Which coconut oil is the best for me?

Which coconut oil is the best for me?

Alike but Non-Identical Oils 

Medella has a variety of coconut oil products. This includes Coconut Cooking Oil (RBD), Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and MCT Oil (MCT). The question is, what’s the difference? Are they not the same?

They are obviously different; they all have different prices! Just kidding, that’s not all. It’s time to answer those questions that have been floating around in your head.

How to tell them apart:

Medella Coconut Cooking Oil (RBD)

Medella’s best-selling Medella Coconut Cooking Oil, also known as RBD oil! RBD stands for refined, bleached and deodorised. Imagine cooking chicken or fish with oil that has a coconut aroma, not everyone can get used to that. Because Medella Coconut Cooking Oil (RBD) has a neutral aroma and taste, it is the best replacement to your regular cooking oil. It is extracted from the copra or coconut kernel (dried or fresh) and undergoes the a physical steam-refining process. Medella Coconut Cooking Oil (RBD) can also be used in skin care or hair care. It has nutritional properties that help moisturise the skin and make your hair silky smooth.

Medella Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Unlike olive oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) are the exact same thing! It is known as the “pure” coconut oil, because it does not undergo any refining processes. VCO is extracted via cold-pressing from fresh coconut kernel. This differs from RBD which uses heat. VCO also has a coconutty taste and aroma. It functions just as well as RBD and can be used for cooking and baking, the only catch is that it adds flavour to your food. If you don’t mind smelling like coconuts, you can also use VCO as a massage oil, skin care or hair care too!

Medella MCT Oil (MCT)

Medella MCT Oil, on the other hand, is made up of 100% medium chain triglycerides concentrate. It is a concentrated version of coconut oil that undergoes the removal of all other compounds; it only contains caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10), which are easily digestible and turned into a quick source of energy. Many people would add MCT Oil into a cup of coffee to make bulletproof coffee. MCT oil has a low smoking point, thus it is not suitable for cooking. However, you can use it as a salad dressing, power drink ingredient or a supplement.

That’s it! Easy peasy. Check out the table below for a shortcut!

RBD Coconut Cooking Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)


Made from

Oil of dried or fresh coconut kernel

Oil of fresh coconut kernel

Fractionation of regular coconut oil

Extraction process

Physical, steam-refining

Cold-pressed (low temperature); Not refined, bleached or deodorized


Neutral taste and aroma

Mild to strong coconut taste and aroma

Neutral taste and aroma, light


Medium chain fatty acids in the form of C8, C10 and C12

Medium chain fatty acids in the form of C8, C10 and C12 

57% caprylic acid (C8) and 43% capric acid (C10)


For cooking and baking, or other skin/hair care

For cooking and baking, or other skin/hair care; massage oil

Act as an additional ingredient or supplement, but NOT for cooking


Binu, S 2021, “Virgin Coconut Oil: Uses, nutrition and health benefits”, Health Library, India Ki Pharmacy, <https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/virgin-coconut-oil-uses-nutrition-and-health-benefits>.

Nagdeve, M 2021, ‘What is Virgin Coconut Oil & what are its benefits’, Organic facts, < https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/virgin-coconut-oil.html>.

Van De Walle, G 2019, ‘What’s the difference between MCT oil and coconut oil?’, Healthline, < https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8>.

Ruscio, M, Phd 2020, MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: Comparing the Benefits and Risks, < https://drruscio.com/mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil/>.

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