Learn How Coconut Oil Is Extracted (VCO and RBD Coconut Oil)

Learn How Coconut Oil Is Extracted (VCO and RBD Coconut Oil)

Coconut oil is derived from the fruit of the coconut palm and is widely used in cooking, cosmetics, and medicine. There are two main types of coconut oil: Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) Coconut Oil. Each type has its own extraction process and unique qualities, catering to different uses and preferences.

In this article, we will discuss how coconut oil is extracted especially for VCO and RBD types of coconut oil. Let’s explore it further!

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) Extraction

Virgin Coconut Oil is known for its purity, nutritional value, and coconut aroma. The extraction methods for VCO aim to preserve these qualities while focusing on minimal processing. Here are further explanations of how virgin coconut oil is extracted:

1. Cold Pressed Method

Cold pressing is the most popular method for extracting VCO. It involves minimal heat to retain the oil’s natural compounds.


  • Only fresh, mature coconuts are selected for the process.
  • The outer husk and hard shell are removed.
  • The coconut meat is then grated into fine particles.
  • The grated coconut is pressed using a mechanical press. This process extracts the coconut milk without the application of heat.
  • The coconut milk is left to ferment for about 24-48 hours or subjected to a centrifuge. Fermentation naturally separates the oil from water and solids. In centrifugation, rapid spinning helps separate the components.
  • The oil is filtered to remove any remaining particles, resulting in pure VCO.

2. Wet Milling Method

Wet milling involves the extraction of oil directly from fresh coconut milk without drying the coconut meat.


  • Fresh coconut meat is grated and mixed with water to produce coconut milk.
  • The coconut milk is then extracted through pressing.
  • The coconut milk is then heated to break down the protein structure that holds the oil or allowed to ferment.
  • The oil rises to the top and is skimmed off or separated using a centrifuge.
  • The oil is filtered to ensure purity.

Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) Coconut Oil Extraction

RBD Coconut Oil is extracted from dried coconut meat known as copra. This oil undergoes refining to remove impurities, color, and odor, making it suitable for cooking and industrial use.

RBD coconut oil is extracted using the dry processing method, which involves several stages to transform dried coconut meat, known as copra, into a refined product.


  • Mature coconuts are split and the meat is dried using sunlight, smoke drying, or kiln drying.
  • The dried copra is then pressed or solvent extracted to obtain crude coconut oil.
  • The crude oil undergoes refining to remove impurities which several phase such as:
  1. Degumming: Water or acid is added to remove gums.
  2. Neutralizing: The oil is treated with an alkaline solution to remove free fatty acids.
  3. Bleaching: Activated clay or carbon is used to remove color pigments.
  4. Deodorizing: Steam is used to remove volatile compounds, eliminating odors.
  • In the end, the oil is filtered to ensure clarity and purity.
Snippet Banner RBD Coconut Oil

RBD Coconut Oil

  • RBD Coconut Oil has a high smoke point
  • Can withstand higher temperatures without burning or producing harmful compounds
  • Enable to achieve delightful textures and flavors in your dishes

Comparison Between VCO and RBD Coconut Oil

When comparing Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) Coconut Oil, one of the most significant distinctions lies in their extraction processes.

The methods used to extract these oils not only define their physical and chemical characteristics but also influence their nutritional value, flavor, and potential applications.

Here are several differences between VCO and RBD Coconut Oil:

Aspect Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) RBD Coconut Oil
Source Fresh coconut meat Dried coconut meat (copra)
Extraction Process Cold pressing, wet milling Dry processing and refining
Aroma and Flavor Distinct coconut aroma and flavor Neutral, no coconut aroma
Nutritional Value Higher due to minimal processing Lower due to extensive refining
Uses Dietary supplement, cooking, cosmetics Cooking, industrial applications
Shelf Life Shorter due to lack of preservatives Longer due to refined nature


Have You Understand How Coconut Oil is Extracted?

Both Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) Coconut Oil offer immense benefits across various industries, from culinary and cosmetics to industrial applications.

Their ability to withstand long and far shipments ensures they remain fresh and effective for diverse uses worldwide. If you are looking to purchase these high-quality coconut oils in bulk, consider Sari Coconut, the premier certified supplier of coconut derivative products from Indonesia.

Renowned for their exceptional quality, Sari Coconut’s products have been rigorously certified, guaranteeing you receive the best coconut oil available. For more information on coconut derivatives and to secure top-tier products, make sure to contact Sari Coconut!

Snippet Banner Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil

  • Virgin Coconut Oil has a fresh, delicious tropical coconut scent and flavor
  • It can be used for cosmetics, ayurvedic, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical applications, and healthy food


What is the main difference between VCO and RBD coconut oil?

The main difference lies in their extraction processes and resultant qualities. VCO is extracted from fresh coconut meat through minimal processing, preserving its natural nutrients, aroma, and flavor. RBD coconut oil, on the other hand, is extracted from dried copra and undergoes extensive refining to remove impurities, resulting in a neutral, odorless oil.

Which type of coconut oil is better for cooking?

Both types can be used for cooking, but they serve different purposes. VCO is ideal for low-heat cooking, salad dressings, and adding a coconut flavor to dishes. RBD coconut oil, with its higher smoke point and neutral taste, is better suited for high-heat cooking and frying.

Can VCO be used for skincare?

Yes, VCO is excellent for skincare due to its natural antioxidants, antibacterial properties, and moisturizing effects. It’s often used in homemade skincare recipes and commercial cosmetic products.

Is RBD coconut oil less healthy than VCO?

RBD coconut oil is not necessarily less healthy, but it does have fewer nutrients and antioxidants compared to VCO due to the refining process. However, it still contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are beneficial for health.

How is coconut oil extracted?

Coconut oil is extracted through two main methods: for Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), fresh coconut meat is used, employing processes like cold pressing or wet milling to retain its natural nutrients, aroma, and flavor. For Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD) Coconut Oil, dried coconut meat (copra) is used. The copra is pressed or solvent-extracted to obtain crude oil, which is then refined, bleached, and deodorized to remove impurities.

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