Last week, there was a special offer in one of my local supermarkets - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, certified organic at that. (I am not mentioning any names here because the names are irrelevant.) Foolishly, I bought a 690 ml jar and went on my merry way happy that I saved a few dollars.
A few days later, I opened the aforementioned jar, scooped out a tablespoon of the “certified organic” oil and mixed it into my coffee. While sipping the coffee, I casually looked at the (minute) nutrition label on the side of the jar. And, to my utmost horror, I noticed that the oil contained trans fats. Trans fats! So, why would anyone want to hydrogenate coconut oil?
Now, here comes the good old Wikipedia to the rescue. (You may be a research snob and disregard the information on Wikipedia as rubbish but sometimes it is the best starting point for more reliable research sources.) And, here is what it says there:
“Since virgin and RBD coconut oils melt at 24 °C (76 °F), foods containing coconut oil tend to melt in warm climates. A higher melting point is desirable in these warm climates, so the oil is hydrogenated. The melting point of hydrogenated coconut oil is 36–40 °C (97–104 °F).
In the process of hydrogenation, unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) are combined with hydrogen in a catalytic process to make them more saturated. Coconut oil contains only 6% monounsaturated and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. In the partial hydrogenation process, some of these are transformed into trans fatty acids.”
Yesterday, I took the oil back to the store. They did not want to refund my money or to give me a credit note. I did not sweat the stuff at all. It was my fault. I should have read the nutrition label in the first place. (The store’s customer service was lacking, I know, but that is a different post altogether.)
The moral of the story?
- Read the nutrition labels on all packaged food products that you buy.
- If it says “certified organic”, it does NOT mean at all that the product is good.
- Never buy a product just because it is on sale.