Coconut oil is considered a fixed oil because it is solid at very low temperatures similar to tallow or lard, but melts at slightly above room temperature (76 degree Fahrenheit). It is also the most popular base oil used in the soap and body care industry. White in color when in its solid form and then clear when melted, this oil is produced from the fresh flesh of the coconut palm fruit. The coconuts are shelled and pared then the white meat of the coconut is ground and dried. The dried meat of the coconut is called "copra." Once dried, the copra is then mechanically (expeller) pressed at a controlled temperature to separate the oil from the meat. This mechanical pressing is normally done at low temperatures but not low enough for it to be considered cold pressed. Once the oil is pressed from the copra, it is then passed through a filtering system. This ends the process for unrefined coconut oil, but ours is refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD), so it goes through some additional steps:
- Citric acid is added to the coconut oil to de-gum it.
- After the de-gumming step, activated charcoal is added to the oil to bleach it.
- After the bleaching step and right before the final filtering step, diatomaceous earth is added to the coconut oil to remove all the citric acid and activated charcoal elements.
- The oil is then put through a final filtering to remove all the processing aids used above.
- The oil is finally deodorized with vacuums and steam.