Can coconut oil go rancid?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can coconut oil go rancid?”, and other queries related to this topic.

Can coconut oil go rancid? 

Yes, coconut oil goes rancid but not moldy. However, it has a long lifespan if stored properly in an airtight and well-sealed container. Hence, once it has expired and has developed some signs of spoilage consider throwing it.

expired coconut oil can lead to health problems such as increasing the inflammation in your body due to the free radical that has been developed from the reaction of oxygen with the product’s ingredients and thus increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Generally, a “best-by” date is stamped on the products’ packaging, this date ranges between two to four years after the production day. Hence, once you open the product its quality will start decreasing with time. This will take months to years in order to happen. 

Moreover, the quality of coconut oil defines its shelf life. We have two types of coconut oil, refined and virgin coconut oil. During the processing of the refined coconut oil, some chemicals are added for the extraction and the purification, hence no chemicals are added to the virgin oil.

So, virgin coconut oil might be kept longer when compared to refined coconut oil. The refined coconut oil can last for about one to two years after opening, however, the non-refined or virgin coconut oil can last for around three years.

Furthermore, the reason behind its rancidity is the high-fat content of coconut oil. Saturated fat consists of 80% of the fat present in coconut oil. Once the unsaturated fat in the coconut oil is oxidized they form a chemical product, the peroxide which gives the oil a rancid smell and taste.

How to store coconut oil?

First of all, for proper storage of coconut oil make sure you are keeping it in a well-sealed and air-tight container. Hence, reseal your container thoroughly once you are done using it, to prevent oxygen from interacting with the oil and to prevent contaminants from entering the jar.

Second of all, the most important factors to take into consideration when storing your coconut oil are the light and the temperature. To keep your coconut’s oil quality last for a long time, keep it in a cool and dark place, far from any source of heat or direct sunlight exposure.

Moreover, you can keep your coconut oil in the fridge but it is not necessary to do it. However, at low temperature, the oil will solidify and become hard. Additionally, refrigeration can increase the shelf life of your coconut oil and decrease its rate of spoilage. 

Furthermore, keep your coconut jar in a specific place to avoid temperature and texture fluctuation and change. These fluctuations can increase the chances of developing chemical reactions in the product.

Additionally, once you want to scoop from the coconut jar, make sure you are using a clean utensil. Dirty utensils can introduce bacteria and germs to your coconut oil, thus increasing its chance of getting rancid and as a result decreasing its shelf life.

How to tell if the coconut oil has gone bad?

Many spoilage signs indicate the rancidity of your coconut oil. One of the signs is the discoloration of coconut oil. Usually, this oil has a white color, when it becomes spoiled it turns yellow or green, or dark spots can develop within the product. 

Moreover, the smell of the product will change and turn sour instead of the coconutty odor and aroma. Additionally, the taste, as well as the smell, will change and become bitter and sour. Also, the texture of the oil will turn from smooth to chunky. 

Furthermore, mold might develop on the top of your coconut oil jar, so do not remove them and use the moldy coconut oil in your recipe because bacteria have already grown within the product and some toxins might be secreted.

Finally, check for the expiration or the “best-by” date. If many years have passed since the expiration date, do not consume the coconut oil or do not use it in your dishes or recipes, because it might be oxidized which might cause health problems.

What are the benefits of coconut oil?

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants such as tocopherols, tocotrienols, phytosterols, flavonoids, and polyphenols. So, these compounds help in fighting free radicals naturally produced by the body and those coming from ingested food.

Moreover, coconut oil might reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Because when consuming fat instead of carbohydrates the body starts burning fat for energy production leads to ketone body products. These compounds were found to reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Additionally, coconut oil is used in many skin and beauty products and cosmetics. It has been found that coconut oil can boost your skin’s moisture and protect it against external agents. Also, coconut oil can reduce the symptoms of many skin diseases and problems.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can coconut oil go rancid?”, and other queries related to this topic.