Dr. Bronner's has two coconut oils available, which I recently spotted at a local Whole Foods. One is "white kernel" while the other is "whole kernel", but it's not clear what the differences are beyond this. Is one better for cooking? How about for topical application (skin/hair)? Is there a specific reason I'd want one over the other?
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Here's the scoop everyone. I emailed Bruce Fife and this was his response:
" The difference between the “white kernel” and “Whole kernel” is that the whole kernel would include the brown membrane that separates the kernel from the shell. This membrane has a higher content of unsaturated fatty acids. That is basically the only significant difference. Even then, the differences between the two would not amount to much.
In other words, pretty negligible difference at most.....
Hope that helps!
Whole kernel is marginally more nutritious and has a slightly nuttier flavor. They're both unrefined so they have the same smoke point. Honestly, there's not too much of a difference between them. (from a cooking perspective)
Look up "paring oil." It is an oil pressed out of the coconut attached to the "testa" after the white meat is dessicated for dried coconut production. In other words, a left over product that is being cleverly marketed.
i took the whole kernel too, and i'll be a monkey's uncle if ole doc bronner doesn't make the best coconut oil out there! i think it tastes better than any other brand i've tried. don't eat his soap though :0
Calling coconut oil a "left over" product is a bit harsh, no? Using every part of the product, regardless what product, seems efficient from a business stand point, ecologically sound and while providing a product that has real value and benefits. One can legitimately wonder which is the by-product, the oil or dried coconut.