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Virgin vs Refined Coconut Oil 5 Things You Need To Know

Who doesn’t love coconut oil? It’s versatile, nourishing, and can replace a ton of cooking, baking and body care ingredients.

There’s a lot of information available about how to use coconut oil in your day-to-day routine, but the number one question we hear is this: What’s the difference between Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil? Read on to discover all about virgin vs refined coconut oil 5 things you need to know.

Virgin vs Refined Coconut Oil 5 Things You Need to Know

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Virgin vs Refined Coconut Oil 5 Things You Need To Know kitchen.nutiva.com Infographic Nutiva Organic Kitchen Recipes
Let’s go over the basics.

Does Virgin Coconut Oil Taste the Same as Refined Coconut Oil?

One of the most immediate differences between Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil is the taste and aroma. While Virgin (unrefined) Coconut Oil boasts a delicious, tropical coconut scent and flavor, Refined Coconut Oil has a neutral scent and flavor.

Virgin vs Refined Coconut Oil: 5 Things You Need To Know kitchen.nutiva.com

How is Coconut Oil Made?

To make our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, fresh coconut meat is scooped out of the shell by hand, then cold pressed, leaving just the oil which has a pure coconut flavor.

Our Organic Refined Coconut Oil is made from dried coconut meat, or copra. Unlike other companies that use harsh chemicals to produce refined coconut oil, we gently steam refine our oil to achieve a neutral-flavor. Because of our commitment to producing the highest quality products, this process is certified organic and uses absolutely no chemicals.

How Do I Use Refined Coconut Oil?

Coconut Oil can be used for baking, cooking, and body & hair care. Luckily, Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil can be used interchangeably in recipes so you won’t have a problem switching between the two.

Because of the way Refined Coconut Oil is made, it has a higher smoke point (400 degrees) than Virgin Coconut Oil, making it great for sautéing, stir-frying and baking. Plus, the neutral flavor makes it ideal for recipes where a coconut flavor isn’t desired. Virgin Coconut Oil is best for medium heat cooking up to 350 degrees.

Are you ready to try Refined Coconut Oil? Try this recipe: Stir Fry Bok Choy with Cashews.

 Virgin vs Refined Coconut Oil 5 Things You Need To Know. Learn about the differences between virgin and refined organic coconut oil kitchen.nutiva.com

Which Coconut Oil is Better for You?

Great news! Both Refined and Virgin Coconut Oil have the same nutritional profile. No matter which coconut oil you prefer, both will contain 63% medium chain triglycerides, including 50% lauric acid.

What Should I Look For When Buying Coconut Oil

An easy way to check if you’re buying quality coconut oil is to make sure it’s certified organic and verified Non-GMO. The next step is to confirm that Virgin Coconut Oil is cold-pressed, made without hexane, and never deodorized or bleached. Refined Coconut Oil should never be refined using harsh chemicals, so be sure to check if it’s steam-refined.

Organic refined coconut oil naturally has a yellowish color to it. This is normal and is to be expected. Only chemically bleached and refined coconut oil is pure white. Our Refined Coconut Oil goes through an organic steam refining process and some of the yellow color naturally remains in the product as the dried coconut is not treated with sulfites or other bleaching agents.

At Nutiva, we take our commitment to excellence a step further and dedicate 1% of sales to support sustainable agriculture. Specifically, we support the small farming communities in Southeast Asia where we source our coconut oil. We sponsored the planting of 100,000 coconut seedlings in 2015, and in five years these seedlings will grow into producing coconut trees and provide farmers with increased income and improved livelihood. We also partnered with Fair Trade USA to implement a school lunch program for children in our farming communities. You can read about that HERE.

Virgin vs Refined Coconut Oil 5 Things You Need to Know kitchen.nutiva.com

Now you tell us. Which is your go-to coconut oil—Virgin, Refined, or both?!

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176 Comments

  1. Tina says:

    I use both. I use virgin for baking, smoothies, oatmeal, coffee, and body care. My 2 year old daughter also eats it by the spoonful. The refined I use for sauteing and frying. I was so happy when you came out with the refined! I buy both by the gallon!! Thanks for making fantastic products I can feel good about buying!

    1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

      Hi Tina! We’re glad you’re a fan of both our virgin and refined coconut oil!

  2. Atlanta Girl says:

    What about nutritional profiles of both?

    1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

      Hi there! Both Refined and Virgin Coconut Oil have the same nutritional profile. Both contain 63% medium chain triglycerides, including 50% lauric acid. Thanks!

      1. nick says:

        Does your refined product also include the same phytonutrients as the unrefined or virgin?
        if Not, how far off is it?
        Thanks

        1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

          Both Refined and Virgin Coconut Oil have the same nutritional profile. No matter which coconut oil you prefer, both will contain 63% medium chain triglycerides, including 50% lauric acid. https://kitchen.nutiva.com/virgin-vs-refined-coconut-oil-5-things-you-need-to-know/

  3. Cielo del Carmen says:

    I’m from the Philippines, where you source Nutiva’s coconuts! 🙂 I think it’s great that you help the coconut farmers and their families sustain their livelihood by supporting them! The Philippines is overflowing with it’s natural resources and our coconut is one of them! 🙂 Personally, I prefer your Virgin more than the Refined variant. I use it for EVERYTHING – including my 5-year-old son’s facial moisturizer and my makeup remover! 🙂 Nothing beats it! 🙂 MORE POWER TO NUTIVA!!! And a biiiiiiiiiig THANK YOU from the Philippines! 🙂

    1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

      We’re so glad you love our coconut oil! It’s great to hear from our fans abroad 🙂

  4. Carmen says:

    I use both virgin & refined interchangeably depending if I want the coconut taste or not. I love coconut! And I love Nutiva! I also give my yellow lab, Bo and my King Charles Cavalier, JR a spoonful on top of their dog food. They’ve gotten to expect it and look at me expectantly if I forget!

    1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

      Hi Carmen, thanks for sharing! We’re glad both you and your dogs love our coconut oil!

  5. Joan says:

    I never knew the difference before. Thanks for posting! I dislike the taste and smell of coconut so I don’t cook with it (until now). Only use it when making body butter and cleansers. Refined will be my choice from now on.

    1. Nutiva Team Nutiva says:

      We’re glad this information helped, Joan!

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