Fractionated Coconut Oil – Uses, Preparation & Composition

by Kiran Patil last updated -

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Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of coconut oil where the other fatty acids are separated from the oil for different uses. 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.

Human nature is such that it is never satisfied or contented. 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 – “Fractionated Coconut Oil”.

What is Fractionated Coconut Oil?

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 (MCTs) and making it an absolutely saturated oil. This saturation gives it a very long shelf life and greatly increased stability.

In addition, fractionating raises the comparative concentration of capric acid (C8) and caprylic acid (C10), thus giving it more of antioxidant and disinfecting effect.

Two bottles of coconut oil, a small bowl of coconut oil, and half coconut on a wooden table

Preparation of Fractionated Coconut Oil

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 of Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is predominantly composed of two main medium-chain fatty acids (MUFAs). They are

  • Capric or octanoic acid
  • Caprylic or decanoic acid

Uses of Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil comes in three different forms for three different uses. Being thin and stable, it has plenty of uses which can be broadly categorized in the following applications.

Cosmetics and Aromatherapy

Fractionated coconut oil is widely used in the preparation of soaps, lotions, ointments, and other cosmeticsIt is used as a carrier oil since it facilitates the absorption of other oils and herbal extracts. It is also used in a number of hair care applications.

Medicines

Well-known as MCT oil, it is used due to its antiseptic and disinfectant properties and is used as a common dietary supplement. It is also used in weight loss and regulating cholesterol levels.

Culinary Usage

Found in the form of liquid coconut oil, it is edible and is used in cooking, as it does not go rancid easily.

Uses of Fractionated coconut oil - infographic

Cost

Since fractionated oil involves a lot more processing (such as hydrolysis and steam distillation) than ordinary coconut oil, it is 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.

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About the Author

Kiran Patil is the founder of Organic Facts. He has a keen interest in health, nutrition, and organic living. He completed his B.Tech and M. Tech (Chemical Engineering) from IIT Bombay and has been actively writing about health and nutrition since over past 12 years. When not working he likes to trek and do gardening.

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