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Integrated Approach In The Processing Of Coconut Products/ By - Products And Market Prospects In The Philippines

There are multifarious high-value products that can be derived from the coconut to achieve maximum utilization and improve competitiveness of the industry. These can be adopted by small and medium scale enterprises and community-based organizations. Science-based intervention schemes have been pursued by the government and private sector in the past several years. This led to the setting-up of small scale integrated processing plants producing cooking oil, vinegar and other by-products including food processing enterprises.  However, the viability of the plants suffered due to technical, managerial and marketing problems. In the following years, there was a shift from cooking oil to higher value products - virgin coconut oil and VCO- based products were produced. Currently, there are a few existing semi- integrated plants producing VCO, coco flour, coco milk and vinegar.

Recent initiatives from the government and private sector include the development/improvement of a number of innovative and high-value products which could be potential components of the Integrated Coconut Processing Plants (ICPP). These are coconut sugar, VCO, coconut flour, fibreboard, geotextiles, filtered crude coconut oil, coconut methyl ester among others. Improvements on processing technologies and development of appropriate equipment have been pursued to reduce cost, meet the required capacity, increase efficiency and to conform to quality requirements.  

The government has set the Philippine National Standards on VCO, raw nata de coco, young coconut water juice/drink, and coco methyl ester. Quality standards of other coconut products being exported are based on the PCA Administrative Order No.003 Series of 1981. PCA has implemented projects and programs to meet food quality and safety requirements of coconut products through training on GMP/HACCP, publication of GAP and HACCP manuals, enforcement of food safety measures and R & D on safeguarding quality. 

Major issues and recommendations on value added coconut products were identified including policies to support the setting-up of pro-farmer integrated coconut processing plants and encourage investment. Modules for integrated coconut processing plant for small and barangay level have been suggested.

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