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Technological Innovation In The Manufacturing Of High Quality Virgin Coconut Oil In Thailand

Thai people have been using coconut oil for  food, cosmetics and medicine from  time immemorial. Traditionally, coconut oil (CNO) was produced at the household level by two distinct processes, viz. frying  of  copra and fermentation of  coconut, milk obtained from  fresh  coconut meat. A serious setback was instigated some 50 years ago when medical doctors and nutritionists announced that coconut oil was hazardous to heath, particularly causing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Various anecdotal evidences as well as epidemiological findings of  various diseases blamed to cause by coconut oilled to the disbelieve of  the false  blame, which is further supported by more recent scientific investigations that verify that coconut oil is the world ’s best oil for  cooking as well as for  cosmetics and medical uses.

With the establishment of  the CDCOT since 2007, vigorous campaign was launched such that a lot of  Thai people are now aware of  false blame on coconut oil and switch to using it in everyday ’s life. Hand-in-hand with this promotional campaign, a number of  coconut oil manufacturers have started to produce virgin coconut oil (VCOJ through various innovative processes by upgrading the traditional fermentation process, hydraulic press, distillation and centrifugation. Coupling with inherent high quality of  Thai coconut palms grown in the most suitable areas for  coconut, the resultant VCO obtained through these new improved techniques have yielded exceptionally high quality VCO such that it fetches favorable market acceptance in Europe, America, Asia and Australia in spite of  its higher price than those from  other producing countries. This paper provides a glimpse on how Thai VCO is produced and marketed through domestic and international markets.

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