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Coconut Oil Classification

June 29, 2012

Joan McDaniel                                                   Updated August 25, 2012

A word of caution. Classification is voluntary at this point. So anyone can claim to have “extra” virgin coconut oil. Some brands that say extra virgin coconut oil are not raw or centrifuged. Again, take the taste test to find out.

Extra virgin – considered the best, least processed, comprising the oil from the first pressing (cold Press) of the fresh coconut. Oil comes straight from the coconut.
Virgin – from the second pressing (expeller pressed). There are many different process used in different brands.  You can only tell the difference by taste. Virgin – In nutrition, means the oil has undergone minimal processing so it retains all of its natural nutrients and flavor.

Pure – undergoes some processing, such as filtering and refining.
Extra light – undergoes considerable processing, heat from expeller pressing and only retains a very mild coconut flavor.


RBD Refined, bleached, and deodorized – Made from cobra (air dried coconut) gone through extensive processing and all the flavor and aroma has been removed.  The label will not say RBD nor will it say Virgin either.  They may say “Expeller Pressed”. Brice Fife, N.D.

There are Other Points of View

Refined vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil:

From others in the field of coconut oil say RBD Refined coconut oil is okay. One says, ”unrefined does not automatically mean better”.  This opinion says unrefined oil does not have as strong a flavor to overpower the food and there are less sensitivities  to the oil.  But the real reason that a quality refined coconut oil is as good as extra virgin or virgin is:

“It’s All in the Fat

Coconut oil’s benefits are due to one important factor: its fatty acid composition. Coconut oil contains a high concentration of medium-chain saturated fatty acids like lauric acid. These fight inflammation caused by unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids, are easily digested, and put up one powerful fight against pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungal infections.

So here’s the question: does unrefined coconut oil have a better fatty acid composition than refined coconut oil? The answer is no. They are essentially the same. So if you’re looking for the benefits of coconut oil’s fatty acids, you’ll still find them in the refined oil.”

It’s still a good idea to buy high quality coconut oil. Quality sources make sure their coconut oil is clean, pure and uncontaminated. Click here to find my favorite source of refined, expeller-pressed coconut oil.

I did try Refined Coconut oil and used it mostly for skin care it seems to be less expensive but when I tasted it I did not notice any major difference.  Again you will have to try it and do it your way.

From → Oils and Fats

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