Coconut oil has always been a chef’s favourite in the food industry but the benefits of coconut oil on hair and skincare industry is gaining momentum rather quickly. However, if you go through your labels standing in the grocery aisle, you will notice not all coconut oil are the same. Most of them are labelled as refined while some are labelled as virgin coconut oil. So depending on why you want to pick up a bottle of coconut oil, it is important to know the difference between the two and if you really need to consider its importance.
The basic differences between both virgin and refined coconut oil are listed below.
What is virgin coconut oil?
- Formulated without undergoing bleaching or refining process
- Compressed with mechanical techniques with no chemicals involved
- Made out of fresh coconut meat instead of copra
- All the nutritional values stay intact during the process
- Fresh flavour of pure coconut
What is refined coconut oil?
- Goes through refining, deodorising, and bleaching process
- Made out of “copra” instead of using fresh or dried coconut meat
- Expelled using a solvent instead of organic techniques.
- Little to no coconut flavour
Let us find out what is virgin coconut oil and how it is different from refined coconut oil through varied processes.
- Extraction method
Copra, or dried coconut kernels, is what make up regular coconut oil. Pressing and extracting the oil from the copra leads to refinement, decolourization, and bleaching. These processes turn the oil into a consumable form while preserving all the nutritional properties. Virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, is extracted from coconut milk using a cold pressing method that preserves all of the oil’s natural properties and nutritional values.
Oil, whether virgin coconut oil or regular, has the same energy content. Due to the hydrogenation process, normal coconut oil may contain some trans fats. Virgin coconut oil however contains medium chain fatty acids, is low in trans fatty acids, has good cholesterol, and is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Despite looking similar, the normal coconut oil may have a bit more colour. As well, the viscosity of virgin coconut oil is lighter and non-greasy.
Due to the fact that virgin coconut oil comes from coconut milk, it has a better taste and aroma than regular coconut oil. Aside from the tropical aroma and taste of coconut, virgin coconut oil is also highly nutritious. In contrast, regular coconut oil has artificial flavours and scents.
As each type of coconut oil creates a different product once it is used in your product, it is important to compare them carefully before you make a decision.