with roughly 92% saturated fatty acids, 6% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Of the saturated fatty acids, coconut oil is primarily 44.6% lauric acid, 16.8% myristic acid and 8.2% palmitic acid, although it contains seven different saturated fatty acids in total. Its only monounsaturated fatty acid is oleic acid while its only polyunsaturated fatty acid is linoleic acid.
Unrefined coconut oil melts at 24-25°C (76°F) and smokes at 170°C (350°F), while refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point of 232°C (450°F).
Among the most stable of all oils, coconut oil is slow to oxidize and thus resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years due to its high saturated fat content. It is best stored in solid form, below 24.5°C (76°F) in order to extend shelf life. However, unlike most oils, coconut oil will not be damaged by warmer temperatures.