I bought Coconut milk (88% coconut and rest water) in a sealed can, when I opened it the solid where already separated from the liquid. The solid part was at the top quite thick like frozen coconut oil.

It tastes perhaps (I am not sure) a little bit acidic. Has the coconut milk spoilt? Is there any use of it or I should just throw it? Can consuming it be harmful?

  • 4
    That's normal. The coconut oil and the coconut water won't stay mixed. It's not curdled at all.
    – OrangeDog
    Sep 18, 2021 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


I didn't notice an exact duplicate of this question anywhere, but it's quite common for canned coconut milk to separate leaving an opaque white solid layer of fat and solids, and a thin watery/syrup layer of cloudy coconut water.

Coconut water is naturally a little tart, so I don't find that concerning. If the can is in date and showed no signs of swelling or leakage, then I'm thinking it's fine.

But do what makes you feel comfortable/safe. And to avoid this next time, thoroughly shake the can before opening.

  • 13
    Before you shake the can look at your recipe, some call for spooning the cream off the top and frying it off with pastes or spices.
    – GdD
    Sep 17, 2021 at 16:05
  • 1
    @GdD It sounds like frying stuff in coconut oil.
    – Porcupine
    Sep 17, 2021 at 18:51
  • 11
    A well split can of coconut milk will not mix by shaking it. It will need stiring at least.
    – Willeke
    Sep 17, 2021 at 21:29
  • 5
    @Willeke: Absolutely. On the other hand, for many recipes (curries, soups, stews) it doesn’t need mixing — it will mix during cooking anyway.
    – PLL
    Sep 18, 2021 at 8:34
  • 1
    Normally I find it very pleasant to open canned coconut milk because there is almost nothing stuck to the lid (because there is a solid layer of fat at the top). Shaking it before opening will make can-opening much messier and less satisfying, I would never do that.
    – minseong
    Sep 18, 2021 at 22:23

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