Coconut Oil: Types At A Glance

Posted by Alexa Ketterling

Stroll down the oil aisle of any grocery store, and you are bound to find a plethora of different coconut oils. It is one of the most popular oils in today's natural food market. 

A common question that we get from food manufacturers who are choosing coconut oil as an ingredient is, "Which kind of coconut oil should I choose?"

Here's the thing: there are multiple types (or grades) of coconut oil, and they each will taste and function very differently. It is extremely important to choose the right grade of coconut oil to be able to meet both your product's functionality and attributes needs. 

Today we'll look at a side-by-side comparison of the different common types of coconut oil available. Let's begin!


coconut at a glance


Refined Coconut Oils

Coconut Oil, Refined (RBD)

  • Made from "copra" instead of fresh or dried coconut meat
  • Refined, bleached and deodorized
  • Most often solvent expelled
  • Little coconut flavor
  • 76 degree melt point
  • Contains lauric acid and healthy MCTs

Organic Coconut oil, Refined (RBD)

  • Organically refined, bleached and deodorized
  • Organically grown
  • Very little coconut flavor
  • Made from organic "copra" instead of fresh or dried coconut meat
  • 76 degree melt point
  • Contains healthy MCTs and lauric acid

Virgin Coconut Oils

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

  • Expeller pressed or centrifuged
  • Unrefined
  • Made from fresh or dried coconut meat instead of copra
  • Antioxidant nutrition is maintained
  • Often cold pressed
  • Strong coconut flavor
  • 76 degree melt point
  • Contains healthy MCTs and lauric acid

What about non-organic virgin coconut oil?  It exists, but supply is so low that most virgin coconut oils found on the market today are certified organic.  This is very similar to the discussion of organic virgin olive oil vs. organic extra virgin olive oil availability.


MCT/Fractionated Coconut Oil

Keep in mind, all of the coconut oils above have a 76 degree melting point. This means that they're solid at room temperature and liquify as they are heated.

There are also plenty of fractionated coconut oils (often referred to as MCT oil) that is liquid at room temperature.


Topics: Coconut Oil



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