Two Letters Re: Storing Coconut Oil

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

JWR,
I work in the oleochemcals industry, just a little info on oil storage.
Oxygen is by far your worst enemy when it comes to long term storage for any fat based materials. The oxygen will primarily interact with any of the double bonds located on a fatty acid chain, breaking down the fatty acid and creating the compounds that cause the oil to become rancid. The more unsaturated the oil is the more double bonds that will be available for the oxygen to interact with. Coconut oil is naturally highly saturated (typically ~94%), therefore fewer double bond sites on the fatty acid chain for oxygen to attack and degrade the product. That said, it is still best to store any of these oils in an environment where there is little to no exposure to oxygen.
• Purchase only high quality oils, if it is a major brand - it is high quality. These will already have been processed to eliminate the vast majority of the compounds that occur naturally in the oils that help to speed up the degradation of the oils.     
• At our facility, we nitrogen blanket our tanks for product protection. Use of dry ice, similar to long term storage of grains, will provide the same effect. 
• Plastic is NOT impermeable. While convenient and unbreakable, I have had Olive oil (poly unsaturated) go rancid while still in its original unopened plastic bottle. Metal and glass are better choices. 
• Storage as a solid (frozen) will ensure that only the material on the top can have any exposure. We actually do this also at work for some of our high $ materials that don't get processed as often. Melting point of coconut is ~75 Degrees F, just keep in a cool place.
Use of these methods can stretch oils storage times greatly - far past the 2 years on the label. - P.M.R.


Jim,
I'm writing about the recent letter on coconut oil. It takes away odors as well. It is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. I use the natural tasting extra virgin coconut oil when using for everything except cooking items where I really don't care for the coconut taste in a particular food. Since coconut oil melts at 76 degrees it can be easily melted and used in place of unhealthy corn oils. My local Costco started selling this only about 6 or 7 months ago. I have found unflavored Extra Virgin coconut oil at Swanson Vitamins (an Internet/mailorder company that I have used for years that has very good prices in North Dakota). We only use coconut oil for my daughter's babies and not only is it healthy, no stinging or horrible taste if it gets into their mouth. Hope this helps. God Bless, - Diana


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