Crede Organic Coconut Oil (Odourless) 500ml & 1ltr
Refined coconut oil is pressed from dried coconut meat (copra) and is almost always refined before human consumption. During the process of refining, much of the original coconut taste is removed, along with some of the micronutrients. Because copra is a cheaper raw material, refined coconut oil is also typically a lot less expensive than virgin coconut oil.
Coconut oil is rich in saturated fatty acids, especially lauric acid (about 50%) and myristic acid (about 20%). These fatty acids are so-called ‘medium-chain triglycerides’ (MCTs) because they are shorter molecules than the saturated fats commonly found in vegetable oils and animal fats (e.g. palmitic and stearic acid). This also explains why coconut oil has a far better health profile than its high content of saturated fats would suggest.
Coconut oil is primarily a great cooking oil because of its stability at high temperatures. When oils are heated, they begin processes of oxidation and polymerisation that can lead to harmful by-products such as aldehydes.
The advantage of coconut oil is that it consists mostly of (healthy) saturated fats, which are more stable at high temperatures than mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. This makes frying with coconut oil a safer option. (This primer on the chemistry of frying oils explains in more detail the changes oils undergo when frying and why using saturated fats is preferrable when frying.)