Coconut Oil

High Quality Coconut Oil: Understanding Lab Test Result

Measuring the Quality of Refined Coconut Oil 76

How to recognize high quality coconut oil? Check out its test result! Reading coconut oil test result is not dissimilar to reading your blood test result.

Refined Coconut Oil 76

Let’s take cholesterol level for example. Blood test result will indicate not only the patient’s number, but also the reference value. For instance, your total cholesterol is 180 mg/dL. You will know that this is a desirable cholesterol level, thanks to the reference value for normal total cholesterol, which is less than 200 mg/dL.

Just like blood, coconut oil 76 or RBD coconut oil has certain chemical profiles. In this article, we will explain how each of these profiles contributes to the quality of the oil. Each chemical profiles also have their own reference values.

Who Decides on the Reference Values?

The international standards for coconut oil are set mainly by two organizations. They are the Codex Alimentarius and the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC, now International Coconut Community).

The international standards for coconut oil

Codex Alimentarius is Latin for ‘food code,’ published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. On the other hand, ICC is an organisation of coconut producing, mostly Asia-Pacific countries. Indonesia and Philippines are included as members. ICC is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.

International Coconut Community in Jakarta

Both Codex and ICC sometimes stated different reference values for coconut oil. Codex Alimentarius, for instance, decided that peroxide value for coconut oil should be less than 10 meq/kg for refined oils and 15 meq/kg for virgin oils. For ICC standard, it should be less or equal to 3 meq/kg.

Why import coconut oil from Oilcocos.com? Our high quality coconut oil sets us apart. Check out why our oil is special

However, some Companies may impose different requirements. These requirements depend on their own standards and products’ needs. Hence, different reference values may be dictated, just like in our factory. To produce high quality coconut oil, our factory’s quality control requirement is to have less than 1 meq/kg as peroxide reference value.

Measuring High Quality Coconut Oil: How to Test Coconut Oil Chemical Profiles?

There are several organizations which published methods of testing coconut oil. One of them is AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Collaboration) International.

Our high quality coconut oils are tested with international standard methods.

In 2019, AOAC published their 21st edition of Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International (OMA). Their website claimed that AOAC’s Official Methods have been adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Dairy Federation, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Another method-publishing organization is AOCS, or The American Oil Chemists’ Society. In 2017, they published the 7th edition of Official Methods and Recommended Practices of the AOCS. AOCS’ headquarter is in Illinois, USA. See the following picture to get a glimpse of AOCS’ method testing free fatty acid in vegetable oil or animal fats.

Sample of AOCS Official Method. How to check for high quality coconut oil? Learn more from oilcocos.com

How to get Reliable Coconut Oil Test Result?

By now, we have covered the reference value and international testing method. But how to make sure that these methods are executed properly, in order to get reliable result?

For basic assessment, one can request certificate of analysis from coconut oil factories. Oil factories usually have experienced and reliable chemists. The accuracy in their test result is paramount to help improve their oil products. Also, the companies will be questioned is their lab test result differs greatly from test result by other labs.

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If, for some reasons, your Company needs to test the coconut in your own lab, you can simply request samples. Our factory will prepare free sample for you and all you need to do is pick up the sample using your delivery service.

Alternatively, you can commission a third-party lab to do the test for you. Arrange for the coconut oil sample to be sent to another lab. Alternatively, you can request for past third-party lab result that the factory may possess.

Now, how can you be sure of the third-party lab’s credibility? Look for labs with international certification, such as FOSFA International. FOSFA (Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations) granted member analyst status to independent laboratories across the globe. These laboratories must adhere to FOSFA’s Technical Manual, ensuring a more uniformed test results. FOSFA’s Technical Manual combines internationally accepted method of analysis, published by ISO, AOCS, and many more.

So, what are the chemical profiles that need to be tested? We will discuss some of the most famous parameters used in determining high quality coconut oil.

Free Fatty Acid (FFA)

Good quality vegetable oil has low free fatty acid content. High level of FFA cause unpleasant taste to the oil. Moreover, extremely high FFA is human body is associated with multiple illnesses.

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Therefore, ICC set the standard of maximum 0.5% for FFA content in coconut oil. The Philippines Coconut Authority even set a lower standard, 0.2%.

Our standard is even lower (or higher). To produce high quality coconut oil, our factory set the standard of maximum 0.075%. We measure our free fatty acid content using AOCS Ca 5a-40 method. Our factory can achieve a very low FFA content due to a thorough deodorization process. Deodorization is one of the three compulsory processes in creating coconut oil 76 or RBD coconut oil. The ‘D’ in RBD stands for deodorization.

A glimpse into our factory. Contact OilCocos.com to get high quality coconut oil from Indonesia.

When RBD coconut oil or any oil is used in frying, free fatty acids will form. FFA content will increase with the number of oil usage. The reason is because the oil is exposed to water from fried food. Water plus oil in heat cause hydrolysis of oil, producing free fatty acids.

Food frying or processing is not the only action that increases FFA content. Microbial contamination can also cause increase in free fatty acid. Unsterilized treatment or storage could introduce microbes to the oil. These microbes may produce enzyme that cause oil hydrolysis.


You may find two RBD coconut oils with different colours. Not all RBD coconut oil or coconut oil 76 have the exact same colour. Some are brighter, some are darker. To measure coconut oil’s colour, we use Lovibond Tintometer.

Usually, coconut oil’s colour is described in three hues: red, yellow, and blue. Their red and yellow are the most obvious colours. Bright RBD coconut oil will have lower score in their red hues, while darker oils will score higher. See the following picture to illustrate the difference between 0.2 red and 0.5 red.

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Oil colour may indicate the level of refining process. The brighter the coconut oil, the more expensive it is. Colour stability signals consistency in production quality. Bright coconut oil does not interfere with the resulting product’s colouring. Therefore, it perfect for light-coloured product mixture, for instance white soap or white candles.

The level of refinement in our coconut oil is visible from its colouring. Our factory can produce RBD coconut oil with red hue as low as 0.2. And we have samples to prove. So, if you need extra high quality coconut oil, you have come to the right place.

Saponification Value

Saponification value is how much KOH (potassium hydroxide) or NaOH (sodium hydroxide) in milligrams needed to neutralize the fatty acids obtained by complete hydrolysis of one gram oil. For coconut oil, the value ranged from 248 to 265 mg KOH/g oil.

Why import coconut oil from Oilcocos.com? Our high quality coconut oil sets us apart. Check out why our oil is special

Only vegetable oil or animal oil has saponification values. Mineral and synthetic oils (petrochemicals) do not have saponification values. Why is this the case? Mineral or synthetic oils do not undergo saponification process. Hence, adding KOH or NaOH to mineral or synthetic oils will not change its characteristics. Whereas adding KOH or NaOH (both are considered alkaline solutions, by the way) to vegetable or animal oil will result in soap and glycerol.

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Saponification value is important for soap makers. However, soap makers must be careful not to mix up saponification values. The Sodium Saponification Value is different to the Potassium Saponification Value.

One must also consider saponification value carefully when making lubricants. Vegetable oil needs to be saponified to be processed as lubricants. The amount of KOH in the saponified oil, if too much, may interfere with the lubricated machines’ condition.

Iodine Value (IV)

When you are given a set of unknown oil samples, you can guess the oil type from their iodine values. Each oil has its own almost unique, IV range. See the following iodine values from AAK Handbook Vegetable Oils and Fats.

Table from AAK Handbook Vegetable Oils and Fats, sourced from sciencedirect.com

So, what is iodine value? In chemistry, iodine value is the mass of iodine in grams that is consumed by 100 grams of a chemical substance. Basically, the more saturated an oil is, the lower its iodine value. From the table above, we can see that coconut oil has a very low IV. It shows that coconut oil is very saturated. Hence, it is good for soap making. Linseed oil, with an IV of 155 – 205, is great for making oil paints. As the IV suggests, the oil is highly unsaturated.

Peroxide Value

Peroxide value is important in determining whether an oil is spoilt. High peroxide will cause oil to smell rancid. Oxygen exposure may cause peroxide value to increase.

Like FFA, the lower the peroxide value, the better the oil quality. The aforementioned peroxide reference values stated by Codex Alimentarius and ICC are 10 meq/kg and 3 meq/kg maximum, respectively. To manufacture high quality coconut oil, we set our peroxide value standard lower than 1 meq/kg.

Why import coconut oil from Oilcocos.com? Our high quality coconut oil sets us apart. Check out why our oil is special

Nonetheless, compared to other vegetable oil, coconut oil has a relatively low peroxide value. This is caused by the type of fat in coconut oil. Coconut oil is made up of about 90% saturated fatty acid.

So, what is saturated fat has to do with peroxide value? Peroxide is formed when unsaturated fatty acids bind oxygen. Not saturated fatty acid. Therefore, oils with high level of saturated fatty acid is more resistant to peroxide formation or oxidation. Hence, coconut oil is the most oxidatively stable vegetable oil.

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Vegetable oil with high unsaturated fatty acid is more prone to oxidation. For instance, olive oil, which contains roughly 85% of unsaturated fatty acid. This makes olive oil much more prone to oxidation compared to coconut oil.


Of course, there are other testable chemical profiles. Some companies even require microbiological and protein test. Nevertheless, the abovementioned chemical features are some of the basic profiles to determine high quality coconut oil. To get your high quality coconut oil from Indonesia with affordable price, drop us an email at [email protected]. Have a great day!

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