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RE-Discovering The History of Coconut Oil this National Day

As we celebrate Singapore’s 56th birthday, we’ve achieved independence despite being a small country with a lack of natural resources. While National Day is falling on 9th of August, we’ll be sharing a brief history of coconut oil, dating back in the 1900s as we come together to celebrate Singapore’s independence and achievements with Ecoco Extra Virgin Coconut Oil!

The History of Coconut Oil

Did you know that the history of Coconut oil is as old as 4000 years? There is an estimated of 3960 years in documenting the edible and healing properties of the coconut flesh, coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk. 

Alexander P. Ashbourne is the inventor of refining coconut oil. He first received a patent for treating coconut on Aug 21, 1877. The coconut oil process starts with filtration and bleaching by filtering it through an activated clay filter. The oil is heated to a very high temperature to remove any remaining coconut scent or taste, and finally hydrogenated to ensure that no unsaturated fatty acids are left in the oil.

The coconut oil refining process was tedious, as technology was not fully advanced back then. Nonetheless, Ashbourne succeeded in his coconut oil refinement and his invention changed the coconut oil industry.

Coconut Oil: Main Oil Back in the Days

Prior to World War II, coconut oil was the main edible oil, and malay men harvest the coconut monthly. Using a long bamboo pole and a sickle attached to collect the coconuts that had fallen into big rattan baskets. They started off by dehusking the ripe coconuts and draining them of coconut water, before cutting them into half. Followed by removing white kernels and sun-drying them to extract oils out of dried kennels, also known as ‘Copra’. 

Shortly after the Japanese took over Philippines and other South Pacific islands during World War II, there was an increased rate in plant-based oil production as coconut oil supply was interrupted. This led to more production of corn, soy and sunflower oil.

Condemned Healthier Alternative

After the war was over, coconut oil once again became the most desired oil. In order to keep the vegetable oil industry going, vegetable oil producers used advertising to condemn coconut oil. They convince the public that unsaturated plant-based oils were a better and healthier choice than coconut oil. Coconut oil was blamed after people started developing heart diseases.

However, saturated fats do not cause heart disease, and coconut oil has positive evidence-based health benefits that contains natural saturated fats, increasing HDL good cholesterol levels in your body.

The Potential behind Coconut Oil

Dr. Weston A. Price uncovered the benefits of coconut oil in 1930s when travelling to various islands studying the relationship between urban and native diets. Weston is a dentist and nutritionist researcher that studied how urban and native diets might have a correlation with affecting health. As natives live by traditional food, coconut has become a staple diet and their primary food source.

By analysing food and diet from both groups, he noticed that natives consuming a diet of at least 60% coconut had a better overall health and low rates of heart diseases despite being high in fat concentration, than those consuming urban food! Urban diets are high in processed carbohydrates, while being low in coconut level has risks of degenerative disease. 

The Secret Behind our Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Through the long standing history of Coconut Oil, ECOCO Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has developed to be more nutritious than ever. Using 100% organic coconuts extracted from King Coconut, native to Sri Lanka. Standing apart from other coconuts, King Coconut has a bright orange shell, and tastes sweeter than other regular coconuts. 

Fun fact: It takes about 4-5 King Coconuts to produce 180ml of coconut oil!

ECOCO Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is unrefined and unbleached. Made by cold-pressed, using only the best coconut from Sri Lanka. Without using solvents and additives, we aim to produce the purest and most authentic form of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Shop your Ecoco Extra Virgin Coconut Oil online today for an organic and healthier alternative to plant-based cooking oils!


Dated back in the 1900, there was no difference if you were Malay, Chinese, Indian or Eurasian, everyone lived peacefully in one kampung. If someone plucked 50 coconuts from their coconut trees, they would willingly share it with every household in the kampung.

Let us know in the comments section down below how Singapore was like for you in the past!