Fractionated Coconut Oil Uses

by Timothy Blalock

About Timothy Blalock

Based in Boston, Dr. Timothy Blalock was a senior scientist and regulatory writer at pharmaceutical companies where he developed preclinical research models, authored manuscripts and wrote grants/regulatory documents. He has produced many published scientific articles and is a member of the American Medical Writers Association. Blalock holds a Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of Florida.

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Coconut oil is isolated from mature coconuts and is widely used in food, medicine and manufacturing. Fractionated coconut oil, a specialized form of the oil, has several advantages over the traditional oil. It is more stable and has more specialized uses in certain diets and medicines. Even though it may be more useful, fractionated coconut oil has a couple of disadvantages.

Composition

Coconut oil is produced from the mashed meat of mature coconuts and is purified to remove free fatty acids that cause the oil to go rancid more quickly. The quality and efficacy of the oil is dependent on the quality of the coconut and the manufacturing process. Coconut oil is very stable to light and heat due to the high amount of saturated fatty acids. Fractionated coconut oil is further purified to remove longer-chain fatty acids to obtain a product that consists mostly of fatty acids that contain 8 or 10 carbon fatty acids.

Advantages

Fractionated coconut oil has many advantages over traditional coconut oil since it is highly purified. It primarily contains the fatty acids capric and caprylic acid. Since the majority of the impurities are removed, it is much more stable and has a longer shelf life. It is more useful in cooking since it will have a purer taste with absence of impurities. In addition, the oil is a better choice for use in health products.

Uses

Fractionated coconut oil is widely used in health products, lotions, hair care products and soaps. It is readily absorbed by the skin and doesn't leave a greasy feeling. Since it is thinner than unrefined coconut oil, it is an excellent oil for use in massage. It is also very useful as a carrier oil in aromatherapy products. In addition, it is practically odorless and tasteless and can withstand very high heat, so is ideal for use in cooking.

Disadvantages

Since fractionated coconut oil takes more processing and specialized equipment, it is more expensive than traditional coconut oil. Even though the refining process creates a more stable and useful product for many applications, it further concentrates the saturated fat content. Because of this, its use in cooking should be limited as much as possible. According to Cherrybond.com, some people may experience a heightened allergy to fractionated coconut oil; before you use it all over your skin, test a small amount on yourself in an inconspicuous area, such as the inside of your elbow, to test for reactions.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.