Background: Glycerol (glycerin) is the three carbon backbone that contains fatty acids on each of its positions in a triglyceride (TG) or triacylglycerol (TAG). TAGs represent the primary dietary form in which we ingest fatty acids, and also the major storage form of fatty acids in adipose tissue (storage fat on the body).

A C8 MCT must be obtained by re-combining the glycerol (glycerin) and C8 (octanoic acid) fatty acid streams commercially using heat and pressure. It is not currently possible to obtain a C8MCT by fractionating intact coconut oil or palm kernel oil (PKO) commercially due to technical limitations and specificity of the technique.

A C8 MCT is very nearly identical whether the staring source of the glycerol and C8 fatty acid was from coconut oil, PKO (palm kernel oil), or a combination.

The real challenge in declaring an MCT to be derived from coconut oil only (typically due to concerns over sustainability of PKO) is that both the glycerol and the C8 must be guaranteed to be from a factory that only works with coconut oil products; or a factory that works with coconut oil and PKO products, but can guarantee that they are not mixed. For larger operations in Asia (where most coconut and palm trees are grown and originally processed), even if it is claimed that the C8 streams and glycerol streams are exclusively from coconut oil, short of hiring dedicated employees to work 24/7 in the factory, it would be challenging to confirm that the sources were not mixed (as the oil types are typically processed together). In the final product, it is exceedingly challenging to determine the source of the original starting materials (the glycerol and the fatty acids) using analytical techniques, and is only theoretically possible using advanced mass spectrometry stable isotope techniques.

Now, readers will understand why the KetoMCT label states on the ingredient list: “derived from modified coconut oil and/or sustainable (RSPO) modified palm kernel oil (medium chain triglycerides). The product does not contain coconut oil nor palm kernel oils, but molecular components from these oils (thus the designation, “modified”). Our product could be exclusively from modified coconut oil, but we state there could also be modified palm kernel oil since we cannot guarantee the sourcing as explained above.

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