Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil

A friend recently asked me …

“What is the difference between unrefined coconut oil and refined coconut oil?”

Here’s my quick answer, the notable differences:

Unrefined coconut oil …

  • is marked as one -or combination- of these words:
    • “unrefined”
    • and/or “raw”
  • is made from fresh coconut meat
  • has coconut flavor and aroma
  • has lower smoke point than refined coconut oil
  • some are made without heat (i.e. cold-pressed, virgin)
  • ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’ terms do not have standard use, mostly is used to convey that there the processing is free of heat and chemicals

Refined coconut oil …

  • is marked:
    • “refined”
    • and/or “expeller pressed”
  • is made from dried coconut meat
  • has virtually no flavor
  • has higher smoke point
  • is processed to deodorize -remove the flavor and aromas- usually by heat
  • is bleached to remove unwanted microbes


  • both melt at the same temp, about 76°
  • both have about 90% saturated fat
  • both have similar nutritional value


Here’s more detail from eHow ……..

Refined Vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil


Here’s more detail from a supplier ……..

How is Coconut Oil produced?

FYI – I will comment more on the above points another time.



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