Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup

Coconut Oil

Nutritional Information

1 cup, coconut oil

  • Calories 1879
  • Calories from Fat 1962
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 218g335%
  • Saturated Fat 188.57g943%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 12.644g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 3.924g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 0mg0%
  • Potassium 0mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 0g0%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Coconut Oil on Wikipedia:

This article or section has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss these issues on the talk page. It needs additional references or sources for verification. Tagged since June 2008. Its neutrality is disputed. Tagged since July 2009. Traditional way of making coconut oil using a bullock-powered mill in Seychelles

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Throughout the tropical world it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry. What makes coconut oil different from most other dietary oils is the basic building blocks or fatty acids making up the oil. Coconut oil is composed predominately of a special group of fat molecules known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). The majority of fats in the human diet are composed almost entirely of long chain fatty acids (LCFA).

The primary difference between MCFA and LCFA is the size of the molecule, or more precisely, the length of the carbon chain that makes up the backbone of the fatty acid. MCFA have a chain length of 6 to 12 carbons. LCFA contain 14 or more carbons.

The length of the carbon chain influences many of the oil’s physical and chemical properties. When consumed, the body processes and metabolizes each fatty acid differently depending on the size of the carbon chain. Therefore, the physiological effects of the MCFA in coconut are significantly different from those of the LCFA that are more commonly found in the diet.

MCFA and LCFA can also be classified as saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Coconut oil contains 92% saturated fatty acids. All of the MCFA in coconut oil are saturated. They, however, are very much different chemically from the long chain saturated fatty acids found in animal fat and other vegetable oils.

Because coconut oil has a high amount of saturated fatty acids it also has a relatively high melting point. Above 76°F (24°C) coconut oil is a colorless liquid. Below this temperature it solidifies into a pure white solid.

Coconut oil is very heat stable so it makes an excellent cooking and frying oil. It has a smoke point of about 360°F (180°C). Because of its stability it is slow to oxidize and thus resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years due to high saturated fat content.[1]

Fatty Acid Profile of Coconut Oil Fatty Acid Saturation Carbons Percent Caproic Saturated 6 0.5 Caprylic Saturated 8 7.8 Capric Saturated 10 6.7 Lauric Saturated 12 47.5 Myristic Saturated 14 18.1 Palmitic Saturated 16 8.8 Stearic Saturated 18 2.6 Arachidic Saturated 20 0.1 Oleic Monounsaturated 18 6.2 Linoleic Polyunsaturated 18 1.6 Coconut oil contains approximately 92.1% saturated fatty acids, 6.2% monounsaturated fatty acids, 1.6% polyunsaturated fatty acids. The above numbers are averages based on samples taken. Numbers can vary slightly depending on age of the coconut, growing conditions, and variety. //


In the wet process, coconut milk is made first and then the oil is extracted from the milk. Coconut kernel is shredded, mixed with a little water, and then squeezed or pressed to extract the oil. The resulting oil/water mixture produces coconut cream or coconut milk depending on the percentage of oil. The coconut milk is then allowed to separate naturally. Since oil is lighter than water, the oil rises to the surface. This takes 12 to 24 hours. The oil can then be skimmed off. This is the traditional method of making coconut oil from coconut milk and is the way many people make the oil at home. Other methods incorporate heating, fermentation, refrigeration, or centrifugal force to separate the oil from the water. Some minor heating is generally done afterwards (often in a low temperature vacuum chamber) to drive off excess moisture and produce a more purified product and to extend shelf life.

In the dry process the oil is extracted directly from the kernel. The coconut kernel is first shredded and dried in an oven to about 10 to 12% moisture. The dried, shredded coconut is then placed into a press and the virgin oil is expelled.[2]

The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC), whose 18 members produce about 85% of the coconut sold commercially,[3] has published its Standards for Virgin Coconut Oil.[4] The Philippines has established a Department of Science and Technology (DOST) governmental standard.[5]

Refined, Bleached Deodorized (RBD)

Coconuts sundried in Kozhikode, Kerala for making copra, which is used for making coconut oil Coconut Oil expelled from Copra at an oil mill in Tripunithura, Kerala, India

RBD stands for “refined, bleached, and deodorized.” RBD oil is usually made from copra (dried coconut kernel). Copra can be made by smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying. The dried copra is then placed in a powerful hydraulic press with added heat and the oil is extracted. This yields up practically all the oil present, amounting to more than 60% of the dry weight of the coconut.[6]

This “crude” coconut oil is not suitable for consumption because it contains contaminants and must be refined with further heating and filtering. Another method for extraction of a “high quality” coconut oil involves the enzymatic action of alpha-amylase, polygalacturonases and proteases on diluted coconut paste.[7]

Unlike virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil has no coconut taste or aroma. RBD oil is used for home cooking, commercial food processing, and cosmetic, industrial, and pharmaceutical purposes.


RBD coconut oil can be processed further into partially or fully hydrogenated oil to increase its melting point. Since virgin and RBD coconut oils melt at 76°F (24°C) foods, such as chocolate, tend to melt in warm climates. A higher melting point is desirable in these warm climates so the oil is hydrogenated. The melting point of hydrogenated coconut oil is 97-104°F (36-40°C).

In the process of hydrogenation, unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) are bombarded with hydrogen atoms to make them more saturated. Coconut oil contains only 6% monounsaturated and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this process some of these are transformed into trans fatty acids.


Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the whole oil, in which the long-chain fatty acids are removed so that only medium chain saturated fatty acids remain. Lauric acid, a 12 carbon chain fatty acid, is often removed as well because of its high value for industrial and medical purposes. Fractionated coconut oil may also be referred to as caprylic/capric triglyceride oil or medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil because it is primarily the medium chain caprylic (8 carbons) and capric (10 carbons) acids that make up the bulk of the oil.

MCT oil is most frequently used for medical applications and special diets.

Food uses

Coconut oil is commonly used in cooking, especially when frying. In communities where coconut oil is widely used in cooking, the unrefined oil is the one most commonly used. Coconut oil is commonly used to flavor many South Asian curries. It does not create any harmful byproducts when heated.[8]

Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated coconut oil is often used in non-dairy creamers, and snack foods.

Industrial uses

As engine feedstock

See also: Vegetable oil used as fuel

Coconut oil has been tested for use as a feedstock for biodiesel to be used as a diesel engine fuel. In this manner it can be applied to power generators and transport using diesel engines. Since straight coconut oil has a high gelling temperature (22-25°C), a high viscosity, and a minimum combustion chamber temperature of 500 Â°C (932 Â°F) (to avoid polymerization of the fuel), coconut oil is typically transesterified to make biodiesel. Use of B100 (100% biodiesel) is only possible in temperate climates as the gel point is approximately 10°C (50 degrees Fahrenheit). The oil needs to meet the Weihenstephan standard[9] for pure vegetable oil used as a fuel otherwise moderate to severe damage from carbonisation and clogging will occur in an unmodified engine.

The Philippines, Vanuatu, Samoa, and several other tropical island countries are using coconut oil as an alternative fuel source to run automobiles, trucks, and buses, and to power generators.[10] Coconut oil is currently used as a fuel for transport in the Philippines.[11] Further research into the oil's potential as a fuel for electricity generation is being carried out in the islands of the Pacific.[12][13] In the 1990s Bougainville conflict, islanders cut off from supplies due to a blockade used it to fuel their vehicles.[14]

As engine lubricant

Coconut oil has been tested for use as an engine lubricant; the producer claims the oil reduces fuel consumption and smoke emissions, and allows the engine to run at a cooler temperature.[15]

As transformer oil

Transformer oil acts as an insulating and cooling medium in transformers. The insulating oil fills up pores in fibrous insulation and also the gaps between the coil conductors and the spacing between the siding and the tank, and thus increases the dielectric strength of the insulation. A transformer in operation generates heat in the winding, and that heat is transferred to the oil. Heated oil then flows to the radiators by convection. Oil supplied from the radiators, being cooler, cools the winding. There are several important properties such as dielectric strength, flash point, viscosity, specific gravity and pour point and all of them have to be considered when qualifying an oil for use in transformers. Normally mineral oil is used, but coconut oil has been shown to possess all the properties needed to function as an environmentally friendly and economic replacement to mineral oil for this purpose.[16]

As herbicide

Acids dervied from coconut oil can be used as herbicides, for a more environmentally-friendly way of combatting weeds. It is also considered unproblematic for people who have sensitivity to synthethic herbicides.[17]

Personal uses

As cosmetics and skin treatments

Coconut oil is excellent as a skin moisturizer and softener. A study shows that extra virgin coconut oil is effective and safe when used as a moisturizer, with absence of adverse reactions.[18]

As sexual lubricant

There are widespread reports of the use of coconut oil as a sexual lubricant.[19][20] Like other oil-based intimate lubricants, coconut oil should not be used with latex condoms.

As medicine

There is anecdotal evidence that application of non-hydrogenated, organic, expeller pressed coconut oil is an effective treatment for keratosis pilaris (follicular keratosis). Anecdotal reports recommend liberal application of coconut oil to affected areas after showering.

See also

Copha Palm Oil


^ Fife, Bruce (2005), Coconut Cures, Piccadilly Books, Ltd., pp. 184–185, ISBN 978-0-941599-60-3  ^ Direct Micro Expelling, Kokonut Pacific Pty Ltd, accessed April, 2008 ^ Asian and Pacific Coconut Community ^ APCC STANDARDS FOR VIRGIN COCONUT OIL Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, Jakarta, Indonesia ^ Joint Statement on Philippine National Standard for Virgin Coconut Oil as food ^ Foale, M. (2003), The Coconut Odyssey: The Bounteous Possibilities of the Tree of Life, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research; Canberra, pp. 184–185  ^ McGlone OC, Canales A, Carter JV. (1986). ``Coconut oil extraction by a new enzymatic process.`` Journal of Food Science. 51:695-697. ^ International Wellness Directory ^ Weihenstephan vegetable oil fuel standard (German Rapeseed Fuel Standard) ^ In Vanuatu, A Proving Ground for Coconut Oil As An Alternative Fuel ^ Coconut fuel - PRI's The World ^ Coconut Oil for Power Generation by EPC in Samoa - Jan Cloin ^ ``Coconut oil powers island's cars``. BBC. 2007-05-08.  ^ The Coconut Revolution: a documentary film ^ Romares-Sevilla, J (2008-01-17). ``Davao-based firm sees expansion of bio-tech oil market``. Sun.Star Superbalita Davao. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  ^ Coconut Oil As An Alternative To Transformer Oil ^ Roads and footpaths - weed control (from the Auckland City Council website. Accessed 2010-01-21.) ^ Agero AL, Verallo-Rowell VM A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis Dermatitis 2004 Sep;15(3):109-16 ^ ^ v â€¢ d â€¢ e Edible fats and oils Fats Bacon fat â€¢ Blubber â€¢ Butter â€¢ Clarified butter â€¢ Cocoa butter â€¢ Dripping â€¢ Duck fat â€¢ Ghee â€¢ Lard â€¢ Margarine â€¢ Niter kibbeh â€¢ Salo â€¢ Schmaltz â€¢ Shea butter â€¢ Smen â€¢ Suet â€¢ Tallow â€¢ Vegetable shortening Oils Almond oil â€¢ Argan oil â€¢ Avocado oil â€¢ Canola oil â€¢ Cashew oil â€¢ Castor oil â€¢ Coconut oil â€¢ Colza oil â€¢ Corn oil â€¢ Cottonseed oil â€¢ Fish oil â€¢ Grape seed oil â€¢ Hazelnut oil â€¢ Hemp oil â€¢ Linseed oil (flaxseed oil) â€¢ Macadamia oil â€¢ Marula oil â€¢ Mongongo nut oil â€¢ Mustard oil â€¢ Olive oil â€¢ Palm oil (palm kernel oil) â€¢ Peanut oil â€¢ Pecan oil â€¢ Perilla oil â€¢ Pine nut oil â€¢ Pistachio oil â€¢ Poppyseed oil â€¢ Pumpkin seed oil â€¢ Rapeseed oil â€¢ Rice bran oil â€¢ Safflower oil â€¢ Sesame oil â€¢ Soybean oil â€¢ Sunflower oil â€¢ Tea seed oil â€¢ Walnut oil â€¢ Watermelon seed oil â€¢ Whale oil See also: List of vegetable oils â€¢ Cooking oil â€¢ Essential oil

Goodness of Virgin Coconut Oil Products :