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.

Related archieves:
Sesame oil processing
Raw materials for palm oil processing
Sunflower oil
Corn oil
Copra processing

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