View Full Version : Refined coconut oil
09-07-2006, 02:44 PM
I just got 6 jars of organic coconut oil to use and store away and I just realized that I got the refined rather the unrefined. What's the difference? Thanks!
09-07-2006, 02:48 PM
refined usually means it's had things removed from it...it's not in the purest possible form. But even if you choose not to use it for consumption, it's great for hair and body as a moisturizer, etc. Do a google search for the uses/benefits of coconut oil..you'll be surprised!
Refined Coconut Oil
Most commercial grade coconut oils are made from copra. Copra is basically the dried kernel (meat) of the coconut. It can be made by: smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying , or derivatives or a combination of these three. If standard copra is used as a starting material, the unrefined coconut oil extracted from copra is not suitable for consumption and must be purified, that is refined. This is because the way most copra is dried is not sanitary. The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities. Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life. This is the most common way to mass-produce coconut oil. The older way of producing refined coconut oil was through physical/mechanical refining (see Tropical Traditions Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil.). More modern methods also use chemical solvents to extract all the oil from the copra for higher yields.
RBD oil is also sometimes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. This happens mostly in tropical climates, since the natural melting point of coconut oil is about 76 degrees F, and already naturally a solid in most colder climates. Since coconut oil is mostly saturated, there is little unsaturated oil left to hydrogenate. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years.
09-07-2006, 05:23 PM
The guy at my health food store said the refined is better to use for cooking, however even among refined oils there is a difference. I tried a jar of Jarrow's but can't say that I cared for it and will continue to use the raw Nutiva even for cooked stuff unless he can get something different that is so so much cheaper than the raw but still contains most of the nutrients. That is one big thing. Some of the refined oils are refined to the point where there aren't that many health benefits. The reason that raw is not necessary for cooking is that once you cook with it, it no longer becomes raw. But in most cases, raw is more expensive. This is why he said it was not necessary for cooking.
I asked him about using the refined stuff externally because I have a friend in Canada who can't find raw. He said raw is always better for external use but if you can't find it, then the refined is still a good choice.
09-16-2006, 10:42 AM
Thanks you all for the replies. I went and exchanged the refined for the unrefined. The unrefined smells so much better!
09-16-2006, 11:08 AM
Some raw food chefs use the refined when they don't want the coconut taste/smell.
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