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FAQs

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.

Holes in Coconut Oil Explained

Are your coconuts products free from traces of peanut, tree nuts (inc. almonds) and sesame? We have allergies so even minute traces (e.g. from shared processing equipment would be a problem).

Only coconuts are processed at the plant that produces Lucy Bee coconut oil and the packaging facility is nut free and peanut free.

Can I have a copy of your brochure?

If you would like a physical copy of our brochure please email info@lucybee.com with your address.

Or to download a low resolution PDF version click on this link

Can I use it as a moisturiser?

For dry skin and other skin conditions it makes a wonderful moisturiser which protects against damage and promotes healing - this is because it contains vitamin E and antioxidants. Coconut oil, also, boosts metabolism which in turn means improved cellular activity which promotes healing. If you’re using it topically for psoriasis, I’d suggest using a small amount as it seems to ‘go a long way’, then reapply if you feel you need more.

Can you confirm that, as part of your fair trade certification, no child labour can be used by your producers?

Winfried Fuchshofen, Director Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA) confirms the following :

"Child labour is prohibited by our standard, and all authorized inspectors are specifically trained regarding child labour. Child labour, if detected, is a “killer” noncompliance and leads to immediate suspension or revocation of certification."

Can you deep fry with Lucy Bee?

Lucy Bee is unrefined and has a smoke point around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 178 degrees centigrade. As such it is best suited for general frying, roasting or baking, rather than deep frying.

Can you use Lucy Bee coconut oil as a replacement for butter in sandwiches?

Lucy Bee makes a great butter replacement in sandwiches – particularly good if you’re lactose intolerant. You’ll notice a slight coconut taste when used as a spread which is rather pleasant depending on individual taste – this will be lost if you use it in any cooking though, for example to roast or fry with.

Do I pay more because it’s Fair Trade?

At Lucy Bee we pay a price premium for Fair Trade. We believe it’s important and moral to be a Fair Trade company as we want to help improve the life of those are producing our amazing coconut oil.  The Fair Trade element is paid on the factory price of the raw coconut oil.

Do I use the same amount as butter?

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.

Do you have a weight loss plan that includes coconut oil?

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, avoid processed foods, use Lucy Bee coconut oil as my choice of fat and include exercise in my daily routine. 

With particular reference to coconut oil itself, it is less calorific than other fats and is a medium-chain fatty 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 as they have not been established under EU Food Standards Authority. Please feel free to do your own research, putting you in a position to make your own unformed decision.

 

Do you have references to back the health claims?

Under EU regulation for food health claims, we are unable to quote the health benefits of coconut oil as they have not been established under EU Food Standards Authority. 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 recently published an article: 

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/03March/Pages/Saturated-fats-and-heart-disease-link-unproven.aspx 

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. 

 

Do you use heat in the extraction process?

Minimal heat is used ( approx 41 degrees C) during the cold pressed extraction. Lucy Bee is classified as Raw.

Does coconut oil contain sulphites?

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.

Does it affect the oil if it goes liquid in the warm weather?

No is the simple answer! As a saturated fat, coconut oil is solid below 24 degrees 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 neck bottles that would not work in the colder UK.

Does it have lots of calories?

Coconut oil is slightly less calorific than other oils and butters.

Coconut oil = 117 calories per tablespoon of oil.

Oilive oil = 119 calories per tablespoon of oil.

Balance is the key and we recommend using unrefined coconut oil as part of a diet of organic, natural foods which also includes daily exercise.

 

Does Lucy Bee contain cocamide DEA?

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.

Does unrefined coconut oil have an SPF?

There are varying reports that qualify unrefined coconut oil having an SPF value and these are between 4-7.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/

We would always err on the side of caution if using as a natural sunscreen and definitely consider it in terms of the lowest figure of 4. It may not offer sufficient protection.

Dr Bruce Fife says "Unlike sunscreen, coconut oil doesn't necessarily block UV light but enables the body to adjust naturally to sun exposure, naturally increasing the body's tolerance level over time"

In our experience, coconut oil makes for a wonderfully soothing after-sun lotion.

Hayley asks: which water filter system would we recommend?

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 info@emwc.uk.com

How are the coconuts produced?

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.

The coconuts are grown in an agroforestry environment not in plantations, which is so much better for the environment.

Agroforestry 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 extraction,please see our blog 'How Coconut Oil is Made'

How many calories are in a tablespoon of Lucy Bee coconut oil?

100ml = 899 calories 

1 tbsp = 15ml = 136 calories

1 tsp = 6ml = 54 calories

How many syns is coconut oil when talking about the Slimming World diet plan?

According to a Slimming World book, there are 6.5 syns in a tablespoon and 2 syns in a teaspoon.

How many tablespoons is 100g of coconut oil?

100g of coconut oil is equivalent to 8 tablespoons as per this useful resource which provides conversion.  

Click on this link to go to the conversion site.

I've noticed a brown colouring in my jar of coconut oil. Is this normal?

 This sounds very much like a piece of coconut shell or strand, it is common in our raw, unprocessed coconut oil and nothing to be concerned with. 

Because it is a natural minimally processed and filtered products 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.

Is coconut oil good for acne?

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. 

 In addition, starting your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice acts as a fantastic detox which might also help the complexion.

Is coconut oil safe for frying or heating to a high temperature?

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 good for frying, roasting and baking.

Is Lucy Bee Available in the USA?

I am afraid at the moment we are not available in the USA we are pursuing it and will update you as soon as we have any news.

Is Lucy Bee coconut oil cruelty free?

Lucy Bee is certified vegan and animals are not used in any transportation during production.

Is Lucy Bee cold pressed?

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 the minimal heat (approx41 degrees C) 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.

Is Lucy Bee produced in a nut free and dairy free environment?

Our coconut oil is produced and bottled in nut free, peanut free and dairy free production plants.

Is Lucy Bee raw?

Lucy Bee is raw. Minimal heat is used in its extraction (approx 41 degrees C) meaning our coconut oil maintains all nutrients and benefits and is in its most natural state

Is the glass jar you use for the coconut oil eco-friendly/recyclable?

Yes both our 300ml and 500ml 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:

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: http://www.webmd.com/children/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa?page=1

 For this reason, not only do we use recyclable glass jars to store our coconut oil but we also use 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.

Is your coconut oil hydrogenated?

Lucy Bee coconut oil is not hydrogenated. It is unrefined, extra virgin, organic and Raw meaning it’s in its most natural state.

Is your coconut oil reheated in the UK for bottling?

Once our coconut oil is imported to the UK, it is gently warmed to a liquid (max 45C to retain its raw classification) to enable it to be bottled.

Isn’t coconut oil a saturated fat?

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 as they have not been established under EU Food Standards Authority. Please feel free to do your own research, allowing you to make your own informed decision.

Jasmine asks: Is coconut oil good for diabetes ?

I must stress that we are not medically trained and so cannot offer medical advice.

Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid. There is a wealth of information on the web and in print explaining how the body metabolises medium-chain fatty acids, so our advice would be to research and then you'll 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.

What I should look for when buying coconut oil?

To have the full benefit from coconut oil the oil should be organic, RAW, cold pressed and virgin, like Lucy Bee. Lucy Bee Coconut Oil is also vegan, vegetarian, Kosher and Fair Trade, which is very important to us. It is sold in glass jars that can be recycled.  Good quality coconut oil will keep in the jar for two years or more.

What is the flash point of unrefined coconut oil?

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.

What is the pH level of your coconut oil?

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.

What is you view on the conflicting reports about the benefits of coconut oil?

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 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 http://blog.lucybee.co/coconut-oil/lucy-bee-how-coconut-oil-is-made/ . Lucy Bee 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.

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 from the NHS in March 2014 show that they are reconsidering their view on saturated fats: 

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/03March/Pages/Saturated-fats-and-heart-disease-link-unproven.aspx

With cholesterol levels, there are 2 markers LDL, so called ‘bad’ and HDL, ‘good’. Our understanding is that sometimes the overall figure is high but in actual fact it is the HDL that is high and therefore ok. Obviously your doctor can confirm this to you! 

We would always urge you to do your own research to enable you to make your own decision. Under EU regulations for food health claims, we are unable to quote the health benefits of coconut oil as they have not been established under EU Food Standards Authority.

What's the recommend daily amount that I should take?

There is no set amount to use but the general guide is 1 -3 tablespoons (14ml - 42ml) per day which can be taken in food preparation ( frying, roasting, baking or as aspread), added to smoothies or in tea or coffee.

Remember when cooking, a little goes a long way. We always recommend starting with a small amount and add extra as required.

What’s the significance of the glass jar?

At Lucy Bee we aim to be as environmentally responsible as we possibly can.

Part of that includes using recycled and recyclable glass jars for our coconut oil. Plus we can guarantee no plastics toxic leakage into our oil.

For the lid, we use one with a BPA-free liner. 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: http://www.webmd.com/children/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa?page=1

 For this reason, not only do we use recyclable glass jars to store our coconut oil but we also use BPA free lids.

 The lids and the liners inside, are what's known as a BPA-Non Intent design, which is of the highest quality available and free from BPA.

Added to this, we’ve insisted on an easy peel label for our coconut oil jars, which makes it much easier to reuse the jar!

If you save and send us 12 of our easy peel labels we will send you a free jar.

Where can I buy coconut oil at a good price?

Check out our website “How to Buy Coconut Oil” section for a full list of retailers and online stockists

Why do you have the Soil Association certification number on your jars?

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.

Why do you use 'extra' in your description of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil

At the moment, unlike olive oil, there is no official definition for “Extra” to be used in relationship to virgin coconut oil.  We include this in our description of Lucy Bee as our producer sells to us as such. 

We believe that by using Lucy Bee 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: 

Organic

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. 

Raw

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. 

Fair Trade

For too long the wealthy West has exploited the producers in Third World countries.  By buying Fair Trade we want to properly reward the small local farmers and provide funds for local community projects.  Our first shipment 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. Current projects are installing solar panels and solar light bulbs into the one room wooden homes. Future projects involve proper housing and scholarships for kids. Lucy Bee pays a premium for its 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. We could buy the exact same oil for less and not be Fair Trade. 

Packed In Environmentally Sound Packaging

We use recyclable glass jars and BPA free lids. 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: http://www.webmd.com/children/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa?page=1

For this reason, not only do we use recyclable glass jars to store our coconut oil but we also use 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.

Our display trays are manufactured from recycled paper.

To encourage reuse of the jar we use easy peel labels. 

Bottling

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. 

Testing

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. 

Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Fair Trade Organic Raw Coconut Oil 500ml /457gms £9.95

Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Fair Trade Organic Raw Coconut Oil 300ml /247gms £5.95 

We also have a loyalty promotion that will run for the foreseeable future, whereby if you save 12 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.

Why does my new jar of Lucy Bee look different? The last one was smooth in appearance.

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 or 500ml accordingly) and is absolutely perfect.

Because it is a natural product minimally treated you might see brown speckles this is quite normal and is small particles of the coconut.

Will coconut oil make the food taste of coconut?

Obviously taste is such a personal thing but 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.

Why do you use jars for your coconut oil rather than a bottle? I just drink a couple of tablespoons a day from a bottle bought in Singapore...

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 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.

I want to make toothpaste using Lucy Bee but not sure if bicarbonate of soda is the same as baking soda.

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!

How do I avoid contamination in my jar of Lucy Bee?

To avoid any contamination, please ensure you use a clean utensil when taking your coconut oil out of the jar – even the smallest crumb could contaminate the oil.

Your 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), even once opened, 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%.)  

This is why, as long as you don’t contaminate the oil, it will last you a long time!

For further details on this, please refer to our blog here

Is your coconut oil suitable for someone with a nut allergy?

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: 

http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/what-is-anaphylaxis/faqs#2 

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

My new jar appears to have a hole in the coconut oil!

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.

My easy peel label won't come off. Is this normal?

Lucy Bee uses easy peel labels 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!

Do you test for aflatoxins?

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.

Do you use hexane in the extraction of your oil?

Hexane is used by some manufactures of coconut oil during oil production to increase the oil yield. 

Absolutely no hexane is used during the extraction of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil.

What checks are made during the filling of the jars?

As well as checking for correct levels of oil, the following hygiene checks are also made during the filling of jars of Lucy Bee:

  • All production staff wear overalls, hair nets (mob caps) and beard snoods (if applicable).
  • Each jar is inverted by hand and visually inspected.
  • Each jar is inspected after capping and labelling while the coconut oil  is still clear
Are monkeys used to pick the coconuts that produce Lucy Bee Coconut Oil?

Do monkeys pick our coconuts?

No monkeys are used to pick or harvest the coconuts used to extract Lucy Bee Coconut Oil.

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.”

With regard to our Solomon Islands oil, there are no monkeys in the Pacific islands. “Our Pacific coconut farmers do all the work of collecting, carting and selling the coconuts themselves and both they and the coconut oil producers are paid a fair wage for their efforts. This is part of our fair trade charter.”

And 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.”

Is there mass deforestation in the areas where your coconuts are grown as the clearing of land for such farms also involves the destruction of the natural habitat of many animals. With the burning of tress with animals still in them being reported.

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."

Is your cinnamon Ceylon or Cassia cinnamon?

Lucy Bee Fair Trade Organic Cinnamon Powder is Ceylon cinnamon, also known as 'True cinnamon', which has a subtle sweet taste and is a light brown colour.

Is your cacao powder fermented?

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.

Is your cacao / drinking chocolate 'raw'?

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.

Is your maca 'raw'?

Our Maca Powder is gelatinised, rather than a raw maca. Gelatinisation removes the starch making it easier to digest. 

Although the process of gelatinisation of maca alters some of the nutrients, it does enable our body to be able to digest and absorb the nutrients more easily than when it is in its raw form.

In its raw form, there is a higher content of starch which means that it is harder for our body to successfully break it down and release the nutrients. Although it has been altered from the raw form into the powder, the majority of the nutrients are not altered. The nutrients are in a more concentrated form in the gelatinised powder, and it will still maintain its hormone balancing properties. Raw maca powder (because of the starch not being altered) can lead to stomach problems and bloating.

I understand your maca powder is a mix of black, red and yellow maca root. What is the mix of these?

As a natural product, the mix of black, red and yellow maca root can differ slightly with each shipment. As a guide, the mix will be approximately 30% black and red : 70% yellow.

Please feel free to Google the individual benefits of each colour - because we sell maca, EU regulations mean that we are unable to quote specific health properties of any of our ingredients.

What is the percentage of curcumin in your turmeric powder?

The curcumin in our Turmeric Powder is 3.4%. A typical turmeric root contains about 2-5% curcumin.

What is the percentage of coumarin in your cinnamon powder?

Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder has 0.02% coumarin content.

What is the difference between your Sri Lankan and Philippine coconut oils?

The simple answer is taste! We import coconut oil from the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and now Sri Lanka too. All are unrefined, raw coconut oils, cold press extracted from the flesh of fresh, organic coconuts and all are Fair Trade certified. 

Our Sri Lankan oil has a lighter aroma and taste than the Philippine and Solomon Island oils, which are both richer. We wanted to offer customers a choice of oils to suit their own individual tastes but still be unrefined and as natural as can be. 

The country of origin is noted on the label and the coconut oils are not blended. The recommended retail price is the same for each - £9.95 for 500ml. At the moment, the Sri Lankan oil is only available in the 500ml size.

Why does my jar of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil taste different to usual?

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:

https://blog.lucybee.co/featured/lucy-bee-how-coconut-oil-is-made/

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).

Do you test for heavy metals in your cacao powder?

We routinely check and the most recent results for heavy metals shows the following:

Lead            0.292 mg/kg

Mercury       0.001 mg/kg

Arsenic        0.063 mg/kg

Cadmium     0.583 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. 

Are the Himalayan Salts certified Fair Trade?

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.

 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.”

Can coconut oil be Cold Press Centrifuge extracted?

These are two separate extraction methods, ie. Either cold press 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.”

How is your Himalayan salt extracted?

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.”

Is Lucy Bee Cacao Powder produced in a nut free environment?

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”

Is palm oil used in your turmeric?

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”.

What does the Vegan certification mean with your turmeric and cinnamon powders?

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.”

How much maca powder should I take?

The recommended amount for women depends on your body weight (those under 75Kg shouldn’t start with as much as those over). Health and age are also factors (it is believed that the younger and healthier you are the more you can take), and also individual differences in reaction to maca, so always listen to what your body is telling you.

People have reported that when they consume too much maca, their heart rate increases and they have nervous energy, which is why you should increase your amount slowly or just do not consume as much maca as you did previously. It is really important to listen to how your body reacts to it, the right dose for you will provide you with the benefits. It is recommended that 1 - 2 teaspoons is enough to start with but if this initially is too much, start off at a smaller dose and work your way up slowly. Or if it is fine, continue using at that dose - you can also increase this up to 1 tablespoon.

There is a lack of research into the effects of maca on those on hormone altering medications, and for pregnant or nursing women, so in those situations it is probably best not to consume maca. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it is always worth talking to your GP about the addition of maca if being used for its hormone balancing properties.

Is there a difference between your Cacao Powder and Drinking Chocolate?

Our cacao powder is sold either as “Lucy Bee Cacao Powder’ or, in Morrisons 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 Morrisons preferred to sell it - they wanted to sell our cacao powder 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.

Do any of your products contain gluten, dairy, soya, eggs, nuts and seeds either in their ingredients, derivative of or may contain?

Our cacao, cinnamon, turmeric, maca and lucuma powders 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

Does your coconut oil contain any cholesterol?

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.

Is the carton for your turmeric foil lined? If so, is this plastic coated?

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.”

 

Is irradiation used in the production of your turmeric powder?

Our producer confirms that "we do not use irradiation anywhere in our (turmeric) processing".

Are your bath salts Fair Trade?

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.

You can read more on how you can help too, at no extra cost to you, by clicking here.

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