How to read and interpret an MCT Powder Label

In this blog post, we will focus on how to read and interpret an MCT powder label.
1. How is an MCT oil converted to an MCT powdered lipid?  Also, learn to do your own Quality Control on the product.
The oils are spray dried or micro-encapsulated by mixing the oil and powder components together into a slurry, forcing the liquid stream through a special nozzle under heat (atomizing), and the resulting powder droplets are collected. The spray drying equipment should be cleaned before use and there should be no residual odors from previous runs (important since many spray drying operations work with butters with strong odors).  If the material is spray dried appropriately, it should have a reasonably small particle size distribution (homogenous), which aids in solubility and consistency. The processing should remove very fine particles (which act like dust) to the extent possible, and there should be very low residual moisture, so the powder does not clump together. The manufacturing should be under cGMP conditions, with microbiology and mold determination done as a minimum during post-run.

Quality control:

Other than the cGMP declaration, none of the above would be present on the label, so always buy from a reputable company, and check for clumping, precipitation, and if there are significant very fine particles. The physical properties of the powder will also determine how much powder can be solubilized in a given volume of liquid; and the type of liquid and temperature of liquid that can be utilized for good solubility and sensorial properties. Poor solubility can be overcome with agitation/blending. Manufacturers can give the customer some guidance on these points, but ultimately the consumer needs to do their own experimentation.
2. What types of oils are used to make MCT oil powders?

Any type of MCT, pseudo MCT oil or coconut oil disguised as MCT oil can be converted to a powder. The manufacturer should give you the amounts of C8 and any other fatty acids per serving. If they claim the source is coconut oil only, we suggest you ask for proof.   Also, when a seller states "from organic coconuts", the end product in most cases is not organic due to labeling laws around the term organic.

3. What is the loading density, how does this impact price?

The loading density refers to the percentage of oil relative to the total weight of the powder. Typically loading densities are 40-75%, allowing for enough powdering components to form a good microencapsulation. Thus, a 70% load, means there are 70 grams of oil in 100 grams of powder. If the powdering components contribute to the glycemic index, or if one wants as much oil as possible in a serving, then chose a powder with a high loading index. Since the loading densities of different products are not the same, to compare two different products fairly by price, assuming they are both C8 powders with similar powdering components, one could calculate the cost of the oil in the entire container or on a per gram basis.
As shown in Table 1 Row H,  amongst the many advantages of LifeSense International C8 MCT oil powder over its competitors (see Amazon and LifeSense for details), it is also the cheapest on a Cost/gram C8 basis. If one simply divided the cost of the container by the weight of the container (Row I), they would come to the mistaken conclusion, that the product on the end, was the best price value.

Table 1: Price comparisons amongst selected C8 MCT oil powders sold on Amazon




LifeSense C8 KetoMCT oil Powder

Clean MCT Powder 


Perfect Keto

(7:3, C8:10)

Cost/container, $ (5/2/18)



25.99 (2)




Wt/container, g







Serving size powder, g







Saturated fat (C8 MCT/serving), g (1)






7 (C8+C10)

4.9 (C8)

% MCT (g MCT/100 g powder)






70.0% (C8+C10)

 49% (C8)          

C8/container, g






210.0 (C8+C10)

147 (C8)

C8/serving, g






7.0 (C8+C10)

4.9 (C8)

Cost/g C8






0.19 (C8+C10)

0.27 (C8)

Cost/g powder














# servings 16 g MCT oil






2.3 (C8+C10)

3.3 (C8)


(1): Use % MCT or g MCT if given. If there are non-defatted dairy ingredients, not all the saturated fat is from the MCT. If not all the MCT is C8, optionally correct for the amount of C8.

(2): Excludes promotions and volume discounts.

4. Serving Size

In MCT powders, the typical serving size of powder is 9-11 grams. At LifeSense, we developed the serving size to deliver one-half of the recommended single serving of 16 grams (the amount in 1 tablespoon of oil that give a therapeutic increase in blood ketone body levels). Thus, to achieve the full serving size recommendation of 16 g C8 MCT oil from our powder alone, one would consume two servings of our product (Row K), but four servings of the competitor products shown. Practically, many consumers may choose to consume mixtures of C8 oils and C8 oil powders.

It is important to recognize that a manufacturer may indicate a considerably smaller sample size to give the consumer the false impression they are getting a better price value per serving. In Table 1 Row J, the impression is given that the product on the end is the best price value, which is not the case, on basis of C8 MCT oil per serving. For practical reasons, manufacturers include a plastic scoop so customers can add one or two scoops per recommended serving. Each consumer may fill the scoop differently or compress it differently. Thus, the consumer that wants to be very accurate on the dose, should weigh the powder on a balance.
5. Powdering, non-oil components

MCT oils are powdered with various assortments of dairy or non-dairy ingredients, along with emulsifiers. The ingredients can be: natural or synthetic; organic or non-organic; GMO or non-GMO in part of whole since multiple ingredients are added (there are different variants of GMO, and identify preserved, IP, is another term to understand); have a low-, middle-, or high-glycemic index; Kosher and/or Hallal or not; and be claimed as fibers (some may behave as part-fibers). Examples of high glycemic ingredients are glucose syrup, maltodextrin (GI of 85-105), and some starches. The label may say “milk proteins”, without the type of milk protein indicated (could be casein; there are different types of caseins). If a dairy protein is used, then it could be from a grass-fed or non-grass fed source. The emulsifier may be common ones like monoglycerides, diglycerides, or lecithins (various forms of each), or could be synthetic varieties utilized for a specific functionality. Although not necessarily indicated on the label, flavors may also be used for taste reasons, and these should preferably be natural flavors.  Silica may be added to minimize caking of the powder. As you can see, it becomes very complicated to choose a product based on the non-oil components. Our company simplifies the matter by using a very high loading density of 73%, and a type of tapioca starch that is made from the root of the cassava plant.

6. Shelf-life

Since C8 MCT oils have no double bonds, they are oxidatively-stable and will not become rancid at room temperatures. The shelf life of our super high quality LifeSense™ C8 KetoMCT™ oil is 3 years, whereas our powder (made with the same oil) is 2 years. The MCT oil powder should be stored with the desiccant pack (the desiccant pack should be of high quality, intact, and not damaged) in the container, and tightly closed to avoid moisture pickup. If moisture is collected, then the flowability of the powder will be decreased and there is more risk for mold growth. All easily avoided by keeping the container closed with the desiccant pack in the container. These general comments apply to any powder containing nutritional ingredients and energy sources.
7. Bottom Line to rapidly choose the best C8 MCT oil powder:

a) Buy products from a company you trust, with significant academic, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial experience with MCT oils and related components

b) The oil should be pure C8. Be wary of claims about organic or coconut oil only, or 100% C8. If you cannot determine if it is C8 or not, do not consider purchasing, or recognize that you may be purchasing so called “commodity” C8/10 7:3 oils (last column in Table)

c) Price compare on the basis of the cost per gram of C8 (Row H). If you cannot make this calculation because of missing information, do not even consider purchasing.

d) Do not purchase on the basis of total cost of the container (A); cost/gram of powder (I), nor cost per serving (J).

e) Choose high oil loading densities if possible. Make sure the non-lipid components meet your personal objectives. We are not great fans of the use of high glycemic sugars in MCT powders, as used by some companies.
Please contact us any time if you have any questions.   We are always happy to help.

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