Refined coconut oil is coconut oil that has been processed and changed.
The chemical structures in refined oil have been altered and it’s no longer completely natural.
There are different labels given for this type of oil, but ultimately it boils down to RBD.
All others are just variations.
If you have never used coconut oil before, we want to help you become more knowledgeable about the different types available. It’s very important to choose a quality product so that you will be happy and use it often.
Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat (copra). This type of oil is heavily processed.
Below are the most popular methods of refining coconut oil:
This kind of refined coconut oil stands for refined, bleached and deodorized.
RBD oil is made from dried coconut meat that is dried in a furnace or by sitting out in the sun. Then it’s separated from the shell, extracted and refined.
Copra Drying in the Sun
After the oil is extracted and refined, it’s cleaned. If the coconuts are dried in the sun they usually need to be cleaned again because they often harbor mold and/or bacteria.
After the oil is cleaned, it’s bleached to a very high temperature. Heating the oil does two things:
• It deodorizes the oil
• It kills off any existing germs or fungal spores
The oil is filtered again and all monounsaturated fats are removed by a substance called, sodium hydroxide. If there are still unsaturated fatty acids present, the oil is fully or partially hydrogenated.
*There is no color, taste or smell to RBD oil.
*Any RBD coconut oil you use should be colorless. Avoid those that are yellow or gray. This is a sign that mold or impurities have not been fully removed. (1)
Refined coconut oil is most often used in:
• Commercial food processing
• Home cooking
This type of oil is perfectly fine for long term usage for skin and hair.
However, for eating we recommend using an organic, virgin coconut oil due to its purer quality and higher antioxidant levels. For cooking it's best to use either an organic, virgin coconut oil or an expeller pressed oil. For body care, it's fine to use an expeller pressed or an RBD oil.
Coconut oil is made up of long and medium-chain fats.
Fractionated coconut oil is a method of processing which removes all the long chain fats leaving just the medium chain fats behind.
When this occurs, the amount of medium-chain fats increase. The increase in these medium-chain fats results in a new product. This new oil has:
• An even higher level of saturated fat
• A higher anti-oxidant level
• Greater stability
A hydrogenated fat is a fat that has been heated to extreme temperatures and then combined with hydrogen. This process results in a saturated fat becoming even more saturated.
When a fat is hydrogenated, the molecular structures of fats change and they become trans fatty acids. These molecules are very toxic and should never be consumed.
Unhealthy Trans Fatty Acid Foods
Trans fatty acids are toxic because:
1. Fife, Bruce N.D., “Coconut Cures-Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut”, pg. 183-184, 2005.