Coconut oil is making a comeback in the dietary nutritional field. Once thought to be a dangerous saturated fat to be avoided, it can now be found in grocery stores and natural food centers in abundance. Due to it's chemical makeup of medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil is quickly gaining respect as a healthy alternative to polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Knowing the difference between regular coconut oil and virgin coconut oil is an important component to using this product effectively.
Check the Label
Virgin coconut oil has this notation on the label. It also states that it is unrefined. Regular coconut oil states that it is a refined product.
The difference between regular and virgin coconut oil is distinct. Regular has a solid white color, is primarily odorless, and has no taste of coconut. Virgin has an opaque white color and has a distinct smell and taste of coconut.
Both regular and virgin coconut oil will solidify in cooler temperatures and melt in higher ones.
Processing the Product
Regular coconut oil is extracted usually from the dried meat of the coconut called copra. Refining this product requires excess heat and generally the use of bleaching agents. Virgin coconut oil uses cold pressed processing of the fresh meat without bleach or deodorization.
Because of the use of low quality dried copra and the heating processing of regular coconut oil important nutritious benefits are lost.