Is fractionated coconut oil flammable?

In this blog post, we will answer the question, “is fractionated coconut oil flammable?”. We will also discuss what fractionated coconut oil is, how it differs from the regular coconut oil, the fractionated coconut oil smoke and flash point, and will it combusts spontaneously.

Is fractionated coconut oil flammable?

No. Fractionated coconut oil is non-flammable. The flash point of typical fractionated coconut oil is above 200oC. 

This flash point is high enough that makes fractionated coconut oil categorized as a non-flammable liquid.

What is fractionated coconut oil? 

Fractionated coconut oil is the ordinary coconut oil that has been reduced to its constituent parts.

Unlike coconut oil which has a distinct flavor and smell, this one is virtually odorless and tasteless.

At room temperature, it is a liquid. Refining eliminates contaminants that might lead to rancidity in the long run.

MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), the fatty acids with 6-12 carbons, may be found in both fractionated and unfractionated coconut oils.

However, the fatty acid makeup of these two foods is substantially different.

While the 12-carbon lauric acid is the primary fatty acid in regular coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil has depleted most of this fatty acid.

The long-chain fatty acids in the original coconut oil have also been eliminated.

Fractionated coconut oil include the following fatty acids:

  • Capric acid or decanoic acid (C10).
  • Caprylic or octanoic acid (C8)

There are distinct metabolic differences between MCFAs and other fats.

They are delivered immediately from the digestive system in the liver, where they may be used as a rapid energy source. As ketone bodies, they may have therapeutic benefits for people with epilepsy.

What is the smoke point of fractionated coconut oil?

Fractionated coconut oil has a smoke point of 160-177°C, slightly lower than the regular one. 

This means that if a fractionated coconut oil is heated to that temperature, smoke will start to be produced continuously.

Elimination of long-chained fatty acids by fractionation makes it easier to heat up the fractionated oil.  

Therefore, fractionated coconut oil is not recommended for frying since it burns quickly.

How is fractionated coconut oil made?

Fractionation is the method used to create fractionated coconut oil.

Fractionation is performed to distinguish the kinds of fats naturally occurring in some oils. New items for the consumer market frequently use this technique.

Fractionation is feasible because different fats have different melting points.

For example, caprylic or capric acid has lower melting points than lauric acid and long-chain fatty acids Consequently, they will solidify later when cooled.

By heating coconut oil over its melting point, fractionation can be achieved. After cooling, the solid fat is removed from the liquid and stored for later use.

Fractionation takes a long time to complete.

How fractionated coconut oil differs from regular coconut oil?

For the most part, regular coconut oil includes long-chain triglycerides, but fractionated coconut oil does not, which is why it is more expensive. 

Hydrolysis and distillation are also used to extract long-chain triglycerides from fractionated coconut oil. 

Fatty coconut oil has a longer shelf life than unsaturated oil because of its saturated nature; regular coconut oil, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life. 

Additionally, fractionated coconut oil is better suited to high-heat applications than solid coconut oil and is more straightforward to deal with than solid coconut oil. 

Because of its long shelf life, it doesn’t need any particular storage or handling precautions beyond keeping it cold and dry.

Here are some parameters that distinguish fractionated coconut oil from the regular one.

Definition

Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil with eliminated or reduced long-chained fatty acids. Regular coconut oil is the whole coconut oil, which has various fatty acids. Fractionated and regular coconut oils are fundamentally different.

While regular coconut oil is a natural product, fractionated is artificial.

Origin

Regular coconut oil is generated from freshly harvested coconut flesh, whereas fractionated coconut oil is manufactured from dried coconut flesh.

Processing

Regular coconut oil is an unprocessed form of coconut oil, while fractionated coconut oil is a refined form of coconut oil.

Components

Coconut oil both fractionated and regular have different constituents. 

Regular coconut oil includes: 

  • lauric acid (42%)
  • linoleic acid (2%)
  • oleic acid (6%)
  • arachidic acid (0-0.5%)
  • stearic acid (3%)
  • caproic acid (0.5%)
  • palmitic acid (9%)
  • myristic acid (17%)
  • capric acid (6%)
  • caprylic acid (7%).

On the other hand, fractionated coconut oil includes:

  • Capric acid or decanoic acid
  • Caprylic or octanoic acid

Appearance 

Fractionated and regular coconut oils differ significantly in terms of their physical properties. At room temperature, regular coconut oil is solid, while fractionated coconut oil is a liquid.

Fractionated coconut oil is odorless, while the regular one has a coconut fragrance. 

Melting Point

Regular coconut oil’s melting point of 24°C. On the other hand, the fractionated one has a melting point of -10 to -4°C.

Shelf life

Fractionated coconut oil has a shelf life of five years, while regular coconut oil of two years.

Health effect

Fractionated coconut oil is free of long-chain triglycerides, making it healthier than regular coconut oil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is fractionated coconut oil flammable

What is the flash point of fractionated coconut oil?

The flash point of typical fractionated coconut oil is above 200oC. 

This flash point is high enough to make fractionated coconut oil a non-flammable liquid.

Can fractionated coconut oil spontaneously combust?

When heated to its auto-ignition temperature, generally 300oC, fractionated coconut oil can ignite without external fire.

As long as everything works correctly. When you open a bottle of fractionated coconut oil, it doesn’t just explode. However, it will if the oil is dried with a cloth.

This procedure potentially might set the oil on fire and whatever container it’s in if it’s not well ventilated.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed that fractionated coconut oil is not flammable because it has a high flash point. 

Fractionated coconut oil has lost its long-chained fatty acids, making it have a lower smoke point than the regular type. 

When heated to its auto-ignition temperature, generally 300oC, fractionated coconut oil can ignite without external fire, however, it should be under specific circumstances.

Comment down below if you have more questions about fractionated coconut oil flammability.

References

Dayrit, F.M. The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil. J Am Oil Chem Soc 92, 1–15 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11746-014-2562-7

Kimberly M. Hargrave, Michael J. Azain, Jess L. Miner,

Dietary coconut oil increases conjugated linoleic acid-induced body fat loss in mice independent of essential fatty acid deficiency,

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, Volume 1737, Issue 1, 2005, Pages 52-60, ISSN 1388-1981, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2005.08.016.

https://www.chemistrystore.com/Natural_Oils-Fractionated_Coconut_Oil.html
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/can-coconut-oil-help-you-lose-weight#weight-loss-claims

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