The Philipine National Standard (PNS) (Bureau of Product Standards (BPS,
2004) defines Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) as the oil obtained from the fresh
and mature kernel of the coconut by mechanical or natural means without the
use of heat and chemical refining. PNS also describes VCO as colorless with
natural coconut scent and free from out flavor and odor. The moisture in VCO
must be at least 0.1% or less. VCO also should contain minor components such
as tocopherols and tocotrienol, polyphenols, sterol and others (Kabara,
2000). Benecial effects of MCTs on weight control and glucose as well as
on lipid metabolism were observed (Marten et al.,
2006). This may prove the usefulness of natural foods containing relatively
high amounts of MCFAs as well as the usefulness of functional foods supplemented
with MCTs (Marten et al., 2006). Since coconut
oil is higher in medium chain fatty acids it is likely that a greater proportion
of the fatty acids are taken up by the portal blood system and delivered to
the liver prior to peripheral tissues (Hargrave et al.,
2005). This would allow for greater hepatic oxidation of the fatty acids
and less lipid available for storage as adipose tissue, as has been proposed
for medium chain triglycerides. Additionally, oxidation rate decreases with
increasing chain length and the adipose tissue of fat free and coconut oil-fed
mice had reduced average chain length (Hargrave et al.,
In the production of VCO, the yield and the retention of minor components are very important. In general, there are two types of process to obtain VCO; the dry and wet process. At Chemical Engineering Pilot Plant (CEPP), an integrated wet process has used to produce high quality of VCO. The integrated wet process offer shorter production time, higher yield oil retention of the minor components in the final product.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Samples: Fresh coconut meat was procured from local supplier. The process begins with the mechanical pressing of coconut grated to obtain coconut milk. The coconut milk was then chilled to 10°C to break the emulsion for easier water and coconut butter separation.
|| Flow diagram of integrated wet process
The chilled coconut milk was transferred to a mixing vessel where it was churned until coconut butter was heated to 45°C followed by centrifugation to separate the non-oil fraction from the product VCO. Finally the product was filtered to remove any suspended solid Fig. 1.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
According to the fatty acids composition analysis, the results obtained as shown in Table 2 indicate that lauric acid (12:0) is the highest component in the virgin coconut oil which is 48.92%. The result is clearly shows the effectiveness of the process which can maximize the lauric acid content. On the other hand, Table 1 shows that VCO is an ideal food to be consumed due to the highest energy value of food while Table 3 indicate that there was no microbe or fungal were found in the virgin coconut oil.
Table 4 represents the result for sensory evaluation test.
The test was conducted at Chemical Engineering Pilot Plant, Faculty of Chemical
Engineering and Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
The result obtained shows that the VCO from this process are acceptable and
comparable with the commercial sample.
|| Proximate analysis
|| Fatty acid composition
|*HPLC = High performance liquid chromatography
In general, the average points for sensory analysis score about 7.58 out of
9.0 which is stated as like very much in the hedonic scale rating.
|| Microbiology analysis
|ND: Not determined
|| Final result from the correspondent, response in sensory
|| Comparison data of integrated wet process and fermentation
These results determine that the integrated wet process contributes to the
fresh and sweet coconut aroma due to the shorter time in processing compared
to the fermentation process. Table 5 shows the comparison
data between integrated wet process and fermentation process of VCO.
The virgin coconut oil obtained from integrated wet process give much more benefits especially in saving the processing time and cost (due to the shorter time) as well as improving the quality of virgin coconut oil. Furthermore, the use of a virgin coconut oil nowadays is becoming increasingly important in the developed countries due to health benefit and its nutritionally wholesome. This research will lead to a new finding on developing the process especially in producing of virgin coconut oil.