Frozen Coconut Oil Turned Green
October 7, 2008 3:47 PM   Subscribe

We had some coconut oil in containers in our freezer (we use the oil for popping popcorn - we buy it in bulk and then freeze it for later) and for some reason this latest batch has all turned green.

It's been in sealed Tupperware-like containers, the same ones we have always used, and it's always stayed a nice golden color before. We just now went to take one out and noticed the green color through the plastic, and upon checking saw they had all turned the same color. Opened one up, and it smells funny too. We're going to throw it all out, containers and all, but were just wondering what might have happened so we can avoid it happening again (35 lbs. of coconut oil is expensive).
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
Okay, this made me think of a question I asked a couple years ago: Why is my coconut milk blue? Maybe there's a correlation...
posted by changeling at 3:55 PM on October 7, 2008

Response by poster: That is an interesting thread. Unfortunately it didn't show up in the search; there's a lot of good information in it.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 4:33 PM on October 7, 2008

It's doubtful that it's related, unless the coconut oil wasn't pure fat. There should have been no water in your coconut oil, and fungus can't grow without water. (That's why you don't have to refrigerate cooking oil or peanut butter.)
posted by Class Goat at 5:16 PM on October 7, 2008

Have you purchased this brand of oil before? What color were the plastic containers?

Oils are usually extracted in one of two ways: expeller-pressed or solvent extracted. If this oil was solvent extracted, there could have been some remaining solvent that dissolved a component of the plastic and turned the oil green. Just a thought.
posted by defreckled at 5:31 PM on October 7, 2008

Response by poster: "Have you purchased this brand of oil before?"

Pretty sure it's the same stuff we always buy, Gold Medal.

"What color were the plastic containers?"

Semi-transparent clear ones with white lids.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 5:55 PM on October 7, 2008

Last week I had an open coconut sitting on my counter during the day, and when I got home it had a green tint to it. I ate it anyway, but whether that's related to the oil in the freezer, I cannot say.
posted by tomble at 11:48 PM on October 7, 2008

Experiment #1: Take a small amount of your untainted coconut oil and place a dab of the green stuff with it, leave in freezer. Check later. If the green has spread, you've either got some kidn of weird chemical reaction which happens to push the other oil to a lower stable state, or you have a lifeform of some sort, in which case you'll want to sterilize everything.

Experiment #2: Take the container with the bad green batch, cleanse it thoroughly, sterilize with boiling water, place some of the pure stuff in it. Leave in freezer. Check later. If the pure stuff turns green, you've got a reaction between coconut oil and the container, not life.
posted by adipocere at 4:03 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

coconut oil is generally very slow to spoil even at room temperature. spoiling in the freezer? impossible. if it was good when you put it in the freezer, and it has been sealed, it is fine. did you eat some before putting in the freezer to know that it was ok then? the smell is probably ok but inspired by paranoia it seems bad.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 1:37 AM on May 23, 2009

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