Virgin coconut oil is derived from coconuts just like your regular coconut oil is. A big difference between virgin and regular coconut oil, however, is the method used to extract them. Regular coconut oil is made dried kernel of the coconut – copra. The copra is pressed, the oil which is extracted from it is then refined and bleached, it is then deodorized in order to be made ready for your use.
Virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, is taken from the fresh milk of the coconut, and it does not undergo any refining process like the regular coconut oil does. Virgin coconut oil is left unrefined.
Virgin coconut oil also contains more antioxidants than regular coconut oil. Unlike the regular coconut oil, it is not put through bleaching (which occurs during the refining process for the regular coconut oil), nor is it exposed to any chemicals. Since the virgin coconut oil is unrefined, it also packs a more intense taste of coconut than the regular coconut oil.
So, now you might be thinking – ‘ah so, the virgin coconut oil IS better, then? Perfect, it’s on my list for the next shopping trip!’ – but how will you tell it apart from the regular coconut oil? Both the regular as well as the virgin coconut oil have little difference in terms of appearance, so it is impossible to tell them apart, especially when they sit on the shelf in a sealed container.
You will have to check the labels of the pack carefully – look for labels which say ‘Virgin’ or ‘Extra-virgin’, if there is no such label, but you are still not sure whether the oil is regular coconut oil or virgin coconut oil, look for labels which say ‘refined’, it will confirm that the oil is not virgin coconut oil.