The digestibility coefficient of coconut oil is higher (with 91.0% assimilable glycerides) than any other fat, including butter, and so it is digested more rapidly than any other fats. This easy digestibility makes it an essential ingredient for many ghee substitutes.
Coconuts and coconut oil may provide a mellow flavor and creamy texture to some formulations and recipes. Virgin coconut oil has a deep coconut flavor that may persist after cooking or baking. Refined coconut oil that has been processed to increase the smoke point may not be as intense in flavor, and it may be useful in deep fat frying and in stir-frying. Generally, hydrogenated oil is preferred for coffee whiteners and ice cream toppings, but unhydrogenated oil is preferred for cocoa-based drinks. Hydrogenated coconut oil is widely used as a spray oil for crackers and serves as a moisture barrier and preserves shelf life.
Coconut oil is widely used in the snack food industry for frying, roasting of nuts, and popping corn. The cereal industry employs coconut oil for ready-to-eat cooked/flavored breakfast foods. Coconut oil is considered to be extremely resistant to oxidative deterioration, with AOM and OSI values of 150 and 50 h, respectively.
Coconut oil is perhaps best known for its use as a cooking oil, but it is also used extensively by the food industry in baked products, processed foods, and infant formulas. Because coconut oil is almost completely saturated fat, it is much less susceptible to heat-induced damage than unsaturated fats. The oil has a long shelf life, 2 years on avarage and it is used in chocolate, biscuits, confectionary, ice cream sectors primarily.