Virgin coconut oil is the best among the different types of coconut oil, but not all virgin coconut oils are created equal. I'll show you how to choose the best quality virgin coconut oil that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
If you're at a health food store and there's no sample for you to smell or taste, you can only rely on these 4 tips (for the time being) to help you sift and sort out the best quality at the store. Yes, 4 tips first, the fifth tip later.
Check the label for the word 'organic'.
Organic means the virgin coconut oil is not processed in an environment that exposes it to pesticides. Here we have to give the brand the benefit of the doubt because there's no way we can verify if it's really organic unless you know the brand and its company very well.
We, the consumers, can only rely on trust in this case to choose what we deem is good.
As organic virgin coconut oil is normally made from fresh grated coconut meat without exposure to molds or other contaminants, it should look crystal clear (like water) when in liquid form at temperatures above 76 °F (24 °C) or snow-white when in solid at temperatures below 76 °F (24 °C).
Note: If the surrounding temperatures hover a few degrees below 76 °F, you might see some varying sizes of snowy or cloudy chunks floating in the oil. That doesn't mean the virgin coconut oil is of poor quality or has turned rancid. It is normal. But you may have difficulty identifying its color in liquid form since the oil is likely to appear cloudy at these temperatures.
My years of experience with virgin coconut oil tells me that a superior quality should have sediment settling to the bottom of the container. This special settling gives the oil a thicker coconut flavor and stronger health benefits.
If you love the natural coconut scent, you would definitely want to have your virgin coconut oil with some settling in it. The sediment should look soft and foggy. Of course, snow-white in color too.
After several cases of plastic substances leaching into the food (though coconut oil is not involved in these "scandals" so far), now I only use virgin coconut oil packed in glass containers.
However, if you still have faith in PET containers that the coconut oil makers use to hold the oil, this tip will become an option to you. To me, it's not an option because it denotes quality.
Note: If the oil is held in amber glass or opaque plastic, it won't be easy for you to check its color at the store. You'll have to buy it home and then pour it out to check the color.
So, these are the 4 key tips to help you narrow down the best quality options available for you at the store. What you should do next is to get the first brand of your choice that meets the 4 quality criteria. Then once you bring it home, open it and smell, and pour some out to taste. And check against this fifth tip below.
5. Coconut Aroma
The stronger the coconut-y aroma and flavor, the more phytonutrients the virgin coconut oil carries. When I say coconut-y, it should smell just like coconut, not cheese or something else.
If you prefer to have one that gives off a milder fragrance, then choose other brand the next time you go to the store. Pick and buy, smell and taste until you find the best quality virgin coconut oil of your choice that you can live with forever.
If you're going to buy online, I suggest that you should only buy what you're already familiar with. Otherwise, the reviews about the virgin coconut oil are the only thing you can depend on for the quality check, which may backfire at times.