Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of coconut oil. We know that coconut oil is good for health and there are a few other things we know very well about coconut oil. It is predominantly composed of saturated fatty acids, and it is rich in medium-chain fatty acids. Being rich in saturated fatty acids, it is highly stable, but human nature is such that it is never satisfied or contended. It is always looking for more. Therefore, we started looking for a more stable form of oil which would be more beneficial for health as well, in addition to having a very long shelf life and all the qualities of coconut oil. The outcome was this – “Fractionated Coconut Oil”.
Description: As the name implies, Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil. This saturation gives it a very, very long shelf life and greatly increased stability. In addition, fractionating raises the comparative concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid, thus giving it more of antioxidant and disinfecting effect.
Preparation: For this, hydrolysis of coconut oil is first carried out. Then, the product is passed through steam distillation to obtain the fractionated coconut oil. The result is a thin oil full of medium-chain triglycerides.
Composition: Fractionated coconut oil is predominantly composed of Capric and Caprylic acids.
Uses: Being thin and stable, it has plenty of uses which can be broadly categorized in the following applications.
Cosmetics: It is widely used in the preparation of soaps, lotions, ointments and other cosmetics.
Aromatherapy: It is used as a carrier oil, since it facilitates the absorption of other oils and herbal extracts.
Medicines: It is used due to its antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
Hair Care: It is also used in a number of hair care applications.
Culinary Usage: It is used in cooking, as it does not go rancid easily and is very stable.
Cost: Obviously, since it involves a lot more processing (such as hydrolysis and steam distillation) that ordinary coconut oil, it is going to be slightly more expensive. However, the additional cost does have its own benefits and justifications. Keeping in mind it’s extremely long shelf life, stability, and rancidity-resistant properties, it is well worth the price you pay.
Sources of Information:
Reports of Coconut Development Board of India,
Reports of KERAFED.
Text books from various courses on agriculture.
Various other reports on internet.