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Coconut oil question

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 04, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Does your coconut oil stay liquid? Or does it solidify? I ordered some from Tropical Traditions and got the really good gold label stuff. One of the containers leaked a bit and I contacted them, but they said it would be fine. Now it has "flakes" floating in it. Is it bad? Or is it just solidifying a little? All the other coconut oils I've seen have been solid so I'm confused. The other non-leaking containers are totally liquid.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 11, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Are we all from Western Washington?

84c1b9e79af530d5bd93e088f226c9a4

(95)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:49 PM

well it's similar to water, it's melting point is 32F but it doesn't instantly turn to liquid when the temp goes above 32. It takes a while for it to all liquify/solidify :) In my big 32oz jar, it melts at the top and round the edges, or it'll melt on the side closest to the stove but still be solid on the far side of the jar. :) It's always fun to watch where it's solid and where it's liquid.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 04, 2012
at 05:47 PM

It is a mixture of triglycerides, so it makes sense that some melt at lower temperatures than others, so you end up with a semi-solid melting range.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 04, 2012
at 05:46 PM

It's a broad melting point, saying that it goes completely from solid to liquid at 76F isn't true, in my experience.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 04, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I wouldn't call coconut oil's melting point sharp. Mine has a rather broad 5-8 degree semi-solid melting point range.

F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

(1439)

on July 04, 2012
at 03:50 AM

Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees F. At exactly 76 degrees F it will be a bit flaky. It is a very sharp dividing line between solid and liquid. You are experiencing no problem whatsoever.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 04, 2012
at 03:45 AM

Yes, tropical traditions! And specifically I live in Poulsbo!

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:57 AM

relax, it's fine.

712c1d3724f9b6ebfc0eb9b64a803692

(158)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:27 AM

TT=Tropical Traditions as referred to in the original post, I believe. (Another shout out from Seattle here also!)

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Yep, me too. Some days it's liquid and some days it's not. LOL, it could replace mercury in a thermometer.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Karin what/where is TT? Maybe you meant TJ (Trader Joes). I ask because I too am in Seattle!

8dbe73235f73c615f20d3d0f34b4852a

(1365)

on July 04, 2012
at 01:37 AM

First person actually to state the melting point... kudos :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:39 AM

I thought you were talking like a pirate :).

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:26 AM

Wow...iPad glitch! I meant *it stays hard* and *skim the bits*

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8 Answers

7
84c1b9e79af530d5bd93e088f226c9a4

on July 04, 2012
at 12:55 AM

The melting point of coconut oil is 76 degrees F. So depending on the temperature of your home or where it's stored, it will be either solid, liquid, or a combination, like in my house where we keep the temperature at 78. One challenge when baking with coconut oil is that if you add it as an oil to a cold liquid, it almost instantly solidifies in to chunks! The first time I tried to make pancakes with it and added it to the cold milk I was totally stymied and had these chunks that did not mix well!

Even if you have it slightly solid and want to use it to cook, just add a glob and it will melt and work just the same as when it's liquid!

Good luck :)

8dbe73235f73c615f20d3d0f34b4852a

(1365)

on July 04, 2012
at 01:37 AM

First person actually to state the melting point... kudos :)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 04, 2012
at 05:46 PM

It's a broad melting point, saying that it goes completely from solid to liquid at 76F isn't true, in my experience.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 04, 2012
at 05:47 PM

It is a mixture of triglycerides, so it makes sense that some melt at lower temperatures than others, so you end up with a semi-solid melting range.

84c1b9e79af530d5bd93e088f226c9a4

(95)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:49 PM

well it's similar to water, it's melting point is 32F but it doesn't instantly turn to liquid when the temp goes above 32. It takes a while for it to all liquify/solidify :) In my big 32oz jar, it melts at the top and round the edges, or it'll melt on the side closest to the stove but still be solid on the far side of the jar. :) It's always fun to watch where it's solid and where it's liquid.

3
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:24 AM

First off, if you live in a very warm climate, yes, it will be liquid...I live in Seattle and even in "summer" (and I use the term loosely) it is hardi souls sim the flakes off and see if they're just oil bits. I buy all my oil from TT and they've always been great. If you're not convinced that it's just coconut solidifying I'd be sure to call them back but I'm guessing that's what it is. Maybe put it in the fridge and see if it all hardens the asme.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:39 AM

I thought you were talking like a pirate :).

712c1d3724f9b6ebfc0eb9b64a803692

(158)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:27 AM

TT=Tropical Traditions as referred to in the original post, I believe. (Another shout out from Seattle here also!)

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:26 AM

Wow...iPad glitch! I meant *it stays hard* and *skim the bits*

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Karin what/where is TT? Maybe you meant TJ (Trader Joes). I ask because I too am in Seattle!

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 04, 2012
at 03:45 AM

Yes, tropical traditions! And specifically I live in Poulsbo!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 11, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Are we all from Western Washington?

2
46bee6b93ee79082ea1094f26c2da5a4

(837)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:28 AM

It's liquid in warmer temperatures and solid in cold. Both are normal. I wouldn't keep a leaky container though, sounds damaged to me.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 04, 2012
at 04:09 PM

It's fine. As long as it's either clear liquid or solid white, no worries. If you're not sure, put the jar in warm water (say 80F or higher) for a few hours depending on the size of the jar, should be very nice and clear, maybe slightly yellow when melted.

If you see weird colors in it, say black streaks, it's gone bad, and throw the whole thing out.

1
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:47 AM

It literally changes day to day here. If we turn down the air conditioning or it gets really hot, the coconut oil is liquid. I usually stick it in the fridge and it's fine. After a few melts and freezes, it does become a bit flake and more of a coarse texture, but that's normal.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 04, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Yep, me too. Some days it's liquid and some days it's not. LOL, it could replace mercury in a thermometer.

1
81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on July 04, 2012
at 12:26 AM

Mine is rock hard at room temp (it's winter here), but it doesn't take much heat for it to turn to liquid.

0
F3821726572393eba1962bf4f4ea2096

(0)

on August 31, 2013
at 03:56 AM

The melting point of coconut oil is generally quoted as being 76 degrees F (24 C). If the temperature is above 76 degrees, the oil will be liquid. If the temperature is below 76 degrees, it will become solid. This is really a generalization.

The melting point of coconut and other oils is determined by the fatty acid content.

The triglycerides in coconut oil consist of a mixture of 10 different fatty acids. Each fatty acid has its own melting point. Saturated fatty acids have a higher melting point than monounsaturated fatty acids, and monounsaturated fatty acids have a higher melting point than polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is why animal fat, which is highly saturated, is solid at room temperatures and why olive oil (monounsaturated fat) and corn oil (polyunsaturated fat) are liquid at the same temperature. When you put olive oil in the refrigerator, however, it will become solid, but corn oil will remain liquid.

In addition to degree of saturation, size of the fatty acid also influences the melting point. Fatty acids are composed predominately of a chain of carbon atoms. The longer the carbon chain, the larger the fatty acid and the higher the melting point. Consequently, long chain fatty acids have a higher melting point than medium or short chain fatty acids.

Therefore, each of the 10 fatty acids in coconut oil have their own unique melting points. To cloud the picture even more, triglycerides can be composed of any combination of three of the 10 fatty acids and each combination (or each triglyceride) will have a unique melting point.

Because of the various melting points of the different fatty acids and triglycerides, oils normally do not have a sharp or precise melting point. Unlike ice that melts at exactly 32 degrees F, oils change from a solid to a liquid over a range of temperatures. For this reason, the melting point is determined by the temperature at which only 3-5 percent of solids are present. Because coconut oil is composed predominately of medium chain fatty acids (60+%) which have similar melting points, the melting point of coconut oil is more precise than with other dietary oils. While 76 degrees F is given as the “official” melting point, in reality portions of the oil begin to melt (or freeze) a few degrees lower or higher than this.

Therefore, some of the oil may become solid or start to crystallize at 78 degrees and some at 72 degrees. If the change in temperature is rapid the melting point appears to be more precise. If the change in temperature is slow, you will have for a time an oil with both liquid and solid components.

Many homes maintain a constant temperature of around 72-76 degrees. This is precisely the range in which components of coconut oil begin to melt as well as freeze. When liquid coconut oil is stored in such an environment the transformation from liquid to solid is very slow. This allows portions of the oil that have the highest melting point to solidify first. If the change in temperature is very gradual it allows grains or crystals to develop. These are the grains or hard chunks you may find in the coconut oil.

There is nothing wrong with the oil. It is still as healthy as ever, although it does not have a smooth texture. If you prefer the smooth texture, there is an easy fix. Simply heat the oil until it is completely melted, then put it into the refrigerator to quickly harden. This will prevent crystals from forming. You can then store the oil in your cupboard. As long as the oil remains solid (temperatures below about 72 degrees) the oil will remain smooth.

If, however, you allow your kitchen, or wherever you store the oil, to get hot and the oil melts, when it recrystallizes it may develop lumps again. Simply repeat the melting-freezing process.

http://www.naturepacific.com/contents/en-us/d169_why-virgin-coconut-oil-crystallizes.html

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on July 04, 2012
at 06:11 PM

I'm always suspect of any container that's damaged. You also don't know if anything got into your container. I say get it replaced.

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