Types Of Coconut Oil

Types Of Coconut Oil

When classifying types of coconut oil, it’s divided into two broad categories – the kind that needs to be refined, while the other with much less refining process. Because by nature, coconut oil itself is a refined product, as the oil needs to be extracted for collection.

types of coconut oil

What Is Copra?

Copra refer to an inedible, dried coconut that has been removed from the shell, and needs to be refined in order to produce the oil. Copra on itself can come from a number of ways: smoke or sun drying, using derivatives, or any combination of these methods.

Type of coconut oil. From coconutoil.com

Types Of Coconut Oil

Crude Coconut Oil

Crude coconut oil is simply the basic industrial grade processed from copra, either by physical process (expeller press) or chemical method through solvent extraction. The shelf life is lower, with the flavor, color, and odor is still unusable for cosmetics and food use.

RBD Coconut Oil

Copra-based coconut oils are usually referred as RBD coconut oil (RBD means refined, bleached, and deodorized) where the oil is filtered and purified to remove impurities and steamed thoroughly to remove the distinct natural smell and flavors associated with coconut.

This type of oil can come either from physical refining or chemical refining that uses solvent extracts. Finally, the oil pass through carbon to decolorize. This type of oil is commonly used in food and cosmetic applications.

Hydrogenated Coconut Oil

If it’s just a plain coconut oil then it’s likely a RBD type unless stated otherwise. While for hydrogenated is the type of oil where some portion of it is hydrogenated, changing the chemical structure of the oil as trans fat. Usually used in confectionery or made into margarines as the the oil is stable and stay solid at higher temperature.

Virgin Coconut Oil

One of the most popular product is virgin coconut oil (short for VCO), where this type of oil starts with a fresh coconut; if it’s from copra it’s not really a true virgin coconut oil.

By right, VCO should either derived from pressing out dried meat coconuts (known as dessicated coconuts) or through a wet-milling process where the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat; the milk comes out first and separated from the oil either through boiling, refrigeration, enzymes, physical, fermentation, or any combination of these methods.

This produces an oil with long shelf-life (usually 2 years), light viscosity, with non-oily characteristics, as well as the distinct aroma and flavor associated with coconut.

To note, the wet milling process produces the oil with the highest antioxidants compared to it’s counterparts, although the fatty acid profile is still the same.

Keep in mind though, as the term “virgin” is still a loose term as it’s not regulated by the authorities, it’s best to determine it by yourself and investigate it further if needed.

Liquid Coconut Oil

Liquid coconut oil marketed as an oil that stays liquid even in cool temperatures, and the oil is actually a fractionated coconut oil, with the lauric acid component has been removed (known as MCT oil). this type of oil is usually used in skin care products and dietary supplements.


Various types of coconut oils exist to cater a varied number of needs from the public. For us, determining which type of coconut oil is suitable (along with budget) is crucial to ensure that you get the benefits, as well as value for money.

Sources: 1,2

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