Virgin coconut oil is described by the Philippine National Standard for Virgin Coconut Oil as a colorless and sediment-free oil that has a fresh, natural coconut aroma and is free from rancidity. Coconut oil is usually in liquid form at room temperatures that are at or above its natural melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. However, because of its high saturated fat content, virgin coconut oil solidifies at temperatures that fall below this its melting point.
Coconut oil is largely composed of highly saturated fats called medium-chain fatty acids. According to Dr. B.M. Hegde, Chairman of State Health Society in India, just over 50 percent of the oil is a medium chain fatty acid called lauric acid, and between 7 and 10 percent is capric acid. When ingested into the human body, lauric acid is converted into a unique compound called monolaurin, which is a healthy fat that can only be found in coconut oil and breast milk.
Virgin coconut oil is classified as a functional food, which means that it provides health benefits that go beyond mere nutrition. The fatty acids in this oil are a source for both nutrients and antimicrobial compounds called monoglycerides, which help fight viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Aside from ghee, a type of clarified butter, no other fat falls into this classification