Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Copra processing


Processing of copra basically is drying or lowering moisture content of coconuts to the moisture content expected. General characteristic of copra processing, mainly in traditional way are:
1.The quality is not constant
2.The short life span

Traditional Processing and Its Characteristics
Traditional processing is the way that inherited from one generation to next generation without any changes, even in procedures and steps of processing, or utilities used in the processing.
Characteristics of traditionally processed copra are:
1.Steps of traditional processing has not fully based in the real processing that happened in those steps.
2.Utilities used in the processing are usually not suitable, or can not fully lead the process to the formation of material’s properties desired by the consumer or the user.
3.Condition of processing are usually not quantitatively checked.
4.Planning made in the process is not really considering about the economic analysis.

Raw materials
Raw materials used in the copra processing are coconut meat. In the age of 160 days, meat of coconut (endosperm) is begin to form, in the age of 300 days reach the maximum age, and in the age of 12 months the coconut become ripe (the average weight is 3-4 kg).
The composition of the coconut (optimal ripe) is coconut fiber (35%), coconut shell (12%), meat (28%), and coconut water (25%). The level of the coconut water is about 50%. The best composition of copra (the best quality copra composition) is water (6-7%) , oil (63-64%), protein (7-8%), carbohydrate (15%), mineral (2%), and fiber (3-4%). Processing of young coconut meat and the over ripe one will produce copra with low quality of production.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Acrylamide in the food product


The consumption of fried food products or usually called as fried foods, seems to be need to limited. The research result of Eden Tareke, and friends from the University of Stockholm, Sweden showed that the food that rich of carbohydrate, like potatoes (especially those who came from the fast food restaurant, in this case potato chips and french fries) can trigger the formation of acrylamide, that can be a potential formation of the cancer (carcinogenic). The massive concentration of acrylamide in the fried food, from the highest is potato chips, French fries, and grilled food like cereal, bread.

The Effect and The Limitation
Acrylamide can destroy DNA that functions as a genetic material, nerve material, causing tumor, decreasing the level of fertility, and causing the fall prematurely of the mice used in this research. The maximum dosage of acrylamide that also known as 2-preponamide is 0, 5 µg/L, according to the people of Europe and the united nation’s world health organization (WHO), Acrylamide actually can be absorbed by the digestion system and turned out from the body through urine in several hours after the consumption if it is not more than the maximum level.

The Formation of Acrylamide
Generally speaking, the mechanism of the formation of acrylamide are happened n three ways:
1. Formed from the acrolein or acrilate acid resulted from the degradation of carbohydrate, fat, or free amino acid, like alanin, asparagin, and metionin that have a similarity in the structure of acrylamide.
2. Formed directly from the amino acid.
3. Formed from the dehydration or decarboxilation of some certain organic acids like lactate acid, malat acid, and citrate acid.
The amino acid asparagin is the amino acid that has the most important role in the formation of acrylamide, it is easy to react to sugar. In potato, asparain is as much as 40% of amino acid, in the cooking temperature of 1000C is enough to produce acrylamide.

The Solution Alternative
Although, the research result of Eden Tereke and friends also gives information that acrylamide is only exist in a small amount in the food materials that do not fried. or grilled. Even, based on the other research, that kind of compound is not exist in the raw, steamed or boiled food. It is assumed, in the relative extreme heat (for example 1900C or in the boiled oil), the carbohydrate compound (for example in the potato, wheat) can be release, then react with the amino acid in the protein. Because of this, the maximize of the food process include high temperature, for example in the deep frying, baking, grilling and broiling need to be done, it is because the higher the temperature and the longer the time for heating, the most significant effect to the amount of the acrylamide formation.
So, the consumption of carbohydrate-rich food that fried actually do not need to be scared if the heat when it is fried is not too extreme and the oil is not used all over and over again. We also need to keep the balance of our eating habit, we also need to consume vegetables and fruits.

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Acrylamide: brain cancer and ingredient to inhibit its formation?
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ginger as a natural antioxidant source to keep oil quality in the food product


Oleoresin extracted from ginger has brownish green color that tends to dark in color. The ginger oleoresin contain 20-30% of essential oil, 10% oil, and 50-70% resin constituent (especially gingerol) that has the role in the formation of hot characteristics of ginger.
The ginger essential oil if separated from the ginger oleoresin, is in the form of shiny yellow liquid, and has the characteristic of ginger flavor. The chemical component in the ginger essential oil is a-pinene, camphene, phellendrene, mycene, cineole, methyte-pteone, borneol, linalool, citral, C10 and Ca-aldehide, a-dan b-zingiberone, a-curcumene, farnesene, sesquiterpene alcohol.

The hot and bite taste from the ginger and the ginger oleoresin caused by the resin constituent (non volatile) like gingerol and shogaol. Fresh ginger has a high level of gingerol so it is hotter than dried ginger that has lower level of gingerol and has already experience a changing in the level of shogaol, zingerone, and paradol.
The spices can prevent rancidity and can keep shelf life of the food by blocking the fat or oil oxidation, especially in the food with high oil content. In the oil oxidation process, fat or oil is breaks into peroxide (free radical) as the result of its interaction with the air or oxygen and finally become aldehyde, ketone and alcohol that give rancid smell to the fat or oil. The spices can prevent the oil oxidation process by blocking or “catching” free radicals, so they can keep the oil quality. The natural antioxidant in the ginger is known to become a strong natural antioxidant in the meat product, animal fat, and soya fat, and also gives uniqe flavor to the traditional food products that contain oil in Indonesia like geplak (made from coconut meat), jenang (made from coconut milk and sticky rice flour), and also virgin coconut oil (made from coconut milk).
Natural compound that work as the natural antioxidant is fenolic compund (gingerol and shogaol) that can be found in the ginger oleoresin. Some researches studied in the potential of ginger oleoresin as natural antioxidant in Indonesian traditional food mentioned above. Some researchers from Indonesia found that the antioxidant activitiy of ginger oleoresin obviously higher than other spices such as Curcuma, etc.
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Virgin Coconut Oil (Vco): Technology Of Processing, Quality And Benefits


Codex Alimentarius (the organization under FAO that work along with WHO that concern on the food standard), defined that the virgin coconut oil is oil or food fat produced without changing the oil, the oil is produced only with mechanical process and minimal heat usage. Otherwise, the pure coconut oil is the coconut oil that in its process does not use chemical substance or extreme heat, so the coconut oil produced still keeps its real fitochemical structure that undergo a natural process so the taste and the smell of the oil is unique. This virgin coconut oil is different with the usual coconut oil made from the copra; the virgin coconut oil is made from old fresh coconut picked from the coconut tree.

The Technology of VCO Process
The making process of virgin coconut oil all is done in a low temperature (room temperature) and does not undergo heating process. There are many alternative technologies in making virgin coconut oil, but there are two main processing technologies that developed a lot today they are wet grinding and the fermentation or enzymatic. The separating processes used in the wet grinding process are the boiling, the freezing and the centrifugation process. In the other side, the process of making the virgin coconut oil by fermentation process is developed through three advanced processes they are multi steps heating, enzymatic and the luring process.
The making process of virgin coconut oil by fermentation is begins with the grating process of the coconut, and then continued with the milking process so the coconut milk is obtained. The coconut milk is then fermented from 24 until 36 hours. In the mean time, there is a separation of the water and the oil. Because the making process does not use heating process, besides producing Medium Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA), the existence of vitamin E and the contained enzymes in the fruit still can be keep.
Quality Of VCO
One of standards that can be used as a reference for assuming the quality of the virgin coconut oil is the standard from the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APPC). APPC is an organization of the world government of 15 main countries of coconut producers that consist more than 90% of the coconut production and product export of coconut all over the world. In the standard of virgin coconut oil based on APCC, it is mentioned that the virgin coconut oil should has clear appearance. Besides, the other parameter of the virgin coconut oil quality that related with the oil oxidation is the free fat acid and the number of peroxide. The level of free fat acid should not be more than 0,5%, and the level of peroxide should not be more than 3 meq/kg oil. Beside that, in the virgin coconut oil, there should be no bad smell or strange smell.
The composition of the fatty acid composition is also become the quality standard of the virgin coconut oil. The high laurite acid level in the virgin coconut oil becomes the characteristics of this product. The laurite acid is the fatty acid that mostly found in the virgin coconut oil. The good level of laurite acid based on APPC (2005) is 43 – 53%. A research from Sebelas Maret University of Surakarta, Indonesia that works on the virgin coconut oil from the process using the fermentation with many kinds of microbes found that the highest level of laurite acid in the pure coconut oil (virgin coconut oil) is in the process with the room temperature with the addition of culture starter Streptococcus Thermopylae and from the spontaneous fermentation (natural fermentation) in the temperature of 400C.

Benefits of VCO
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, a researcher who actively work on the VCO stated that VCO can increase the High Density Lipoperin (HDL, the cholesterol that assumed to be good for human’s health), so VCO can keep the body from coronary heart disease. So, the cholesterol that has the potential in blocking the blood vessel can be minimized.

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