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Decoding Coconut Oil Labels: Different Types Of Coconut Oil

From expeller-pressed coconut oil to centrifuge-extracted coconut oil and other varieties, this saturated fat can be used in cooking, baking, skin or hair care, or crafts. Learning the different types of coconut oil will enable you to choose the right product for your needs.
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From expeller-pressed coconut oil to centrifuge-extracted coconut oil and other varieties, this saturated fat can be used in cooking, baking, skin or hair care, or crafts. Learning the different types of coconut oil will enable you to choose the right product for your needs.

Did you know there’s more than one variety of coconut oil?

And I’m not even talking organic vs non-organic…

Various processing methods can be used to extract coconut oil. Each produces a unique flavor that can affect the characteristics and end cost of the product.

Understanding how coconut oil is extracted, whether you use coconut oil in cooking, baking, skin and hair care, or crafts, is useful. This article will enable you to choose the most appropriate product to suit your needs.

Refined Coconut Oil (Expeller Pressed)

Refined coconut oil generally refers to an oil that has gone through a process that removes coconut flavor, aroma, and impurities.

Organic coconuts are opened and quickly dried. These dried coconuts are then mechanically pressed to remove the oil. No chemical solvents are used at any time during the process. Any free fatty acids in the oil are removed. Next, the oil is run through diatomaceous earth and finally, steam distilled.

The resulting oil is pure and neutral in both taste and aroma. It is commonly sold as expeller-pressed coconut oil. It’s ideal for baking, sautéing, frying, and cooking and is usually the most budget-friendly type of coconut oil.

WFN goes the extra mile to give you an ultra-clean oil, however.

After steam distillation, it travels to the Netherlands where it is further filtered and cleaned. The result is a clear, delicious oil — the crème de la crème of expeller-pressed coconut oil.

Have you ever had French fries made in refined coconut oil?! They taste excellent and still contain the medium chain triglycerides that are coveted in coconut oil. Few people seem to know that this oil can often be reused because of its high heat stability.

The main differences between refined coconut oil and virgin coconut oil are:

  • Refined coconut oil has been exposed to heat during processing, so it is not raw.
  • It has been “cleaned” so there is no taste or smell.
  • It is slightly less expensive.

Wilderness Family Naturals’ refined coconut oil is called Ultra Clean Supreme Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil. It is:

  • certified organic
  • non-GMO
  • non-hydrogenated

Virgin, Unrefined Coconut Oil

Virgin, unrefined coconut oil has a stronger coconut flavor and aroma and is also used for cooking, sautéing, baking, and body care. It’s ideal as a medium-heat cooking oil.

First, coconut meat is grated and dehydrated. This drying process is important to the taste and quality of the oil. Then, the dried coconut is gently pressed at varying degrees of pressure and temperature. No heat or chemicals are used in this process.

The amount of heat generated during the processing and the details of the process can vary significantly. This is most likely the reason for the significant variations in quality and taste among cold-pressed oils. They can have a toasted coconut taste (the result of high heat used on standard desiccated coconut with very little moisture) or a mild, raw coconut flavor (which results from careful, low-temperature processing) or burnt or rancid flavors (the result of inadequate drying).

Wilderness Family Naturals’ Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil has a pleasantly mild coconut flavor as a result of our careful, low-temperature processing.

Cold-pressing an oil delicately preserves the natural flavor. Therefore, our cold-pressed coconut oil has the strongest coconut flavor of all our oils. It also has a long shelf life because of its low moisture content.

Wilderness Family Naturals’ Cold-Pressed Organic Coconut Oil is:

  • certified organic
  • non-GMO
  • non-hydrogenated
  • virgin
  • cold-pressed
  • made from fresh coconuts

Decoding Coconut Oil Labels: The Different Types Of Coconut Oil |

Centrifuge-Extracted Coconut Oil

This variety of coconut oil is not as widely available because it involves a more extensive and more expensive processing method.

Centrifuge-extracted coconut oil is made by first pressing the fresh, white coconut meat to obtain coconut cream. This cream is approximately 40% oil. The pressing should be done on a special machine where both the pressing plate and the sleeve are cooled by chilled water.

Next, the cream is concentrated, using a centrifuge, to yield a higher and higher percentage of oil while the proteins and water soluble substances are separated out. All moisture, fiber, and proteins can be removed without the use of heat.

This coconut oil has a light coconut flavor that is very mild and smooth. It is typically revered as one of the highest quality coconut oils and should always be labeled as virgin coconut oil.

Wilderness Family Naturals’ Organic Centrifuge-Extracted Coconut Oil ranks among the top coconut oils in the United States for quality. Close monitoring ensures that temperatures never exceed 104°F throughout the entire production process.

Our centrifuged, virgin coconut oil is creamy, smooth, and pure white when in a semi-solid state. It is as clear as spring water when in a liquid state.

Centrifuge-extracted coconut oil certainly can be used for cooking. Yet, many people looking for the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil enjoy adding it to smoothies, coffee, hot cereal, and granola — or simply eating it straight off a spoon. It is a truly unique oil.

Wilderness Family Naturals’ Centrifuge-Extracted Coconut Oil is:

  • certified organic
  • non-GMO
  • non-hydrogenated
  • unrefined
  • virgin
  • made from fresh coconuts
  • made by separating coconut cream through a series of centrifuges at low temperatures to produce a pure, isolated oil
  • raw

Craft Oil

This oil contains protein sediments, so people usually don’t care to eat it. Therefore, it is sold at a low price. Craft Oil is coconut oil which can be used to make crafts such as candlessoaps, deodorants, and body butters.

Wilderness Family Naturals’ Craft Oil is certified organic.

Now you know how to decode coconut oil labels!

Did you know the different types of coconut oil? What’s your favorite variety to use?

Updated: 2/20/2018

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  • Reply
    Judith Allan
    November 3, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I have seen labels on Coconut Oil bottles that say “whole Kernel.” I am curious what that means.

    Thanks for this blog, it helps me better understand why I like the Centrifuge Extracted Coconut Oil so much!

    • Emily Uebergang
      Emily Uebergang
      November 3, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      ‘Whole kernel’ refers to the brown membrane of the coconut shell that’s been left on through processing. Apparently it offers a little bit more in the way of unsaturated fatty acids but to be frank, the difference is marginal. The main thing with coconut oil is the processing method and where it’s been sourced from.

    • Reply
      November 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      one way to tell just how ‘raw’ and fresh a coconut oil is to place some in your palms and rub vigorously. Then smell. You’ll be able to tell right away at what processing temp. the oil really reached, and how fresh it really is. I hope the owners of WF does this with their centrifuged variety.

  • Reply
    J. Vitella
    November 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Which oil should I use if I am making a body lotion?

    • Lindsey Dietz
      Lindsey Dietz
      November 3, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      You can use any of our coconut oils for lotion! However, if budget is an issue, we recommend either our expeller pressed or craft oil. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Frank giglio
    November 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Last weekend a woman selling coconut oil praised hers because it was cold pressed and cold packed, stating that most companies heat the oil again to liquid state in order to pour it into jars. She says hers was scooped into the jars in its solid state, making it a healthier option that most others. Can you offer any insight on this? Cheers

    • Wilderness Family Naturals
      Wilderness Family Naturals
      November 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Frank! Thank you for your question. We can’t speak to how others claim to handle their manufacturing process, but we’re wide open on our process! You can read more in detail here:

    • Reply
      Edwin Tamasese
      November 5, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      to get coconut oil to melt it needs to be above 28 degrees Celsius or 82.4 F. This temp can in no way change the structure of the oil and in coconut oil terms is considered cold. I hope your lady friend is not paying extra for the “cold” packing of the oil. Her view will not harm her of course unless they are justifying charging more for the packaging method.

  • Reply
    John L. Taylor
    November 9, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks for recommending on Facebook, the expeller pressed coconut oil for cooking. I’ve always shied away from using coconut oil in cooking, because I couldn’t stand the taste. I will be buying.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Which Coconut oil compares to MCT Oil as used in “bulletproof coffee” – which one remains liquid as described on the referring page?

    • Emily Uebergang
      Emily Uebergang
      April 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Coconut oil will remain solid at cold temperatures unless it has been fractionated. At temperatures above 76 degrees coconut oil will turn liquid. MCT oil is fractionated coconut oil where the lauric acid has been removed. As far as bulletproof coffee goes, any coconut oil will work and it really just depends on personal taste and how strong of a coconut flavor you want or don’t want. Hope that helps!

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