Coconut oil available in market is of two types, virgin and refined. Virgin coconut oil is obtained directly from fresh (not dried) coconut meat. It is unprocessed and has goodness of fresh coconuts. The process used for oil extraction is mechanical or natural that does not use high heat or solvents. Virgin coconut oil is suitable for internal and external use.
Refined Coconut oil is obtained from coconut meats which are dried using different processes such as sun, heat etc. This dried coconut is known as copra. The drying process makes coconut meat unhygienic, contaminated and requires purification. Refined oil is bleached in order to make extracted oil white again. This oil is also deodorized to remove smell which is obtained during process. Refined oil thus obtained is known as RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized) coconut oil. In this whole process of refining, bleaching and deodorizing chemical solvents and high temperatures are used. For increasing shelf life of oil generally sodium hydroxide is added. This oil is hydrogenated and is inferior to virgin oil. Around ninety percent coconut oil available in market is RBD coconut oil.
Since both type of oil considerably differ in qualities therefore it is necessary to check for the type of coconut oil while purchasing to get right product.