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Technical Updates On The Processing Of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), Coconut Flour, And Coconut Water

To cope up with fast paced of industry development and to sustain the market demands the research and development of the Philippine coconut industry shifted its focus on 1) product development of functional foods and 2) efficacy studies on its beneficial effects to human health and nutrition. Emphasis was given on enhancing the health benefits of emerging coconut food products such as coconut water, coconut sugar, virgin coconut oil and coconut flour.  

Research updates on the effect of  virgin coconut oil  in humans with emphasis on cholesterol have shown that although Total Cholesterol increased with VCO, reductions in Triglycerides and Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL, bad cholesterol) with elevation of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL, good cholesterol) were evident. Moreover, this improved Cholesterol: HDL ratio which can be translated to making the individual less prone to having heart attack or stroke.  

The country’s shipments of virgin coconut oil in the first three months of 2012 more than doubled in both volume and value terms compared to last year. This was due to the growing awareness of the health benefits of VCO. To expand the market traders and retailers added more both food and non-food product with certifications for organic, HACCP and other food safety requirements to meet international standards.  

Generally, the biochemical and physico-chemical properties of coconut water are dependent on the variety and maturity of the fruit. The levels of Magnesium and Chloride were not significantly different with the maturity of the fruit but differs significantly with variety. Based on the results of the biochemical profile  a low G.I. high electrolyte coconut water drink was formulated with a shelf-life of more than 2 weeks when freeze and later chilled. 

Advanced technological innovations and financial advantage enabled big producers/exporters to dominate the market and added more product lines such as UHT processed coconut water beverage.  

Baked products containing coconut flour and other indigenous ingredients were promoted as a good source of fiber to help prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol and lowers blood sugar. A popular bakeshop with nationwide outlets served as its mission to bring affordable bread to every table of our countrymen by adding health essentials.

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