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Coconut Oil: Extra-Virgin or Virgin?

At Nutiva, our goal has always been to source the purest possible coconut oil and provide you and your family with the freshest and most high quality product. We have our own quality standard and commitment that we’ve conveyed by using the term “extra virgin” on our labels. However, you’ll notice with our new look, that we are now using the term “virgin” to describe our coconut oil rather than “extra virgin.” Despite this change, our quality commitment and process remain the same.

New_vs_OldOUR VIRGIN COCONUT OIL COMMITMENT

• We choose fresh coconuts that meet pre-determined sensory requirements that guarantee the best flavor, scent and purity.

• Our virgin coconut oil is cold-pressed from fresh and mature coconut meat; no heat is used.

• Our virgin coconut oil is in its purest form – unrefined, unbleached and non-deodorized.

This process ensures that the smooth flavor, vital nutrients, and delicate fats are retained.

We embraced the term “extra virgin coconut oil” to distinguish our dedication to the highest quality. In the USA, there is no legal definition or standard for the term, “extra virgin” as it applies to coconut oil. In other countries, however, there are standards of identity regarding the term. For example, in Canada we have always labeled our same high quality coconut oil as “organic virgin coconut oil,” to comply with  regulations. As Nutiva continues to grow and offer our coconut oil to more countries with varying regulations, we want to create consistency across all our labels. For this reason, we will be using the term “organic virgin coconut oil” going forward, but our high quality product and processes will remain the same. You will see this change on our new packaging that will appear on shelves in early 2014.

In addition to our quality standards, we believe in giving back. We created a program through which we donate 1% of sales to sustainable agriculture and other environmental causes. As part of this program, we created our Coconut Tree Project. We’ve donated more than 30,000 coconut seedlings to coconut farmers in the Philippines to help support their endeavors. We’ve built lasting partnerships over the years, and we think of many of our coconut suppliers, not only as business associates, but also as friends. With the recent devastation from Typhoon Haiyen, we’ve redoubled our commitment and plan to donated 100,000 coconut seedlings by 2015. Learn more here.

Comments

  1. Jessieann says:

    The new labels are very pretty and will catch the eye and be a lovely addition to my kitchen shelves. Great idea!

  2. I have tried many brands of coconut oils and in my opinion your oil is the best.I like the mild flavor . I even bought it for my girls to put in they”er Birthday package. I use it for a lot more than cooking.

  3. Don’t understand ,Have never commented on this site before and was told I had ,with that said ,Still think it is the best oil on the market. thanks

  4. thank you

  5. Raphanthony says:

    Thanks for the explanation! This is the best coconut oil I have used. I love that it is organic and non gmo. It tastes great and awesome for your skin. The price is also the best considering the quality of the product. The new look is also very clean. Keep up the great work.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I love your virgin coconut oil, it is amazing and makes me feel better. I also love the glass containers you use. I like to keep them and use them for different things like storage containers. So awesome!!! :)

  7. So is the oil really extra virgin like how they say extra virgin olive oil?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Padma. Our coconut oil is virgin. Please note that there is NO difference between Virgin and Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil. We previously used the term “extra-virgin” to emphasize our commitment to quality, however, as a leader in coconut oil, Nutiva is committed to complying with global regulations that do not allow the term “extra-virgin” in regard to coconut. When you see the term Virgin on our packaging, rest assured that the product is still the highest quality and has not changed. Thanks!

      • Are you saying it is the same oil in the new packaging? And that we are still getting the same oil we used to get that said “extra” virgin on the label? I’ve used your oil for a long time and the oil in the new packaging tastes and smells quite different to me, as well as a couple of my friends who have also used it long-term. It is most noticeable on popcorn and when used for oil pulling. Please explain, as it just doesn’t seem like the same oil now.

        • The Nutiva Team says:

          Hi Kathy! There is no difference between Virgin and Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil. We previously called our coconut oil “extra-virgin” to emphasize our commitment to quality, however as we move into international markets we have removed the term to comply with international regulations that disallow the term. Be assured that our product quality has not changed in any way. If you have any concerns pertaining to the quality of the coconut oil, please contact help@nutiva.com so our customer service team can resolve any issues. Thanks so much!

          • You didn’t answer her question. She didn’t ask you if there was a difference between virgin and extra virgin, she asked you if the oil is the same now as it was before. Not if the quality is the same, not if your commitment is the same, but if the oil is the same.

            Is the oil itself exactly the same as when it said “extra virgin”, or not? It’s a very simple yes or no question.

          • The Nutiva Team says:

            Hi Jeri! Our coconut oil is now labeled “virgin” instead of “extra virgin” but is still the same oil–our quality commitment and process have not changed. Thanks!

        • Kathy…I emailed Nutiva with the same complaint. The new glass jar Nutiva coconut oil does not taste the same as the old version that I just ran out of. I received a response stating that maybe I bought the extra refined oil. I looked all over my new bottle…there was nothing that said whether it was extra refined or other. This new coconut oil does not have the richness of smell or taste as the Nutiva coconut oil that I have always bought…soothing is ‘not right’ with this company because they are not giving straight answers. Terrible loss for committed buyers…looks like I’m going to have to try other brands.

          • The Nutiva Team says:

            Hi Leagree. There is no difference between Virgin and Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil. We previously called our coconut oil “extra-virgin” to emphasize our commitment to quality, however as we move into international markets we have removed the term to comply with international regulations that disallow the term. Be assured that our product quality has not changed in any way. We encourage you to contact help@nutiva.com with any additional questions or comments regarding your recent purchase of our Virgin Coconut Oil. Thank you!

  8. I use your coconut oil everyday and love it. My only request is that you begin using glass jars for the 54 ounce jars instead of plastic. I would feel much better getting my oil from glass from both a health perspective and an environmental perspective. I would reuse them if they were glass or at least feel better about the glass actually getting recycled if I didn’t keep them. Thanks so much.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Nancy, thank you for your suggestion. While our plastic containers are BPA free, we also offer our 15oz and 23oz Virgin Coconut Oil in glass containers. Thanks!

  9. I just bought nutiva coconut oil at Costco, I do not see the non gmo label on it, and was wondering if it is?
    also is the container bpa free?

    Thanks

    Bree

  10. I have just been introduced to Coconut oil (not your brand) which I bought from a health food store (SF Health Foods). Is your product available in Australia? When choosing my purchase I decided to get the Extra virgin Organic Coconut Oil because it appeared much more opaque and solidified compared to the virgin ones on offer which were clearer and showing base material at the bottom of the jar. The product is certified Organic Coconut Oil from Sri Lanka. It also carries inspected and certified labels from Australia (processor 244P), USDA Organic (CU816015) and Non EU Agriculture (CU816015LK-BIO-605). OK so after all that, am I getting a very good product given that it is sold as Extra Virgin and appears richer ?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Tom. To purchase Nutiva products in Australia, please visit http://www.iherb.com/nutiva. Please note that there is no difference between Virgin and Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil. We previously called our coconut oil “extra-virgin” to emphasize our commitment to quality, however as we move into international markets we have removed the term to comply with international regulations that disallow the term. Be assured that our product quality has not changed in any way. Thank you!

  11. I’m sorry, to an oil consumer, there IS a difference.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Irene. There is no difference between Virgin and Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil. We previously called our coconut oil “extra-virgin” to emphasize our commitment to quality, however as we move into international markets we have removed the term to comply with international regulations that disallow the term. Be assured that our product quality has not changed in any way. Hope this helps!

  12. Is your coconut oil Wet-mill fermentation, Heated Virgin Coconut Oil? I understand it needs heat to remove the oil from the coconut milk. Wet-milled the coconut isnt dried before extracting the oil. And the best process nutritionally. I dont understand the wording of cold pressed. Cauld you tell me is Nutiva Wet-milled?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Penny. Our Virgin Coconut Oil is dry expeller pressed. Fresh coconut meat is ground and conveyed through a hot-air dryer within several hours of shelling, then cold pressed. It is processed at a temperature of under 170 degrees. Thanks!

  13. Carole Dubbert says:

    I noticed that you don’t list the large containers of coconut oil today. Do you still have them available. I buy two large containers per year. I use your coconut oil in all of my cooking. It is so delicious on toast and oatmeal; oh well, it is just wonderful on everything.

  14. CG Archer says:

    I am on my last tub of Nutiva extra-virgin with the yellow lable. I was ready to buy another one and saw it didn’t say Extra Virgin and the label had changed. I have read the comments on here that the taste has also changed with the change from Extra-virgin to Virgin. I am not convinced by your canned response that I am still going to be getting the same product I have been getting. I have been using your product for years. I will know if taste is different.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi CG! Thank you for you comments. As we’ve stated previously, our packaging has changed but our product has not. The most possible cause for any slight flavor differences is normal agricultural variation. Coconut oil is a single ingredient product where the flavor is going to reflect the exact coconuts it was made from. Like any agricultural product, the flavor will fluctuate based on seasons and and even the geography of where the nut was grown. If you have any additional questions are comments, we encourage you to contact help@nutiva.com. Thanks so much!

  15. Hi,
    After reading these comments as well as other reviews on other websites, I can understand the confusion as well. I’m still confused. I’ve purchased the Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut oil in the 54 oz container for probably 6-7 years now. Big fan of this oil. My understanding years ago, was that the term “Extra Virgin” meant that the coconut was the least amount of processed and unrefined to get the coconut oil vs. the kind labeled “Virgin”. Is Nutiva stating that there is NO change in the processing & quality of their oil previously labeled “Extra Virgin” and “Virgin”? That they are the same with just a new label? Because if that is true, there should be no change in the smell, the temp it melts and so forth. From some of the responses and reviews I’ve read, it seems like the newly labeled “Virgin” coconut oil is not quite the same as before. I’m willing to give a smaller container of the newly labeled “Virgin” coconut oil a try, but if there is a difference, I’m sorry to say you will probably lose a faithful customer.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Nicole, thanks for your comment! You’re exactly right–just the label on our Virgin Coconut Oil has changed, not the contents. Our coconut oil is still processed in the same way and still adheres to our strict quality standards. Please note that we do also make a Refined Coconut Oil, which has a neutral smell and taste. We encourage you to contact help@nutiva.com with any additional questions or comments. Thanks again!

  16. I’ve been reading that virgin coconut oil produced with a “wet-mill fermentation” process that uses heat, actually increases the amount of anti-oxidants in the oil. What do you think about that? Another question– Is Nutiva oil pressed from “wet” fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Carrie! Our Virgin Coconut Oil is dry expeller pressed from fresh coconut meat (“wet”) and is ground and conveyed through a hot-air dryer within hours of shelling, then cold pressed. The process temperature would not affect the antioxidant amount since coconut oil only contains trace amounts. Thanks!

  17. I have to agree with the many comments on here. I have been using Nutiva for a very long time and I only buy the one gallon pail now, because even though they say the contents are equal, I find the taste is not. It seems to me that when they started to change over from Extra virgin to virgin labelling, something happened to the contents, because I don’t like the ones labelled virgin, as much as the pail labelled extra virgin. Actually, the last 54oz container I ever had was quite light in taste…I also found that I got an upset tummy from it. I was told the product didn’t change, but I had doubts, because I never once had a problem with the extra virgin one and I still don’t. I continue to buy the one gallon pail and I pray it doesn’t change, ever.
    PS-Nutiva team, please don’t respond with that same repetitive labelling comment.
    Thank you for the mostly great product though! :)

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Barbara, thank you for your feedback. We always want to hear if one of our customers has a concern about a product. We can appreciate that you are looking for a different answer than what we’ve stated previously. The most possible cause for the slight flavor differences you’re experiencing is normal agricultural variation. Coconut oil is a single ingredient product where the flavor is going to reflect the exact coconuts it was made from. Like any agricultural product, the flavor will fluctuate based on seasons and and even the geography of where the nut was grown. That being said, we have a standard flavor profile range that we strive to adhere to. As a practice we do not use a different oil for our 1 gallon buckets than for our 54 oz oils. Oil is allotted based on production scheduling, not segregated based on packaging size. We hope this all makes sense. If you ever taste an oil that you think is bad for some reason or another, we encourage you to contact help@nutiva.com and we will have our QA team investigate as we want to make sure that we address any quality issues. We really appreciate your business and feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.

  18. Hi ! I love Nutiva . I do have one question in the United States can other coconut oil companies sell virgin coconut oil as extra Virgin without legal issues ? I just want make sure when we compare we are using the correct measures.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Sahil! In the USA, there is no legal definition or standard for the term, “extra virgin” as it applies to coconut oil. In other countries, however, there are standards of identity regarding the term, which is why we have removed the term to comply with international regulations that disallow the term. Be assured that our product quality has not changed in any way. Thanks!

  19. Love your coconut oil, which I’ve been enjoying a few years now. I use it daily on food, and on my skin.

    Q: So, no difference in processing between any of your jars (glass or plastic) or sizes?
    Q: Can plastic change flavor? Just now, I compared the oil in your 54-oz. plastic jar (bought yesterday) to the oil in your glass jar (bought last year). The oil in glass smells richer and sweeter. C But smell can be very subjective. Anyway, both had exactly the same flavor.

    P.S. Thanks for clarifying the virgin issue here. Also, thanks for being a B Corporation, and USDA Organic! I stocked up on your coconut oil, hemp oil and chia seeds at the Green Fest yesterday. Your people were fab, and gave me your lip balm as a thanks.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Regina! Thanks for stopping by our booth at Green Fest! To answer your questions, there is no difference in the processing of coconut oil based on the jar or size, and our PET plastic container will not affect the flavor or smell of the coconut oil. Our 15oz and 23oz sizes of Virgin Coconut Oil are offered in glass containers if you prefer glass over PET. We encourage you to contact help@nutiva.com with any other questions regarding our products. Thanks again!

  20. P.S. I’d prefer buying all your fab coconut oil in glass, even in the 54-oz. size. Most plastics leach estrogenic chemicals, not only BPA. Also, how much PETE #1 plastic is actually recycled in the U.S., even after going into our recycling bins?

  21. Hi! I am in luv wth the coconut oils / gEls. I want 2 promote it in South Africa. How can i get them. Pls rely urgEnt. Thanks .Fathima. Mobile: 0734687403

  22. I was happy to find your coconut oil in our Costco again as I hadn’t seen it for awhile and was almost out. I noticed the change in labeling and googled the difference between virgin and extra virgin which led me to this sight. Since I still had some left I taste tested side by side and the new one is more mild in coconut flavor, but I totally understand your explanation of agricultural differences. We totally expect this when buying fruit: some oranges, pears, peaches, pineapple, or whatever, just taste sweeter than others. So it stands to reason as your business has expanded and you have added additional suppliers of coconut that they are not all going to taste exactly the same. Love your product and thankyou for providing it at a reasonable price.

  23. I just received 2 15 oz jars of the Virgin Organic Coconut Oil – is there a correct way to soften this oil for use without it becoming grainy? I purchased another brand last week and was told to heat it to 170 degrees for 20 minutes and then to fast cool in the freezer. – this caused the oil to become very grainy and not pleasant to use on my face, arms etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Jack, thanks for your question. We recommend putting the jar in a pot of warm water for 5-10 minutes or until the coconut oil begins to melt (coconut oil melts at 76 degrees).

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