Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil vs Peanut Oil

In the realm of oils with diverse applications, coconut oil and peanut oil stand out for their versatility. According to Industry Research, the global peanut oil market size was valued at USD 15.6 billion in 2022, much larger than coconut oil market size at USD 4.9 billion.

While coconut oil’s tropical aroma and health claims make it a popular choice for cooking and skincare, peanut oil’s nutty flavor and high Vitamin E content also find use in culinary delights and skincare products. Beyond these domains, both oils have found roles as lubricants, in industrial processes, and even as potential biofuel sources. Their unique properties make them indispensable in various industries, prompting an exploration of their distinct characteristics and applications.

Coconut Oil vs Peanut Oil: Chemical Profile & Origin

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. On the other hand, peanut oil is derived from the seeds of Arachnic hypogaea, which is commonly known as peanut. Here are the difference of their fatty acid profile.

Fatty AcidCoconut Oil (%)Peanut Oil (%)
C6 (Caproic acid)~0.5~0.1
C8 (Caprylic acid)~7.0~0.1
C10 (Capric acid)~9.0~0.1
C12 (Lauric acid)~49.0~0.1
C14 (Myristic acid)~16.5~0.1
C16 (Palmitic acid)~8.010 – 14
C18 (Stearic acid)~2.5~0.1
C18:1 (Oleic acid)~5.845 – 53
C18:2 (Linoleic acid)~1.827 – 32
C18:3 (Linolenic acid)~0.2~0.1

Coconut Oil: Rich in Lauric Acid

Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats, containing primarily medium-chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. The oil is well known for its antimicrobial properties.

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Coconut oil has been extensively utilized in tropical regions, especially in Southeast Asia, where the coconut palm is native. Its historical usage dates back to 4,000 BC, when the Indus Valley civilization incorporated coconut oil into their practices. This multipurpose oil held great significance for the ancient Egyptians, who not only used it in cooking but also acknowledged its medicinal properties. Over the centuries, coconut oil has continued to play a vital role in traditional practices in these regions, demonstrating its lasting importance and cultural significance.

Peanut Oil: Similar to Olive Oil?

Peanut oil contains a lot of oleic acid, just like olive oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil. However, the ratio is different. While olive oil is about 70% oleic acid, peanut oil is only about 50%. Oleic acid is also known as omega-9 fatty acid, well known for its heart healthy properties. On the other hand, linoleic acid, is known as omega-6.

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Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, originates from peanuts, from the aforementioned Arachis hypogaea plant. The plant is native to South America, particularly regions in Brazil, Peru, and Paraguay. It is believed that the cultivation of peanuts dates back thousands of years in these regions, with evidence of their use by ancient civilizations. The oil is extracted from the peanuts through either a wet or dry process, and its popularity as a cooking oil spread from South America to various parts of the world, becoming a staple in many cuisines and culinary traditions. Today, peanut oil is widely produced and consumed globally, appreciated for its nutty flavor, high smoke point, and versatile applications in both cooking and industrial uses.

Cooking with Coconut Oil vs Peanut Oil

Coconut Oil’s Smoke Point

Coconut oil’s high smoke point of up to 204⁰C (400⁰F) makes it perfect for a wide range of cooking methods, including sautéing, baking, and deep frying. Refined coconut oil’s stability against oxidative damage allows for reusing it after frying, though not indefinitely.

Coconut Oil’s Cooking Techniques

Refined coconut oil is an incredibly versatile cooking oil, perfectly suited for a wide array of culinary techniques. Thanks to its high smoke point and neutral taste, it effortlessly adapts to both savory and sweet dishes. Let’s explore some popular cooking methods where refined coconut oil truly shines:

  1. Sautéing: Refined coconut oil excels in sautéing vegetables, meat, seafood, and tofu. Its high smoke point ensures a stable and enjoyable cooking experience at medium to high heat without any unpleasant smoke.
  2. Stir-frying: With its remarkable ability to handle high temperatures, refined coconut oil is an excellent choice for stir-frying. It adds a delicate coconut aroma to the dish, elevating the overall flavors harmoniously.
  3. Frying: Whether it’s for crispy tempura, indulgent doughnuts, or delectable desserts, refined coconut oil proves to be a dependable and delightful option for deep frying.

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  1. In baking, you can replace other cooking oils or butter with refined coconut oil. It complements muffins, cakes, cookies, and various baked goods, adding a delightful touch of coconut flavor.
  2. Enhance the flavors of roasted vegetables or meats by coating them with refined coconut oil before cooking. The light coconut essence it imparts to the dish brings a unique twist to the roasting process.
  3. For stovetop popcorn, opt for refined coconut oil as a neutral-tasting alternative. It allows the popcorn’s natural taste to shine while offering a pleasant hint of coconut aroma.
  4. Refined coconut oil is an excellent choice for pan-frying foods like pancakes, fritters, or breaded dishes. With its high smoke point, it ensures even cooking without excessive oil absorption.
  5. In no-bake treat recipes, such as energy bars, granola bars, or raw desserts, refined coconut oil serves as a binding agent, providing a subtle coconut undertone to enhance the overall flavor.

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Coconut Oil’s Shelf Life

Refined coconut oil has a shelf life of 2 years when stored properly. The oil can solidify in cool rooms because it has a melting point of 76 – 78°F (24 – 25°C).

Peanut Oil’s Smoke Point

Peanut oil boasts a relatively high smoke point, typically ranging between 225°C to 232°C (437°F to 450°F). This high smoke point makes it ideal for a variety of cooking methods that involve high heat, such as deep frying, stir-frying, and sautéing. Its ability to withstand these elevated temperatures without breaking down and producing smoke ensures that foods cook evenly and maintain their flavors, making peanut oil a popular choice in many kitchens for achieving delicious and crispy results.

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Does Smoke Point Actually Matter?

The smoke point is just one aspect to consider when using oil for high-temperature cooking. Another crucial factor is the oil’s oxidative stability, which determines its ability to withstand heat without producing harmful compounds. A stable oil undergoes fewer chemical reactions, reducing the formation of unhealthy substances. Therefore, it’s vital to take both the smoke point and oxidative stability into account for safe and healthy cooking, especially at high temperatures.

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Interestingly, an Australian study revealed that seed oils like Peanut Oil, grapeseed, and sunflower oil were the least stable when heated. This is because Peanut Oil mainly consists of unsaturated fatty acids, which are less stable than saturated fatty acids and have fewer antioxidants to combat oxidation.

Peanut Oil’s Cooking Techniques

Taking the study findings into account, it appears that using Peanut Oil for low to medium-heat cooking methods would be a more suitable choice. Additionally, you can enjoy its flavor by drizzling it as a finishing touch on salads and other uncooked dishes, where oxidation is less of a concern. Ultimately, cooking should remain a delightful and flavorful experience, regardless of the oil you select!

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Peanut Oil’s Shelf Life

Refined peanut oil typically has a shelf life of 1 – 2 years when stored properly. However, its shelf life shortens once it is opened and exposed to air. An opened bottle of peanut oil can last for about 6 months to a year when continuously refrigerated.

Health Benefits: Coconut Oil vs Peanut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil’s popularity in health products stems from its impressive benefits. Rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) like lauric acid, it is known for boosting energy levels and supporting weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness and firing up metabolism. MCTs serve as a quick energy source for both the body and brain, easily digested and absorbed.

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Moreover, one of the most fascinating aspects of coconut oil is its potential to produce monolaurin. When lauric acid is digested, it can convert into monolaurin, a potent compound with antimicrobial properties. Monolaurin’s ability to combat harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi makes it a valuable ally in maintaining good health. While enjoying the incredible benefits of coconut oil in health products, it’s essential to appreciate its monolaurin potential and embrace its goodness in our wellness journey. As with any dietary component, moderation is key, as coconut oil contains saturated fats, and ongoing research will help us better understand its full impact on our well-being.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil offers several health benefits due to its unique composition. Rich in monounsaturated fats, including omega-9 fatty acids, it can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the presence of antioxidants such as Vitamin E in peanut oil aids in neutralizing free radicals, potentially lowering oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

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The oil’s balance of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids further contributes to its heart-healthy properties. Its ability to withstand high temperatures during cooking without breaking down into harmful compounds makes it a healthier option for various culinary uses. Including moderate amounts of peanut oil in a balanced diet may contribute to improved heart health and overall well-being. However, as with any oil, it is essential to consume peanut oil in moderation as part of a varied and nutrient-rich diet.

Skincare Uses

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has secured a well-deserved position as a prominent ingredient in skincare products, thanks to its impressive range of benefits. Its natural emollient properties make it highly effective in moisturizing the skin, rendering it a valuable addition to creams, lotions, and balms, particularly for combating dryness and enhancing overall hydration.

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With its abundance of medium-chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid, coconut oil boasts valuable antimicrobial attributes, making it a suitable choice for skincare products designed to target acne and skin infections. Nevertheless, exercising caution is essential, as coconut oil may have a comedogenic effect on certain individuals, potentially leading to pore-clogging. It is advisable to meticulously review product labels and consider individual skin type and sensitivity before incorporating coconut oil-based skincare products into one’s routine to ensure a positive and effective experience.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil finds application as a raw material in various types of industrial skincare products, particularly in formulations where its moisturizing and nourishing properties are highly valued. It is commonly used in creams, lotions, body oils, and balms, thanks to its ability to deeply penetrate the skin and provide effective hydration.

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The presence of Vitamin E, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fatty acids makes peanut oil a preferred ingredient for products designed to soothe and rejuvenate the skin. However, it is crucial to be mindful of potential peanut allergies, and manufacturers should take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their products and provide suitable alternatives for those with allergies. By harnessing the beneficial attributes of peanut oil, the skincare industry can create effective and luxurious products that cater to various skin needs and preferences.

Haircare Benefits: Coconut Oil vs Peanut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a widely used ingredient in haircare products, known for its numerous benefits for hair health. Its rich composition of fatty acids, including lauric acid, makes it an excellent natural conditioner that deeply nourishes and moisturizes the hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and manageable.

Coconut oil’s ability to penetrate the hair shaft helps repair damaged hair, reduce protein loss, and strengthen the hair strands from within. Additionally, its antimicrobial properties may aid in promoting a healthy scalp by combating dandruff and fungal infections. From shampoos and conditioners to hair masks and serums, coconut oil plays a significant role in enhancing hair vitality and overall hair care. However, as with any hair product, individual hair type and sensitivity should be considered when incorporating coconut oil-based haircare products into one’s routine to achieve the best results.

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Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is increasingly becoming a sought-after ingredient in haircare products due to its numerous benefits for hair health. Rich in essential fatty acids, particularly omega-6 and omega-9, it serves as a potent moisturizer that deeply nourishes and conditions the hair, promoting softness and shine. The presence of these fatty acids also aids in improving hair elasticity, reducing breakage, and enhancing overall hair strength.

Moreover, peanut oil’s lightweight texture makes it easily absorbed into the hair, providing a non-greasy feel and leaving the hair with a smooth and lustrous appearance. From hair serums and leave-in treatments to hair masks and conditioners, peanut oil’s natural properties make it a valuable addition to haircare products designed to revitalize and maintain healthy hair. As with any hair product, individual hair type and sensitivity should be considered when incorporating peanut oil-based haircare products into one’s routine to maximize its benefits.

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has attracted significant interest as a potential biofuel source. Being renewable and biodegradable, it presents an eco-friendly alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Through transesterification, where the oil is converted into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), coconut oil can be used to produce biodiesel with favorable combustion properties. It can be blended with petrodiesel or used independently in diesel engines.

However, challenges remain, including sustainable sourcing, competition with other coconut oil industries, and addressing land use concerns. Ongoing research and development efforts aim to optimize coconut oil’s biofuel production, contributing to cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions.

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Peanut Oil

Peanut oil was the first vegetable oil to be used for compression ignition engine, marking it important contribution in biofuel industry. While both oils have been explored as potential feedstocks for biodiesel production, coconut oil’s abundance in tropical regions, its renewable and biodegradable properties, and its ease of conversion into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) through transesterification have made it a more favored choice.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the popularity and utilization of biofuels and their feedstocks may have evolved since then. Ongoing research and development efforts could have shed new light on the potential of peanut oil as a biofuel source, and market dynamics may have influenced the choice of feedstocks in the biofuel industry. For the most current and accurate information, it is recommended to refer to more recent industry reports and research to determine the current status of peanut oil and coconut oil in the biofuel sector.

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Allergy: Coconut Oil vs Peanut Oil

Coconut oil is generally considered safe for individuals with peanut allergies, as it does not contain the proteins that trigger allergic reactions. On the other hand, peanut oil, especially unrefined versions, may still contain trace amounts of peanut proteins, which can be problematic for those with peanut allergies. Nonetheless, refined peanut oil undergoes a thorough purification process, which typically removes most, if not all, of the allergenic proteins.

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As a result, refined peanut oil is considered allergen-free and is generally safe for consumption by individuals with peanut allergies. Nevertheless, it is crucial for individuals with peanut allergies to read product labels and consult with healthcare professionals if uncertain about using any peanut-derived products to avoid potential allergic reactions.


In conclusion, both coconut oil and peanut oil have their unique characteristics and applications. Coconut oil’s tropical aroma, health claims, and versatility make it popular for cooking, skincare, and even biofuel production. On the other hand, peanut oil’s nutty flavor, high Vitamin E content, and stability in high-temperature cooking make it a preferred choice in various cuisines and industrial processes.

While coconut oil is generally safe for those with peanut allergies, caution should be exercised with unrefined peanut oil, as it may contain allergenic proteins. Refined peanut oil, however, is considered allergen-free and a viable option for individuals with peanut allergies. Ultimately, both oils offer valuable benefits, and the choice between them depends on individual preferences, dietary needs, and intended applications.

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