Different Types of Coconut Oil

Coconut oils have many uses, but not all coconut oils are the same.  Different types of coconut oil are better suited for ingredients in health & beauty products, foods, or even as biofuels.

 

Virgin coconut oil is the purest, most natural, least processed (chemically-changed) form that should look nearly as clear as water.  Virgin Coconut oil is unrefined (has not been changed with heat processes.  It is sometimes also known as  fractionated coconut oil because the long-chain fatty acids in the heavier part of the oil are filtered away to leave behind the medium-chain fatty acids that are able to penetrate skin layers to be absorbed in the body but not stored.

 

The main types of coconut oil are outlined in the table below.

 

Type

Processed

Uses

Refined coconut oil Extracted from dried coconut meat, refined, bleached & deodorized (RBD) to make it tasteless, odorless & colorless Cooking, baking
Unrefined virgin coconut oil Extracted from fresh coconut meat, no chemical processing leaving it colorless with a mild natural mild taste & odor Smoothies, syrups, dietary supplementBody and hair treatments, massage oil, lotion & soap ingredient
Hydrogenated coconut oil Hydrogen gas added with high pressure to prolong shelf life.  Converts good fatty acids to trans-fatty acids that contribute to heart disease. Food additive*Any type of hydrogenated oil in should be avoided.