We have recently been giving MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil to our dogs in place of Coconut Oil as from what I understand the majority of the benefits of Coconut Oil comes from the MCT's themselves and by doing this you can avoid Lauric Acid, which has 12 carbon atoms and can behave like both classes of fatty acids (MCT's and LCT's (long chain triglycerides)).

Apparently only 10% of the saturated fat in Coconut Oil has MCT's:

A small percentage of the saturated fat in coconut oil, about 10%, is made up of these less harmful saturated fatty acids, but virtually all the rest of coconut oil’s saturated fat is made up of the long-chain varieties that send LDL soaring.

However I have heard claims as well that Coconut Oil is 2/3 MCT, but I would assume this comes down to Lauric Acid and whether or not it is classified as an MCT or an LCT; the aforementioned articles states it is an LCT but others state it is an MCT.

I am getting off track here, so I digress.

Based on the information I have found it is best to avoid Coconut Oil and instead give straight MCT oil to avoid LCT's (including Lauric Acid), however after speaking with the manufacturer of the MCT oil we are using, I asked them if the oil was "cold-pressed" and was told whilst they did cold-press it they also have to use fractionation to separate the oils.

To get MCT the process is a little different from other oils. First it starts with organic coconut oil which is cold pressed. Then the oil goes through the process of fractionation, which is done by steam. There are no solvents used in this process, it's just heat. It needs to be heat because whole coconut oil needs to have its fatty acids broken to extract the medium chains (the MCT part). Coconut oil is a mix of long chains and medium, and you can't separate them using a cold press, as it won't be enough to break the fatty acids bonds. Once the fractionation is done we are left with the long chain fats (which we use in our soaps and personal care ranges) and the MCT.

The heat from the fractionation isn't enough to change the structure of the fats, it's just enough to split the long chains away from the medium. I hope that's clear! It's always a little tricky to understand first go - it's almost like separating the milk solids from melted butter, or curds from whey, if you can imagine that?

Now, obviously the reason you want a cold-pressed oil is because you don't want to destroy the nutrients in it - apparently using too much heat can destroy things such as antioxidants, vitamin E and oleic acid.

Cold pressed retain healthy antioxidants that are otherwise damaged by being exposed to heat. Antioxidants help combat free radicals that cause cell damage in the body. Most cold pressed oils are rich in vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. They are also rich sources of oleic acid that help boost your immune system. All these oils when cooked on low heat are excellent oils; however, they lose all the nutrients once exposed to too much heat.

Based on the response from the manufacturer and the statement above that "low heat" should be fine, generally, does the process of fractionation retain all the nutrients in the oil?



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