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Coconut Oil: Extra-Virgin or Virgin?

This question still remains popular. Coconut Oil: Extra-Virgin or Virgin?

At Nutiva, our goal has always been to source the purest possible coconut oil and provide you and your family with the freshest and most high-quality product. We have our own quality standard and commitment that we’ve conveyed by using the term “extra virgin” on our labels. However, you’ll notice with our new look, that we are now using the term “virgin” to describe our coconut oil rather than “extra virgin.” Despite this change, our quality commitment and process remain the same.


Coconut Oil: Extra-Virgin or Virgin?

  • We choose fresh coconuts that meet pre-determined sensory requirements that guarantee the best flavor, scent, and purity.
  • Our virgin coconut oil is cold-pressed from fresh and mature coconut meat; no heat is used.
  • Our virgin coconut oil is in its purest form – unrefined, unbleached and non-deodorized.

This process ensures that the smooth flavor, vital nutrients, and delicate fats are retained.

We embraced the term “extra virgin coconut oil” to distinguish our dedication to the highest quality. In the USA, there is no legal definition or standard for the term, “extra virgin” as it applies to coconut oil. In other countries, however, there are standards of identity regarding the term. For example, in Canada, we have always labeled our same high-quality coconut oil as “organic virgin coconut oil,” to comply with regulations. As Nutiva continues to grow and offer our coconut oil to more countries with varying regulations, we want to create consistency across all our labels. For this reason, we will be using the term “organic virgin coconut oil” going forward, but our high-quality product and processes will remain the same. You will see this change on our new packaging that will appear on shelves in early 2014.

Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

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Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil Recipes

Our website is home to many coconut oil recipes. You can search our entire recipe base HERE. Some of our favorite coconut oil recipes include:

Related Recipes You might be interested in...


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  1. Carrie says:

    I’ve been reading that virgin coconut oil produced with a “wet-mill fermentation” process that uses heat, actually increases the amount of anti-oxidants in the oil. What do you think about that? Another question– Is Nutiva oil pressed from “wet” fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat?

    1. The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Carrie! Our Virgin Coconut Oil is dry expeller pressed from fresh coconut meat (“wet”) and is ground and conveyed through a hot-air dryer within hours of shelling, then cold pressed. The process temperature would not affect the antioxidant amount since coconut oil only contains trace amounts. Thanks!

  2. Barbara says:

    I have to agree with the many comments on here. I have been using Nutiva for a very long time and I only buy the one gallon pail now, because even though they say the contents are equal, I find the taste is not. It seems to me that when they started to change over from Extra virgin to virgin labelling, something happened to the contents, because I don’t like the ones labelled virgin, as much as the pail labelled extra virgin. Actually, the last 54oz container I ever had was quite light in taste…I also found that I got an upset tummy from it. I was told the product didn’t change, but I had doubts, because I never once had a problem with the extra virgin one and I still don’t. I continue to buy the one gallon pail and I pray it doesn’t change, ever.
    PS-Nutiva team, please don’t respond with that same repetitive labelling comment.
    Thank you for the mostly great product though! 🙂

    1. The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Barbara, thank you for your feedback. We always want to hear if one of our customers has a concern about a product. We can appreciate that you are looking for a different answer than what we’ve stated previously. The most possible cause for the slight flavor differences you’re experiencing is normal agricultural variation. Coconut oil is a single ingredient product where the flavor is going to reflect the exact coconuts it was made from. Like any agricultural product, the flavor will fluctuate based on seasons and and even the geography of where the nut was grown. That being said, we have a standard flavor profile range that we strive to adhere to. As a practice we do not use a different oil for our 1 gallon buckets than for our 54 oz oils. Oil is allotted based on production scheduling, not segregated based on packaging size. We hope this all makes sense. If you ever taste an oil that you think is bad for some reason or another, we encourage you to contact and we will have our QA team investigate as we want to make sure that we address any quality issues. We really appreciate your business and feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.

  3. Sahil says:

    Hi ! I love Nutiva . I do have one question in the United States can other coconut oil companies sell virgin coconut oil as extra Virgin without legal issues ? I just want make sure when we compare we are using the correct measures.

    1. The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Sahil! In the USA, there is no legal definition or standard for the term, “extra virgin” as it applies to coconut oil. In other countries, however, there are standards of identity regarding the term, which is why we have removed the term to comply with international regulations that disallow the term. Be assured that our product quality has not changed in any way. Thanks!

  4. Regina says:

    Love your coconut oil, which I’ve been enjoying a few years now. I use it daily on food, and on my skin.
    Q: So, no difference in processing between any of your jars (glass or plastic) or sizes?
    Q: Can plastic change flavor? Just now, I compared the oil in your 54-oz. plastic jar (bought yesterday) to the oil in your glass jar (bought last year). The oil in glass smells richer and sweeter. C But smell can be very subjective. Anyway, both had exactly the same flavor.
    P.S. Thanks for clarifying the virgin issue here. Also, thanks for being a B Corporation, and USDA Organic! I stocked up on your coconut oil, hemp oil and chia seeds at the Green Fest yesterday. Your people were fab, and gave me your lip balm as a thanks.

    1. The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Regina! Thanks for stopping by our booth at Green Fest! To answer your questions, there is no difference in the processing of coconut oil based on the jar or size, and our PET plastic container will not affect the flavor or smell of the coconut oil. Our 15oz and 23oz sizes of Virgin Coconut Oil are offered in glass containers if you prefer glass over PET. We encourage you to contact with any other questions regarding our products. Thanks again!

  5. Regina says:

    P.S. I’d prefer buying all your fab coconut oil in glass, even in the 54-oz. size. Most plastics leach estrogenic chemicals, not only BPA. Also, how much PETE #1 plastic is actually recycled in the U.S., even after going into our recycling bins?

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