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2019 Guide: How to spot low-grade virgin coconut oil

What is low-grade virgin coconut oil?

These are oils that are NOT able to preserve the natural characteristics of a freshly-harvested virgin coconut oil. This means that the original taste, aroma, nutrients, texture, and quality has been altered during the manufacturing or storage process.

What types of virgin coconut oil should I avoid?

Below are the properties of low-grade virgin coconut oil. If you see these, avoid it!

  • Has a coconutty, strong, toasted, and/or burnt flavor and aroma. The heated aroma and flavor (sometimes called "coconutty" in other countries) is not natural to fresh virgin coconut oil. It is a by-product of the heating process (pressing generates heat). This aroma/flavor is common with cold pressed or fermented processes.

  • Sour and off-taste. This is rancid virgin coconut oil.

  • Has a yellowish color. If via cold pressed, this is a by-product of the heating process. This is not natural.

  • Has a bland flavor and aroma. This is RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) virgin coconut oil.

  • Does not start solidifying at 24 degrees Celsius. This means that there are impurities in the oil.

  • Has sediments at the bottom. It means that your oil was not properly filtered and/or mold has started to grow.

  • Does not marble when solidified. VCO with high MCT should marble when solidified.

  • Thick texture. This is heavily processed oil. Fresh oils should be light and mild - almost water-like texture.

  • Feels itchy, on your throat, when drinking. This is fatty acid and high peroxide content. This is not natural to fresh virgin coconut oil.

But what about MCT oil?

MCT oil is manufactured while virgin coconut oil is natural. A machine extracts the MCT, or medium chain fatty acids, from the oil in an industrial process called “fractionation”. The result is an oil with little or no lauric acid.

In short, you do not get the full benefits of lauric acid which virgin coconut oil is rich with, next to mother's milk. Instead, you just get plain medium chain triglycerides.

So when do I choose MCT? It's recommended to choose MCT for medicinal purposes. Virgin coconut oil is still the perfect source for natural lauric acid and MCT.

What type of virgin coconut oil should I choose?

100% centrifuged virgin coconut oil produces the highest quality of coconut oil with the least amount of processes with no chemicals added. So the result is a light, mild, and smooth flavor, text and aroma with four times more antioxidants than the average value. Read more about fresh-centrifuged virgin coconut oil here.


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