Lucy and Meg explain why you sometimes find holes in your jar of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil, what 'pearling' is and how often the Lucy Bee filling process is checked.
Only coconuts are processed at the plant that produces Lucy Bee Coconut Oil and the UK BRC Grade A packaging facility is nut free, dairy free and peanut free.
For dry skin and other skin conditions our Coconut Oil makes a wonderful moisturiser which protects against damage and promotes healing - this is because it contains vitamin E and antioxidants. A little goes a long way so use it sparingly and add more as required.
Winfried Fuchshofen PhD, Director Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA) confirms the following :
"Child labour is prohibited by our standard and all authorised inspectors are specifically trained regarding child labour. Child labour, if detected, is a “killer” noncompliance and leads to immediate suspension or revocation of certification."
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is unrefined and has a smoke point around 178C, 350F. As such, it is best suited for general frying, roasting or baking, rather than deep frying.
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil makes a great dairy free butter replacement in sandwiches and baking. You’ll notice a slight coconut taste when used as a spread which is rather pleasant depending on individual taste – generally, the coconut flavour will be lost if you use it in any cooking though, for example to roast, bake or fry with.
At Lucy Bee we pay a price premium for our products to be Fair Trade.
We firmly believe in the values and ethics of Fair Trade and want to help improve the life of those who are producing our wonderful products. The Fair Trade premium is paid on the factory price of the raw product.
We're unable to buy our Salts as Fair Trade (if we could, we would). Instead, Lucy Bee donates 15p from the sale of every box of any of our Bath Salts to our chosen charity.
When replacing butter in a recipe with coconut oil, I find you only need 3/4s of the amount stated ie. for every 100g of butter, I'd use 75g of coconut oil. If baking, you can also reduce the stated amount of sugar by about 1/3.
I'm afraid we don't have an actual weight loss plan. Personally I try to eat foods that are as close to Nature as possible and avoid processed foods. I use Lucy Bee Coconut Oil as my choice of fat to replace processed oils in cooking, and include exercise in my daily routine.
With particular reference to coconut oil itself, it is slightly less calorific than other fats and is a medium-chain fatty acid, containing lauric acid.
We need some fat in our diet for fuel, so it's important to eat the right kind.
Under EU regulation for food health claims, we are unable to quote health benefits of coconut oil or any of our product range. Please feel free to do your own research, putting you in a position to make an informed decision.
Under EU regulations for food health claims, we are unable to quote the health benefits of any of our product range. Please feel free to do your own research, putting you in a position to make your own informed decision.
There are various references that support claims concerning the benefits of coconut oil, some anecdotal, some contentious and others from established sources.
Dr Bruce Fife, sometimes known as ‘the coconut guru’ has written several papers based on his research that offer insightful information.
He has, also, written several books on his findings about the many benefits, which may be of interest. I’d recommend 'The Coconut Miracle', which is quite easy reading and available on Amazon.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat and it's interesting to see that opinion is changing in recent months over the role of saturated fats in general. The NHS has published an article, which you can read here, which concludes “In contrast to current recommendations, this systematic review found no evidence that saturated fat increases the risk of coronary disease, or that polyunsaturated fats have a cardioprotective effect.” This report did go on to say, however, that “Current UK guidelines remained unchanged”. This is an area in which, I’m sure, we'll see much more debate in the future.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat made up of medium-chain fatty acids. As a fat, coconut oil should only form part of a balanced diet of nutrient rich, natural foods and used in moderation as a substitute for processed oils.
There is no actual daily recommended amount but the general guide is between 1-3 tablespoons per day. Obviously it may not suit everyone.
When it comes to using coconut oil as a beauty product, it seems logical to use this natural, pure product over one that contains a list of, sometimes, unpronounceable manufactured items! However, it’s all a matter of individual choice.
I must point out that we are not medically trained, merely passionate about and believe in the benefits of coconut oil, based upon our own findings and uses.
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is unrefined, extra virgin and raw. Minimal heat is used (approximately 41C) during the cold pressed extraction, keeping it as natural as can be.
The oil is bottled in the UK, at a BRC grade A facility. With the UK's cooler climate, coconut oil solidifies below 24C and in order to bottle the oil here, it is very gently warmed.
Organic extra virgin coconut oil does not contain sulphites as this is an organic product.
A raw, fresh coconut contains about 6-8 ppm of SO2. Since the process to make oil will undergo drying and expelling, the SO2 should go down to trace amounts.
No is the simple answer! As a saturated fat, coconut oil is solid below 24C and will melt above this temperature.
Nutrients are not lost when it changes from a solid to a liquid and vice versa. In warmer countries coconut oil is always a liquid, which explains why it is put in to narrow-necked bottles that would not work in the colder UK.
There is no definitive amount of coconut oil to take each day, though a general guide is between 1-3 tablespoons per day. Balance is the key and we recommend using unrefined coconut oil as a replacement for processed oils, as part of a balanced diet of organic, natural foods which also includes daily exercise.
Coconut oil is slightly less calorific than other oils and butters.
Coconut oil = 117 calories per tablespoon of oil.
Olive oil = 119 calories per tablespoon of oil.
No. Cocoamide DEA is a chemically modified form of coconut oil which is used as a thickener in some shampoos and soaps. As such this has no place in Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Organic Raw Coconut Oil.
Our Coconut Oil has not been modified in any way and contains absolutely no additives.
There are varying reports that unrefined coconut oil has an SPF value and these range between 3-7. You can read more here.
We would always err on the side of caution though and do not recommend using this as a sunscreen.
In our experience, coconut oil makes for a wonderfully soothing after-sun lotion.
There are a variety of options on the market, some basic filters like Brita jugs or opt for something more complex. Clearly costs differ considerably depending on which system you look at.
We have a reverse osmosis filter system, supplied by East Midlands Water which we find to be very good. They use food grade membranes to line the plastic container, which is also BPA free.
Prices are from £149. The company are happy to answer any detailed questions you may have on firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic, fresh, mature coconuts are shelled and pared to remove the outer shell and brown skin. The flesh is grated, dried under controlled condidions then expeller cold pressed, to produce our Coconut Oil.
The coconuts used in all of our coconut products are grown in an agroforestry environment (rather than plantations), which is eco-friendly. It is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems.
For a full explanation of how the oil is extracted for our Coconut Oil, please see our blog 'How Coconut Oil is Made'
Part of our Fair Trade certification guarantees that monkeys are NOT used to harvest any of the coconuts which are used in our products.
1 tbsp = 117 calories
1 tsp = 39 calories
According to a Slimming World book, there are 6.5 syns in a tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 syns in a teaspoon of coconut oil.
100g of coconut oil is equivalent to 8 tablespoons as per this useful resource which provides conversion:
This sounds very much like a piece of coconut shell or strand, which is not uncommon in raw, unprocessed coconut oil and nothing to be concerned with.
Because it is a natural, minimally processed and filtered product, brown particles may settle at the bottom and are coconut fibers - this is totally natural and does not affect the quality of the oil at all.
It is the ‘price’ we pay for having an unprocessed product.
If we bleached and deodorised the raw oil we could guarantee no discolouring or small particles but then we would lose all the advantages and aroma of the raw product.
Coconut oil makes for a wonderfully natural, soothing, skin moisturiser. Predominantly made up of lauric acid, it also contains vitamin E which keeps skin healthy and ensures the proper functioning of sebum glands and can help clear blockages.
Use a small, pea-sized amount as a moisturiser. Rub it between your fingertips until it melts than gently massage onto your face.
Obviously, we're all different but many of our followers have shared their success stories in using coconut oil for acne-prone skin.
Something else to think about is starting your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice as this acts as a fantastic detox which might also help the complexion.
Unrefined coconut oil is a saturated fat and beause of this is a stable fat that is non-toxic when heated - it doesn't become a trans fat or create harmful free radicals.
It has a smoke point of approx 178c, 350F and a flash point (the point at which the vapours will ignite) around 315C or 600F degrees.
Unrefined coconut oil is a good replacement for processed oils when frying, roasting and baking.
I am afraid at the moment our product range is not available in the USA. We are pursuing it and will update you as soon as we have any news.
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is certified vegan by the Vegan Society.
Part of our Fair Trade certification also guarantees no animal cruelty, including monkeys are NOT used to pick the coconuts which are used in our coconut products.
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is an unrefined oil (hence the use of ‘virgin’) and as such is not bleached, deoderised or chemically altered in any way. It is also cold pressed and raw which means minimal heat (approximately 41C) has been used in its extraction. Being raw means our Coconut Oil is in its most natural state and full of its nutrients and health benefits.
Our Coconut Oil is produced and bottled in nut free, peanut free and dairy free production plants.
Lucy Bee Coconut oil is raw. Minimal heat is used in its extraction (approximately 41C) meaning our Coconut Oil maintains all nutrients and benefits and is in its most natural state.
It is cold pressed from the flesh of organic, fresh, mature coconuts.
Yes, our 300ml, 500ml and 1 litre jars are fully recyclable. According to the manufacturer, they are on average made up of 30% recycled glass.
For the lid, we use one with a BPA Non-Intent design, which is of the highest quality available.
Did you know that many food storage packaging, such as cans, contains BPA in their linings? BPA is a chemical which is used to harden plastics and has been used for numerous years. However, there’s now some concerns surrounding its possible risk to our health, more of which you can read here.
For this reason, not only do we use recyclable glass jars to store our coconut oil but we also use BPA free lids.
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is not hydrogenated.
It is unrefined, extra virgin, organic and raw meaning it’s in its most natural state.
Yes it is.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid and predominantly made up of lauric acid, which is also found in human breast milk.
Under EU regulations for food health claims, we are unable to quote the health benefits of coconut oil (or any of our product range). We recommend doing your own research, allowing you to make an informed decision.
EU regulations are such that we're unable to offer any sort of health claims or similar advice concerning our product range and we always recommend talking to your health practitioner for individual advice.
What we can say is that coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid and there is a wealth of information on the web and in print explaining how the body metabolises medium-chain fatty acids. If you search for this term you can research and then be in a position to make your own informed decision.
Bruce Fife has written an interesting book ‘The Coconut Oil Miracle’, which explains (amongst other things) the effects of coconut oil and diabetes. It’s available on Amazon and makes for a great read.
We're passionate about using products that are as close to nature as possible which is why we believe to have the full benefit from coconut oil, it should be:
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is also vegan, vegetarian, Kosher and Fair Trade.
Our Coconut Oil is sold in glass jars that can be recycled. Assuming good food hygiene is observed (always use a clean, dry utensil to remove the oil), the oil should last until its best before date.
The flash point of an oil is the point at which the vapours will ignite. For unrefined coconut oil this is around 315C or 600F degrees.
This is not to be confused with the smoke point, which is the point at which the oil starts to give off a blueish haze. The smoke point for unrefined coconut oil is approx. 178C, 350F degrees. It is non-toxic when heated because it is a saturated fat (made up of medium-chain fatty acids) which is a more stable fat.
pH determination is not valid on an oil sample.
Put simply pH is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration in an aqueous (water based) solution. As there is no water in coconut oil it does not have a pH.
Firstly I must stress that we are not medically trained but firmly believe in the benefits of unrefined coconut oil when it’s used in moderation as a replacement for processed oils and as part of a balanced diet of natural and nutritionally rich foods, along with daily exercise.
A point to note too, is that there is a difference between unrefined (virgin and extra virgin) coconut oil and refined coconut oil (made from a cheaper raw material, copra). We have a great article on our blog that details the differences, which you can read here. Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is unrefined, extracted from fresh, mature coconuts and is raw too, meaning it is as natural as can be.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid which the body uses differently to long-chain fatty acids. Please use google to determine the differences since EU regulations are such that we're unable to make any health claims.
There is conflicting information available on the merits of unrefined coconut oil but, of course, it is up to each individual to make their own informed decision.
Interestingly, this article here from the NHS in March 2014, shows that they are reconsidering their view on saturated fats.
There is no set amount of coconut oil to use on a daily basis. The general guide is 1 -3 tablespoons (14ml - 42ml) per day as a replacement for processed oils and as part of a balanced diet, which also includes daily exercise.
Remember when cooking, a little goes a long way. We always recommend starting with a small amount and add any extra as required.
At Lucy Bee we aim to be as environmentally responsible as we possibly can.
Part of that includes using recyclable 300ml, 500ml and 1 litre glass jars for our Coconut Oil.
We also use an easy peel label for our Coconut Oil jars, making it easier to reuse the jars.
For the lid, we use one with a BPA-free liner - it's known as a BPA-Non Intent design.
Many food storage packaging, such as cans, contain BPA in their linings. BPA is a chemical which is used to harden plastics and has been used for numerous years. However, there’s now some concerns surrounding its possible risk to our health, which you can read here.
Lucy Bee as a company is certified as an organic food supplier in the UK by the Organic Food Federation, certification number GB-ORG-04 but because we use a Soil Association plant to bottle Lucy Bee in the UK, we are required to put the Soil Association certification on the label. This certification number is GB-ORG-05.
At the moment, unlike olive oil, there is no official definition for “Extra” to be used in relationship to virgin coconut oil. Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is an unrefined oil (hence the use of ‘virgin’) and as such is not bleached, deodorised or chemically altered in any way. It is also cold pressed and raw which means minimal heat (approximately 41C) has been used in its extraction. Being raw means our Coconut Oil is in its most natural state and full of its nutrients and health benefits.
We include the term 'extra' in our description of Lucy Bee as our producer sells it to us as such.
We believe that by using Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Fair Trade Organic Raw Coconut Oil, you are getting significant extras.
When we started Lucy Bee we had a number of key objectives to supply the best quality coconut oil possible at the most competitive price. We wanted to make a quality product available to everyone not just a few. We were also insistent that any coconut oil we supplied would fulfil the following:
It would be:
We totally buy into the need to protect our individual health and the health of the planet by following organic ways of production and avoiding pesticides and intensive farming practices.
Being organic is only one part of the quality of a product like coconut oil. It is important for us that the product is raw. That when being produced, the utmost care is taken to ensure that only low temperatures are used so that all the goodness and nutrition is maintained.
For too long the wealthy West has exploited the producers in Third World countries. By buying Fair Trade we want to properly reward the local farmers and provide funds for local, sustainable, community projects. Our first shipment of our Coconut Oil, helped drill a fresh water well for the local deprived community. Before the well, they had to walk 2 miles to get clean drinking water. Further projects include installing solar panels and solar light bulbs into the one room wooden homes; proper housing; educational scholarships; and funds to feed undernourished children. Lucy Bee pays a premium for the organic coconuts, that goes to the local farmers and local communities for social projects. We then give 0.75% of our sales to the Fair Trade body, the Fair Trade Sustainable Alliance (FairTSA). Our Fair Trade certification also guarantees that monkeys are NOT used to harvest the coconuts. We could buy the exact same oil for less and not be Fair Trade but we choose Fair Trade.
Packed In Environmentally Sound Packaging
We use recyclable glass jars and BPA free lids - the lids and the liners inside, are with a BPA-Non Intent design, which is of the highest quality available and free from BPA. Plastic has been implicated in long term health problems and is littering the earth.
Did you know that many food storage packaging, such as cans, contain BPA in their linings?
BPA is a chemical which is used to harden plastics and has been used for numerous years. However, there’s now some concerns surrounding its possible risk to our health, which you can read here.
Our display trays are manufactured from recycled paper.
To encourage reuse of the jar we use easy peel labels.
Lucy Bee is bottled in a BRC Grade A bottling plant in the UK and we are totally able to guarantee the integrity of the product.
Every import of raw Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is subjected to a number of tests to confirm its purity, its oil content and that it is totally lactose and gluten free.
We also conduct shelf life testing and check for bacterial and funguses.
Ethical Best Buy
Leading ethical and environmental magazine, Ethical Consumer (est. 1989), recently voted Lucy Bee Coconut Oil as the ‘Best Buy’, for coconut oil in the UK market. We came out as the winner for the most ethical coconut oil. You can see more information here.
We also have a loyalty promotion that will run for the foreseeable future, whereby if you save 12 same-sized easy peel labels and send them to us we will send you a free jar by return.
Obviously it’s up to each consumer to decide but this is why we are happy to put “extra” on our label.
Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is a natural product and as such each jar can have a slightly different appearance.
For bottling, the oil is gently melted below 38 degrees and once it solidifies there’s no uniform look! Some will solidify with a smooth surface; others will have ‘holes’ but rest assured it will be the correct quantity (300ml, 500ml or 1litre accordingly) and is absolutely perfect.
Since it is a natural product and minimally treated, you might see brown speckles which is quite normal and is small particles of the coconut.
Obviously taste is such a personal thing. From our experience, particularly in savoury recipes, the coconut flavour is lost when heated. Fried eggs, for example, will taste the same – what may be different is the aroma when frying.
Again, from our experience, we’ve found that in some baking recipes the coconut flavour may remain e.g. a Victoria sponge cake was rather coconutty when we replaced the butter with coconut oil but a chocolate cake didn’t taste of coconut at all!
As a general rule, in savoury dishes the taste isn’t altered but some sweet recipes the sweetness may be enhanced.
It might be worth using less, if you can taste the coconut but, as mentioned, taste is very personal.
We’re based in the UK and with the temperatures here, unrefined coconut oil solidifies (below approx. 24C) so it would be impossible to get out of a bottle unless you warmed it each time you want to use it! In fact, my introduction to coconut oil was from a friend in Hong Kong who gave us this beautiful bottle and we were a bit perplexed as to how to get it out – soon learnt though!
Where it is produced (the Philippines, Sri Lanka and the Solomon Islands), it is available in bottles, as yours in Singapore.
Fortunately the nutritional value and benefits aren’t affected in any way by it solidifying and then melting.
Bicarbonate of soda is the same thing as baking soda, just two different names to confuse us! I use bicarbonate of soda when I make this.
Bicarbonate of soda is used because it is an abrasive but is ‘softer’ than tooth enamel so does not damage your teeth.
It leaves your teeth feeling really clean, though the taste can be quite salty…..not necessarily unpleasant, just different!
As obvious as it may sound, it's important to observe good food hygiene to avoid any contamination in your jar of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil.
Always use a clean, dry utensil when taking the coconut oil out of the jar – even the smallest crumb or drop of moisture could contaminate the oil.
Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated and will have a long shelf life of approximately 2 years (check the BBE on the lid), assuming correct food hygiene is observed. Why is this?
Well, it’s because of the amazing benefits of lauric acid and coconut oil is predominantly made up of lauric acid (approximately 48%.)
For further details on this, please refer to our blog here
Coconuts are not classified as nuts, despite the name.
According to the Anaphylaxis Campaign, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut, though we would always advise caution. This information is offered on their website:
Our coconut oil is produced and bottled in nut free, peanut free and dairy free production plant.
It is also an egg free and sesame free environment. Though they do handle chickpeas, the packer confirms, “the chickpeas or derivatives (gram flour), while present on site, are not used at all on the line on which the Lucy Bee Organic Coconut Oil is produced. Chickpeas are not treated as an allergen by our company as we use the Food Standard’s Agency list of 14 allergens: http://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/english/food-allergy-facts.aspx”
Our Coconut Oil is bottled in a BRC Grade A bottling plant in the UK, and throughout the process (every half an hour) the jars are measured for weight / volume. In fact, the measure is set at slightly over the stated amount, for example, 504ml rather than 500ml to ensure jars do receive the correct amount stated on the label.
The oil is gently melted to be bottled here and then, with our outside temperatures, solidifies again – none of which affects the quality or nutritional value of the oil.
Being a natural, unprocessed product, you’ll find that jars do not always look the same – some have a completely flat, smooth surface while others solidify showing a ‘marbling’ effect, known as ‘pearling', and then some with ‘holes’. All perfectly fine and natural.
‘Pearling’ is simply an effect that often occurs when the oil solidifies after being liquid. It’s all part of the beauty of a totally natural product.
We use easy peel labels on our glass jars of coconut oil, to make it easier to reuse the jar.
Make sure you peel off the label BEFORE washing the jar in the dishwasher. Once it's been through the dishwasher, the label is no longer easy peel!
Save and send us 12 same-sized coconut oil labels for a free jar of that size. We recommend sending them to us 'sigend for' to make sure we get them. Our address is PO Box 214, Hertford, SG14 2ZX.
Aflatoxins develop in poorly dried foods including grains and copra that have been exposed to bacteria growth for extended periods.
So how does this relate to coconut oil? We need to consider the differences in refined and unrefined coconut oil.
Refined Coconut Oil:
Aflatoxins may develop with coconut oil that’s extracted from copra, where the split coconuts are exposed to sunlight for a couple of weeks to a month before the oil is extracted. The flesh can turn rancid and mouldy in this time, which produces a brown coloured oil. In order to make it fit for human consumption, this oil has to be heavily processed and is bleached and deodorised.
Unrefined Coconut Oil:
There’s a difference with unrefined, unprocessed coconut oil, like Lucy Bee. Our oil is cold press extracted from the flesh of fresh coconuts and this is typically done within 1 – 4 hours of the coconut being cracked open. Since Lucy Bee is extracted in this way, there is no issue with aflatoxins as there is no time for any fungal growth to occur between splitting open the coconut and extracting the oil.
Hexane is used by some manufacturers of coconut oil during oil production to increase the oil yield.
Absolutely no hexane is used during the extraction of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil.
As well as checking for correct levels of oil, the following hygiene checks are also made during the filling of jars of Lucy Bee:
No monkeys are used to pick or harvest the coconuts used to extract Lucy Bee Coconut Oil. Part of our Fair Trade certification guarantees no animal cruelty.
Our producer from the Philippines says “In the Philippines, it is not custom to utilize monkeys or any other animals to collect coconuts from the tree. Harvesting method is either manual (climbing) or using bamboo pole.”
Our Sri Lankan oil producer commented “Sri Lanka, being primarily a Buddhist country, practices kindness to all living things. I have not witnessed these types of practices in Sri Lanka although wild monkeys do sometimes picks coconuts for their own consumption.”
There is not mass deforestation in the areas where the coconuts are grown which are used for Lucy Bee Coconut Oil as per the responses from our producers:
From the Solomon Islands:
“There is no mass clearance of forests for our coconuts. Our coconuts are grown on small family farms as low input “wild harvest” nuts, integrated into the local ecosystem. The production is organic and the trees are often covered in vines and orchids! The nut processing and DME VCO production is also done in the village, empowering indigenous women and youth, creating local profits and bringing hope to the community.”
From the Philippines:
“Unlike Palm Oil - where the forest is totally denuded or burned to make way for the planting of the palm trees, the coconut plantation grows with other crops and does not need the forest or farm to be completely cleared.
"Also, the harvesting of the coconuts involves the farmer climbing the coconut trees and pick the coconuts that are of mature age. All parts of the coconut are processed into a particular product and nothing is thrown away. All are biodegradable and does not affect the environment."
From Sri Lanka
“In Sri Lanka most of the coconut palms are not grown in large plantations and has been owned by family farmers for generations. Therefore any clearance of forests for coconut plantations is extremely rare.
“Further areas in which coconuts are grown in Sri Lanka do not overlap with any forests. Coconut trees grow in almost any soil and it’s not difficult to find land to grow coconuts without clearing forests. Ageing coconut trees are considerably easy to replace with younger trees on the same land which curtails the need to find new land.
“Coconut trees live and bear fruit for up to more than sixty years and every part of the coconut tree is utilized for some economic purpose (fiber, charcoal, roofing etc.) which had led to the coconut tree being called “the tree of life”. The coconut tree is very tall and usually there is an underbrush in coconut estates which many small animals use as a safe habitat as workers only visit these lands usually only once in three months to pluck the coconuts."
Our Cinnamon is cinnamon zeylanicum, also known as 'true cinnamon' which has a subtle sweet taste and is a lighter brown colour, than cassia cinnamon.
The cacao beans that make our Cacao Powder are fermented for 48 hours in red cedar boxes, during which time they are regularly turned. This is to ensure each bean ferments at the same rate and the end flavour is uniform.
Our producer advises that to get a rich and palatable chocolate taste, all good quality cacao beans will have been fermented. With this natural process, temperatures cannot be completely guaranteed which is why we choose not to call our Cacao Powder raw. The whole question of 'raw cacao' a very grey area and we prefer to be open and honest with consumers.
The debate around ’raw cacao’ is an interesting one and somewhat confusing too!
There are a couple of points to consider. When talking about a ‘raw’ product, it is generally accepted that during the ‘processing’ of that product, the temperature does not go above 45C.
In the making of our cacao powder/drinking chocolate, the beans are fermented. Whilst the temperature should not go above 45C, because this is a natural process we are unable to guarantee that at no point during this, does the temperature go above 45C.
Our cacao producer advises that to get a rich and palatable chocolate taste, all good quality cacao beans will have been fermented.
Secondly, some would say that for cacao to be considered truly raw, it shouldn't be roasted either, yet, our producer advices that the beans need to be roasted otherwise they are too bitter. The beans used for our cacao / drinking chocolate are roasted with a maximum temperature of 45C.
In light of these points mentioned and to avoid any confusion, we have decided to remove ‘raw’ from the title of our Cacao Powder. We always strive to be completely open and honest with consumers.
The curcumin in our Turmeric Powder is 3.4%. A typical turmeric root contains about 2-5% curcumin.
Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder has 0.02% coumarin content.
We import our oil from either the Philippines, the Solomon Islands or Sri Lanka and each of these oils actually tastes different - much like wines vary depending on the country of origin.
Wherever the country of origin, we insist on it being extracted from organically grown coconuts, is cold pressed and still raw ie. all are the same premium quality and also Fair Trade.
I wonder if the oil that you have is from the Solomon Islands, rather than the Philippines, which is our original oil and is most likely the one that you’ve enjoyed previously. The country of origin is noted on the label for ease of reference, as we never blend our oils.
Our Solomon Island’s oil is actually a more expensive coconut oil and is extracted within an hour of the coconut being cracked open. We’re thrilled to be working with our producers there and contributing, through our Fair Trade premiums, to help towards daily essentials such as medicines, education and solar energy. Life there is so very different to ours!
I’ve included a link to an article explaining the difference in extracting oils that you may be interested in:
Our Sri Lankan oil is quite obvious as it is has a distinctive orange lid!
As we expand our range of coconut oils, it’s really interesting to taste the differences from various countries – before we agree to take on any new ingredient, it has to pass the taste test from the Lucy Bee team and get a unanimous “yes” (as well as being natural and organic).
We routinely check and the most recent results (Aug 2016) for heavy metals shows the following:
Lead 0.133 mg/kg
Mercury 0.004 mg/kg
Arsenic 0.028 mg/kg
Cadmium 0.469 mg/kg
Our Cacao Powder sits within EU guidelines for acceptable amounts for these. It’s worth noting that 16.2g of canned tuna has the same cadmium level as 5g of cacao powder (that's according to these test result figures above).
That said, we’re always keen to provide the absolute best that we can and so are in talks with our producer to confirm that all possible measures are being met to make sure that this remains the case.
Our Cacao Powder is from the Dominican Republic and is organically grown in virgin agroforests – which means that fertilisers which can impact and increase cadmium levels in products, have not been used. The Dominican Republic is volcanic which means that cadmium will naturally be found within the soils.
However, it appears that the cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic have cadmium levels lower than the EU regulation (ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/meetings/cccf/cccf9/cf09_06e.pdf point 38). Cadmium levels have been found to be an issue within places in South America.
By 2019, the regulations will change so that “Cocoa powder sold to the final consumer or as an ingredient in sweetened cocoa powder sold to the final consumer (drinking chocolate)” will have a maximum level of 0.60 mg/kg for cadmium – which means that our cacao will still fall to within the new range. (3.2.7 within the annex http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02006R1881-20150521&from=EN).
The EU have set a tolerable weekly intake limit for cadmium of 2.5 mcg/kg body weight (mcg= micrograms).
This is 0.0025 mg/kg body weight, which if you weighed 60kg you would be allowed 0.15 mg of cadmium – so you’d be allowed 319.49g of cacao a week safely (assuming that was your only source of cadmium).
This is the calculation for cadmium:
2.5mcg = 0.0025mg
0.0025 x 60 = 0.15 mg cadmium per week
0.469 divided by 0.15 = 3.13 (3.12666667)
1000g (=1kg) divided by 3.13 = 319.49g (319.488818).
So, 0.469mg/ Kg of cadmium in cacao
5g of cacao (serving size) has 0.002345 mg of cadmium
1000 divided by 5 = 200
0.469 divided by 200 = 0.002345mg
Other sources of cadmium can include, celeriac, horse meat, some fish, rice, seaweed, mushrooms, cephalopods, offal, and even infant and follow up formula.
It’s important to remember that as with everything, it should be used within moderation.
When researching any of our ingredients, we’re always conscious of our social responsibility and that each hand involved in production is treated fairly. At the moment, our Himalayan Salt is not Fair Trade certified – if we could buy it as such, we would.
To make up for this, Lucy Bee makes a donation to a charity for the sale of every carton of our Bath Salts.
Our producer confirms the salt is mainly extracted by hand and that, “Salt reserves are controlled by government body that is responsible to supervise all mining mechanism and ensure implementation of related rules & regulations.
"It is also to bring into your knowledge that child labor is strictly prohibited in our country and compliance of labor laws is ensured by the Labor Departments of provincial and federal governments.
“We use the raw material which is mined by hand and excavator without using dynamite for our food grade salt products and we regularly get examined them through various laboratories. In this way, the purity of salt is ensured.”
These are two separate extraction methods, ie. either cold pressed OR centrifuge.
Our Sri Lankan producer explains, “It seems like this is a bit of a marketing claim to bring both cold processing and centrifugal extraction into the product label.
"As far as I know these are two distinct methods and only one method could be used to derive the oil at a time.”
Our producer confirms that the salt is mainly extracted by hand and is closely monitored by various government bodies, which guarantee no child labour is used.
In the words of our producer, “Salt reserves are controlled by a government body that is responsible for supervising all mining mechanisms and ensures implementation of related rules & regulations.
"It is also to bring into your knowledge that child labour is strictly prohibited in our country and compliance of labour laws is ensured by the Labour Departments of provincial and federal governments.
“We use the raw material which is mined by hand and excavator without using dynamite for our food grade salt products and we regularly get examined them through various laboratories. In this way, the purity of salt is ensured.”
The packing facility Manager explains "Our packing plant handles nuts and seeds but only under control in separate rooms solely dedicated to these products, robust handling procedures ensure cross contamination is not an issue”
Our producer assures us that it is NOT.
He says, “there is no Palm Oil used by us anywhere in the production of our turmeric or any other spice for that matter”.
The actual question asked in full was:
Are you able to tell me if the ingredients used in your turmeric and cinnamon powder adhere to the vegan organic network standards, which are excluding artificial chemicals, livestock manures, animal remains from slaughterhouses, genetically modified material and indeed anything of animal origin such as fishmeal in the farming process?
The answer to this is as follows:
Our producer advises that ” I can tell you that the farmers in India in general use livestock manure in their farming process of organic foods.
“This is the only natural form of manure they can use for growing their crop. All other points mentioned by you can be excluded.”
So to clarify, livestock manure may be used but there are no artificial chemicals, no animal remains from slaughterhouses, no genetically modified material and no fishmeal used in the farming process.
Lucy Bee Cinnamon and Turmeric are certified vegan by the Vegan Society. Their standard, as quoted on their website means “Companies that carry The Certified Vegan Trademark on their products guarantee that each product is vegan, containing no animal ingredients or animal by-products, using no animal ingredient or by-product in the manufacturing process, and not being tested on animals.”
Our Cacao Powder is sold either as Lucy Bee Cacao Powder or as Lucy Bee Drinking Chocolate. These are the same product and both are 100% organic cacao powder with nothing added.
The reason we have labelled some as Lucy Bee Drinking Chocolate is because that's how some retailers prefer to sell it, i.e. in the drinks’ section rather than the baking department, which is where cacao powder is traditionally sold.
They, and we, feel this gives a clearer message to shoppers that this product can be used as a natural hot chocolate where you are in control of any sweetener that you may, or may not, want to add. Being 100% cacao it has no added fillers or sugars.
Whether you buy it as Lucy Bee Cacao or Lucy Bee Drinking Chocolate the uses are the same – great as a drink or in baking and cooking.
Our Cacao, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Maca, Lucuma Powders, Chai Mix, Turmeric Latte Mix, Creamed Coconut, Coconut Sugar and Himalayan salt are all free from gluten, dairy, nuts and seeds, egg and soya in their ingredients.
They are packed in an environment that handles these products and strict guidelines are adhered to at the BRC grade A factory, where our products are packed, to avoid cross contamination.
Trading Standards advise, “There is no wording that should be applied to the packaging indicating that the food is made/packed in an environment that contained nuts etc. at some point. The factory packing ingredients should have the sufficient procedures in place to stop any contamination and they should therefore be responsible enough to make sure the procedures and systems are followed.”
For this reason, we do not make any such claim on our packaging.
Our coconut oil is produced and bottled in dairy, gluten and nut free facility. It is also an egg free and sesame free environment. Though they do handle chickpeas, the packer confirms, “the chickpeas or derivatives (gram flour), while present on site, are not used at all on the line on which the Lucy Bee Organic Coconut Oil is produced. Chickpeas are not treated as an allergen by our company as we use the Food Standard’s Agency list of 14 allergens: http://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/english/food-allergy-facts.aspx”
All the claims we make for Lucy Bee Coconut Oil are signed off by Trading Standards.
We test our oil using a top UK certified independent food testing laboratory and their reports show that our coconut oil contains negligible amounts of cholesterol, less than 0.7 parts per 100,000 - so small that Food Standards are happy for us to say it contains no cholesterol.
The composite can which we use for our turmeric (and other powders: cacao; cinnamon; maca; lucuma; and small Himalayan salt) has a foil liner which is 6 microns thick and 17gsm.
The purpose of the foil liner is to act as a barrier for the food contents inside the can and there is no plastic membrane with this foil barrier.
The company which supplies our cans advises, “We undertake a food safety testing regime on all our raw materials. Products are manufactured under clean and hygienic conditions complying with the currently valid European and German legislation with regard to harmlessness to health.
“Our products are manufactured in compliance with the requirements of the EU regulation 2023/2006/EU on good manufacturing practice. All production sites are certified according to a GFSI accepted hygiene Standard.”
Our producer confirms that "we do not use irradiation anywhere in our (turmeric) processing".
Here at Lucy Bee, we're very aware of our social responsibility and we have this in mind when sourcing our products.
Unlike the rest of our range, we're unable to buy our bath salts as Fair Trade (if we could, we would) and so we've decided to make a donation of 15p from the sale of each bath salt tub, to Love Support Unite, our chosen charity.
We’ve made a retrospective donation of £2201.00 to LSU, which is being used to fund 8 sustainable farms in Malawi.
This is our way of ensuring that our full product range is helping to make a difference.
Lucy Bee Turmeric is Alleppey Finger turmeric powder which has higher levels of the beneficial compound curcumin than other varieties.
We aim to be as ethical and environmentally friendly as possible in all that we do and we always take this into account when researching our products and packaging.
With the Bath Salts, we’re unable to use a compostable bag for the inner because the salt contains a (very) small amount of moisture and this would lead to the bag degrading. Obviously this would be a problem for storing the packaged salts.
This is perfectly normal.
Creamed coconut is dried coconut flesh ie. desiccated coconut, which is ground to a pureed texture, then bottled. Coconut flesh naturally contains coconut oil (it’s not added to it) so this will always be present in creamed coconut.
It’s not uncommon for the oil to separate in the jar and if it has, simply stir it in – you may have to gently warm the jar to do this.
Our Dead Sea Salts are gathered from the Jordan region of the Dead Sea and are hand-picked, washed and dried before the granules are sieved and separated according to their various sizes.
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You can replicate coconut milk using our Creamed Coconut, using room temperature water and a blender.
In this particular instance (a one year old with dairy allergies), it’s worth noting that our Creamed Coconut is not fortified with any micronutrients (calcium, vitamin D, B12). So, if you were to use Lucy Bee Creamed Coconut as an alternative to a fortified milk, be aware that you would need to make sure these nutrients are available elsewhere in the diet.
The great thing about our Creamed Coconut is that you can make the milk whenever you need it, and the exact amount required.
If you store the creamed coconut milk in the fridge, the creamed coconut and the water will separate because it has no stabilisers in it. To use, simply shake or blitz it together again to combine.
If using bought, pre-made coconut milk, it’s worth looking at the labelling of ingredients since a lot of companies use sugar(s) or fruit juices to sweeten their drinks as well – this is just something to be aware of.
Care needs to be observed when removing the creamed coconut from the glass jar. In cooler weather, the creamed coconut is more solid in the jar so it might be worth slightly warming the jar before trying to remove it. We tend to stand it in a bowl of hot water, about 64C, for 30 minutes to soften it and then make it easier to remove with a spoon.
Please avoid using sharp intruments as these could cause the glass jar to break.
Our producer confirms that our Turmeric Powder is dried from the sun and "we do not use any artificial radiation".
Yes, you can. The easy peel label on our Coconut Oil jars, is recyclable and biodegradable.
Our Cacao Powder/Drinking Chocolate contains 52.7mg of caffeine per 15g.
As a general guide, coffee beans contain 125.9mg of caffeine per 15g.
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Want to know all about coconut oil? The 'Lucy Bee Definitive Guide to Coconut Oil' explores all the benefits and uses and how to incorporate it into your daily life.