CategoriesCoconut Oil

Our view of Wood Pressed Oil – High price for an inferior product

Woodpressed coconut oil

Wood Pressed oils are a craze now. It can be seen by the products sold on Amazon, number of such outlets opened in towns because of the massive consumer preference. I don’t say they are wrong. Because they compare it with what they are consuming today i.e. the refined oil. But when they compare wood pressed oil with corresponding expeller pressed crude, filtered oil they are wrong. Health consciousness should rise, but they should also know what is healthy. Not go with what is popularly happening but scientifically reason it. Normally what is priced higher is good but not always. This fad about wood pressed oil is one such exceptional case.

We don’t debate that wood pressed oil is inferior to refined oil. Wood pressed oil is far superior to refined oil, period. But is it the best way to make oil? Answer is NO! Let us analyse this

2 types of machines to extract crude oil from copra

  • Expeller – It is a fully closed arrangement, moisture should be completely removed from copra.
  • Rotary – It is an open conical grinding machine, some moisture must be present in copra for lubrication.

Debate – which is better?

For expeller

  • Moisture causes rancidity in oil. So a better extraction mechanism should mean remove moisture. So expeller oil will have longer shelf life.
  • Expeller squeezes more oil from copra than rotary. So extraction efficiency is better and oil cost will be lower. Oil cake will have lower oil content wasted.
  • Greater quantity of copra can be crushed in expeller by increasing its size and supplying more power. This allows automation of entire process for larger scale.
  • Oil extracted through expeller from dried copra can be filtered online through a filter press. Oil extracted from rotary from moist copra can only be filtered by sedimentation process which will take 7-10 days. So expeller gives faster throughput and requires lesser inventory.
  • Because copra is heated to some extent, the oil smells and tastes better.

For rotary – only argument

  • Copra is not heated, so the properties of coconut is retained.

What are the properties of coconut that would have been lost by heating? Common answer is vitamins. Any coconut oil contains 99.9% fat and 0.1% moisture. That means there is no other nutrient in coconut oil. Forget Vitamins, coconut oil has no carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. It is only fat.

Heating may go upto 80 degrees in expeller and 60 degrees in rotary. At both theses temperatures the fats don’t undergo any change. If heating of food is bad, then why do we cook rice, roast chapathis, pasteurise milk? Shouldn’t we consume them raw?

From rotary, it goes further down to wooden rotary instead of steel rotary.

  • Extent to which oil is squeezed from copra is even lower. So oil yield is lower, labour cost is higher and hence oil cost is much higher.
  • Heat generated is even lower. So there is no value addition of heat
  • Wood absorbs moisture and oil and retains it. This is very bad for food hygiene and safety.
  • When wood press is not used bacteria and fungus develops on the surface

So, we have argued that rotary oil is inferior to expeller oil and further wood pressed oil takes it a step further and is more inferior and more expensive.

Now, in expeller, roasting of copra before oil extraction increases the quality to another level by enhancing flavour, taste, aroma and shelf life.

CategoriesBranding Coconut Oil

Why does Cocoguru coconut oil have a longer shelf life?

I had been to Kalasa, Chikkamagaluru for developing our business there. While I was talking to a famous coffee maker Varamahalakshmi Coffee Works, he asked me how is that your coconut oil last much longer compared to other coconut oils? It was a great opportunity for me to highlight how different and superior Cocoguru coconut oil is compared to other coconut oils. Since he was curious, he listened carefully. Normally retailers don’t care, we rarely get to explain, if at all we get, they hardly listen. These are the factors which I explained

1. Copra making method
Copra is made from coconuts in 2 methods.

Ball copra
Ball copra
Fresh Copra
Fresh copra

a. Fresh copra
Here fresh coconut is cut into two and immediately sun dried to get copra. This method is followed in coastal Karnataka and Kerala during summer and Tamil Nadu. Because of its freshness it would have undergone minimal deterioration.

b. Ball copra
Coconut with shell and husk is kept in attic for a long time to let coconut water in it slowly dry. After 6 months, moisture would have evaporated and kernel inside would become like a ball and separated from the shell. This type of copra popularly called as Tiptur edible ball copra is used for direct consumption. This method is used in Deccan platue regions of Karnataka. Those that are not in regular shape and size is used for oil milling purpose. Since the copra has become old, it would have undergone some deterioration. Milling copra is selected after selecting edible copra.

To make Cocoguru coconut oil only copra made from sun drying of fresh coconuts are used.

2. Copra Segregation
Copra is segregated to select only good quality ones and bad quality ones are separated. Only good quality copra gives good quality oil despite the best of processes further.

3. Copra drying
Moisture causes rancidity in cooking oil. So, moisture is removed by drying copra using hot air before oil extraction.

4. Copra roasting
Copra roasting further removes moisture and sterilises copra.

5. Oil Extraction
Coconut oil is normally extracted from copra in 2 types of machines, rotary and expeller.

Rotary Machines
Rotary machine
Expeller machine

a. Rotary
In rotary machine, copra with 8% moisture is crushed in a rotary machine, oil is then filtered by sedimentation in barrels for 7 days.

b. Expeller
In expeller, copra with 2.5% moisture is crushed in an expeller, oil is then filtered online through filter press.

Cocoguru coconut oil is extracted from dried copra using expeller and filtered through filter press. Popular perception is that oil that is cold pressed/wood pressed/rotary crushed is natural and superior, also it looks white/colourless. It is suitable only for immediate consumption and yet very ineffecient. Oil yield is low, moisture causes rancidity. Roasted coconut oil extracted through expeller is long lasting, safe, aromatic and tasty yet retains natural properties.

6. Fine filtering
Filtering removes solid particles and moisture, when done finely and thoroughly, it improves oil appearance and shelf life. At Cocoguru, coconut oil is double filtered.

7. Tight packaging
Packing is a way to hold, protect, carry and exhibit the oil. When done well, it goes a long way in ensuring shelf life and convenience of use. In our case shelf life increases from 6 months in PET bottles to 12 months in Jerry Cans.

8. Inventory management
We carefully manage stocks at manufacturing, distribution and retailer points to ensure the stocks are fresh and in good condition, so that consumers get fresh stock.

Overall, it is about careful taking care of each aspect of manufacturing and business process, not about chemicals and preservatives. For many manufacturers their scope ends when their products reach the wholesalers, for us it is about consumer experience.

CategoriesCoconut Oil Marketing

Saurav Ganguly, heart attack, endorsement of a cooking oil product

Saurav Ganguly, the price of Kolkata, former Indian test cricket captain, was responsible for building Indian cricket from the abyss of 2000 to what it is today. The post is not about cricket, but about the cooking oil he endorsed, his mild heart attack, trolling by individuals on social media.
It is unfortunate that our idol had a heart attack and as we had prayed, he has recovered quickly after Angioplasty. The moment news broke out about his heart attack, people remembered the product/brand he endorsed. The fortune brand refined rice bran oil marketed by Adani Wilmar, advertised by agency Oglivy and Mather that claims the oil to be heart healthy. Why did he get heart attack despite being a sports person at highest level and at a young age of 48?

At one level, it is unfair to target Saurav Ganguly or the brand Fortune for his present health status. Brand only claims that the oil is good for heart and never claims that no matter what you do, you will never get heart attack. Saurav on his part, despite following a healthy lifestyle had to get a heart attack. I promote coconut oil for cooking and hair but I am bald and I am not necessarily the healthiest. So, coconut oil or the brand Cocoguru is not responsible for it. But for that we need to think fairly, which doesn’t happen in the emotional world of advertising.

Should Saurav Ganguly promote the product/brand?
Saurav Ganguly has worked hard as a professional cricketer to achieve success he has and rise to be a nationally adored celebrity. He has borne the cost of being a celebrity also. It is only wise he uses his reach to commercially encash on his popularity. But people are only questioning his responsibility in choosing the products he has endorsed. I believe he must personally use it, must have done some basic research and liked it before endorsing it to others. I know Harsha Bhogle for one does the due diligence before endorsing a brand. A few cricketers like Hashim Amla don’t sport Castle Lager logo on their shirt though it is their national sponsor as it is a liquor brand. With financial commitments it is easy to endorse brands that pay the most. Sportsmen are also under the pressure to make money fast as they have limited time appeal mostly in their playing days when they are playing well.

Should the brand select Saurav Ganguly for the campaign?
The campaign is about being healthy even after crossing 40 years of age and Ganguly is a correct choice for it as he is an icon for all people across the country who are of that generation. But the brand’s advertising agency must have worked with Ganguly to find out if he really is a user of the product, does the product really promote heart health? For any long term relationship to work, deal must work fairly both ways.

Risk of having a personality endorse a brand
Nobody would have anticipated Ganguly suffering from heart attack, so the brand must be excused for not covering this risk. There have been backlashes in the past for celebrities taking political positions like Amir Khan, Deepika Padukone, Swara Bhasker etc and users have boycotted the products they have endorsed. Celebrities are humans after all and have their right to opinion and expression, but it runs the risk of their followers liking it or not. Using celebrities gives brands immediate benefits of reach and liking, but it also carries its risk.

Is there any logic, head or heart in promoting refined oils as healthy?
The low cost of refined oil gives its marketers the wide mass market for consumption and hence the marketing budget to spend enticing the users to switch to it. Refined oils may be devoid of impurities like free fatty acids, bad odour, extra colour, solid particles and moisture. But why did the oil have impurities in the first place? Because they were inferior grade oils that were made acceptable through refining. Crude, raw, filtered, cold pressed oils are extracted from superior grade oil seeds and ready of consumption as it is, without having to undergo refining. But they are expensive because such oil seeds are expensive. Crude oils are healthy but their manufacturers don’t have the marketing muscle to promote it to masses. Masses can’t afford it either. Masses usually succumb to dubious claims by advertisers especially if it comes from a celebrity.

CategoriesCoconut Oil

Why is Cocoguru coconut oil yellow in colour?

Rotary Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Rotary Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Expeller Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Expeller Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Roasted Coconut Oil
Roasted Coconut Oil

Why is your coconut oil yellow in colour? It is not clear white, so not pure

People say this out of their experience and perception about coconut oil. They are not to be blamed because they have seen that oil from good quality copra is white and that from lower quality copra is yellow. Our coconut oil is yellow not because of poorer quality copra but because of a different process. With improvements in oil extraction technology and consumer demand for packaged coconut oil, the coconut oil colour also may undergo a change. Though clear transparent white colour looks better, for want of better quality of coconut oil, the colour may have to suffer.

Manufacturing process of clear white colour coconut oil

Copra with 7-8% moisture is crushed in a rotary machine where lower heat is generated through friction, the oil is then kept in a barrel to allow settling of sediments to take out clear white coconut oil. This is the traditional method of coconut oil extraction and at small scale still followed in villages.

The problems here are

  • Copra is high on moisture and resulting oil will get rancid fast
  • Filtering through sedimentation takes a minimum of 7 days

A superior method where above problems are solved is to dry copra to 3% moisture, extract oil from copra through expeller and filter oil online through filter press immediately.

But the resulting oil turns slightly yellow because of

1. Copra drying by application of hot air at 80 degrees

2. Higher friction and heat during oil extraction in expeller

It has better aroma and longer shelf life.

We go a step further that is the roast the copra pieces after drying but before oil extraction. This further enhances the aroma and shelf life but oil becomes more yellow in colour. There is not loss of any nutrients as it is popularly believed, it is still great for cooking. The great aroma is not because of any perfumes added but what comes out of copra through roasting. Increased shelf life is not because of any preservatives or chemicals but because of complete moisture removal from copra.

Effect of roasting can be understood by comparing the taste of ground nuts or cashew nuts before and after roasting. We eat rice, wheat and vegetables after cooking/heating not without.

There may be many traditionalists who say the contrary is true. White colour oil is better than yellow colour oil. We, respect their view and understand why they hold to their view. That is why we have cold press coconut oil also. As a brand, we believe roasted coconut oil is better.

CategoriesCoconut Oil

Coconut oil helps you lose weight. But how?

Normally, consuming oil should make one fat and gain weight, but how is it that using coconut oil helps weight loss? It is true, not a joke. Let us understand how.

Coconut oil is an anomaly among edible oils and nature’s gift to mankind. In science and nature, we know a famous anomaly that is of water. Ice floats in water. Normally, cooling a liquid should bring the molecules closer and make it heavier/denser. But water when cooled beyond 4 C starts expanding and becomes lighter and Ice at below 0 C floats in very water. This anomaly of water has enabled life to sustain under water even in colder regions in winter months. Similarly coconut oil gives you the benefits of oil required by human body and yet doesn’t give the side effects of weight gain.

Oil or Fat?
Lipids can be classified into oils and fats. Coconut Oil though an oil shows several qualities of a fat.

Physical Specifications

Physical ParameterOur Values
Specific Gravity0.915
Refractive Index1.445
ColourTransparent Light Golden Yellow
OdourPleasant roasted coconut

Generalizations don’t hold
Having considered coconut oil as an anomaly, the following generalizations based on transitive logic are not true

  • Saturated fats are bad, Coconut Oil is saturated. Hence coconut oil is bad.
  • Cholesterol clogs arteries and bad for heart. Coconut Oil has cholesterol. Hence coconut oil is bad.
  • Oil intake should be avoided for better health. Hence coconut oil should not be used.

Rather the reverse of it is true for coconut oil.

Digestion is essentially about breaking down complex hydro-carbons like carbohydrates, lipids and proteins into basic carbon dioxide and water using oxygen and release energy. Simpler hydrocarbons are easier to digest than complex ones.

Digestion of glucose

Medium Chain Fatty Acids
Majority of coconut oil is easily digestible medium chain fatty acid. Other oils consists of long chain fatty acids and require special enzymes for digestion, they give more strain to pancreas, liver and entire digestive system and they get stored as body fat.
Coconut oil had 50% lauric acid of carbon chain length 12. To compare with alternative edible oils. Olive oil considered healthy is majority oleic acid of length 18. Sunflower oil, a mass consumed oil is majority linoleic acid of length 18.
Practically compare your feelings after eating oil fried food with coconut oil vs sunflower oil to feel the difference. Stomach feels bloated and heavy with sunflower oil but light with coconut oil.

Reasons for weight loss

  • Improved metabolism. So, with lesser quantity of food the desired energy is generated in body
  • Instant energy. Craving for food reduces when energy is supplied
  • Not stored as fat. Fully digested into useful energy and not stored as fat.

For many who live outside the tropical regions, don’t get coconuts, import coconut oil and use it for their health. But those in tropical region where coconuts are available don’t value what they have. Kannada saying “Hittala gida maddalla” literally translates to “The plant growing in the backyard is not medicine”.

Dr. Mercola –