3 times read

Technology Updates And Quality Standards For Coconut - Based Food Products In The Philippines

Efforts towards increasing domestic consumption and expanding markets have generated interest in developing new/improved coconut products/technologies. From the traditional desiccated coconut, products like coconut flour, VCO, coconut sugar / syrup / beverage, coconut water drink, coconut sap vinegar, coconut wine and coco skim milk were developed and/or commercialized. Food product development has been mainly focused on the creation of innovative high-value products, modifying processes, quality improvement and food functionality. Coconut flour and coco sugar were found to have low glycemic index and is good for both normal persons and diabetics. 

Most of the equipment developed during the last few years have been in the processing of virgin coconut oil using various methods. The capacities, efficiencies and cost are presented. The choice of process and equipment depends on the capacity, efficiencies and markets. 

As a member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) the Philippine Coconut Authority has been involved in the formulation of the Philippine National Standards (PNS) for coconut products. To date the standards formulated and approved by the Department of Agriculture and numbered by the Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry are the PNS on VCO, young coconut water juice/drink and raw nata de coco (coconut  gel). Other standards consumption awaiting approval are coco vodka or “lambanog” or distilled coconut sap wine. The products currently being deliberated for standard setting are copra and coconut sugar. 

A number of initiatives on improving quality and food safety of coconut products have been undertaken by the Philippine Coconut Authority with the assistance of an international food safety consultant. Upgrading the capability of quality control and field officers thru trainings on GMP, Prerequisite programs and HACCP implementation, verification and auditing have been done. Onsite surveys and inspections of SME plants were undertaken to assess the current status of quality and safety of processing coconut food products. To safeguard the quality of VCO a study on Validation and Verification of Hazards in VCO throughout the Supply Chain is being undertaken. Other sectors such as the academe, private scientific foundation and NGOs have also been involved in training, advocacy activities and publication of information materials on food safety. To regain and expand the niche market products produce must be of high quality, cost-effective, efficient and adopt upgraded technologies that will improve their competitive advantage to meet local and international standards.  

....Read Now