Does coconut oil need to be refrigerated after opening?

You don't need to refrigerate coconut oil after opening, for coconut oil contains a high level of good saturated fats. These natural saturated fats in coconut oil can effectively protect it against oxidation, and hence, prevent it from turning bad once opened.

However, you might have to keep your coconut oil refrigerated to retain its beneficial properties when you encounter the following situations.

1. Summer

During the hot summer season, unless you have a really cool dry cabinet to store your coconut oil, you may have to refrigerate your coconut oil even before you have opened it for use.

That's because the higher the temperature, the more likely coconut oil may react with the plastic container that holds it.

Even when your coconut oil is perfectly stored in glass container, which is definitely safe from plastic leaching, you might want to consider putting your coconut oil in the refrigerator.

In summer, there's a chance (though very low) that the small amount (8 – 10%) of unsaturated fats in coconut oil may oxidize over prolonged exposure to heat and affect the properties, hence, the health benefits of coconut oil. And glass container gets hotter more easily than plastic container.

Therefore, it's best to refrigerate your coconut oil whether or not you have opened it for use in a very hot summer.

In that case, is it necessary to freeze your coconut oil?

No, you don't have to put your coconut oil in the freezer. Just refrigerate it will do. The key here is to chill your coconut oil in summer to prevent it from turning bad due to oxidation.

And when you need to use it, just take it out and your coconut oil will melt over the summer heat if it has become solid.

Virgin and RBD coconut oils start to solidify at around 76 °F (24.4 °C). Fractionated coconut oil, on the other hand, only starts to freeze at temperatures between 14 and 25 °F (-10 and -4 °C).

2. Moisture in coconut oil

If you accidentally taint your coconut oil with water after opening it for use, mold will grow on it when you leave it in warm temperatures between 77 and 95 °F (25 and 35 °C), like in summer.

In fact, mold may also grow in temperatures as low as 32 °F (0 °C).

That said, instead of just refrigerating your coconut oil that has been "moisturized" after opening, I suggest that you freeze your coconut oil instead. This can help to stop the growth of mold from spoiling your coconut oil and thus, make it last longer.

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  5. How much coconut oil is safe to eat daily?
  6. Does eating coconut oil shorten your period?
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