Many people ask me what is Fractionated Coconut Oil and how is it different from virgin coconut oil? Well my friends, the answer is quite simple.
As the name might suggest, fractionated coconut oil is a “fraction of” whole or virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil, like you can buy in the supermarket or health food shop, contains both the long chain triglycerides and the medium chain saturated fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil, being mostly comprised of the medium chain saturated fatty acids is a very stable oil but because of the bigger, long-chain triglycerides, it does go solid in temperatures less than about 25 degrees celsius. It also has a wonderful coconut aroma and flavour but this can also be quite overpowering.
So, by a method of hydrolysis and distillation, the long chain fatty acids (Luric acid) are removed, leaving only a thin fluid of medium chain fatty acids (Capric and Caprylic acids). Fractionated Coconut oil is then completely saturated resulting in a very, very long shelf life, rancidity-resistant, higher antioxidant and disinfecting effect. It is also odourless so it great for mixing with essential oils and doesn’t overpower or even contribute to the smell you are trying to achieve. It is a very light oil that doesn’t leave a greasy feeling on your skin and is great for sensitive skin. It’s these attributes that make it a popular oil in many cosmetics, medicines, hair care products and of course in aromatherapy.
The difference between “virgin coconut oil” and “extra virgin coconut oil”?….NOTHING. There is no difference as there is in the olive oil market and so when it comes to coconut oil, “extra virgin” is simply a marketing slogan and nothing else.
So just to summarise:
- Fractionated just means some of the oils components have been removed (a fraction of..)
- Big, heavy fatty globs (Luric acid) that go hard in room temperature are removed
- Only medium-chain fatty acids are left leaving a fully saturated oil
- Very stable oil with a really long shelf life
- Great for use on your skin in massage or beauty products as it is very light and not greasy
- No odour so blends beautifully with essential oils
- Always liquid!