There is no such thing as extra virgin coconut oil. The term "extra" is added by manufacturers for marketing purposes to imitate the olive oil industry.
In the 1990s, the number of beauty care products in Manila mushroomed. Together with the growing presence of aromatherapy and massage oils, the demand for high quality coconut oil exploded.
It didn't take long before both the manufacturers and end-users coined the term virgin coconut oil. Up to this very day though, the industry has not yet identified any set of quality standards that will formally classify certain coconut oils as virgin.
Extra virgin coconut oil does not exist because there are still no clear guidelines on what makes coconut oil virgin in the first place, let alone "extra" virgin. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) should lead the way in coming up with such internationally accepted benchmarks.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is produced from processing fresh coconut meat, coconut milk and/or coconut milk residue. Naturally processed, chemical-free and additive-free, it has not undergone any further chemical processing after extraction.
VCO has a fresh coconut aroma and flavor ranging from mild to "mildly" intense depending on the process used. Water white in color, it has powerful antioxidant properties that allows it to stay fresh for a very long time.
There are basically two main types of coconut oil: Virgin and RBD (Refined, Bleached and Deodorized). Others are really just sub-types or sub-sub-types of the above. Unlike VCO, RBD coconut oil is typically derived from copra or dried whole coconut.
You frequently can't tell the difference between virgin and RBD coconut oils just by looking. RBD oil can be just as clear but is fundamentally odorless and flavorless. You have to smell and taste the difference.
Although extra virgin coconut oil is nothing more than a marketing ploy to date, I think it would still be prudent on your part to take a close second look. Just don't take their word for it! Use the tips mentioned above and you should be fine.
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