DataPDF Available

Coconut Oil: Chemistry, Production and Its Applications - A Review



C oconut oil is produced by crushing copra, the dried kernel, which contains about 60-65% of the oil. The oil has the natural sweet taste of coconut and contains 92% of saturated fatty acids(in the form of triglycerides), most of them (about 70%) are lower chain saturated fatty acids known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are not common to different vegetable oils with lauric acid at 45-56%. Various fractions of coconut oil have medium chain triglycerides and are excellent solvent for flavours, essences, emulsifiers etc. These fatty acids are used in the preparation of emulsifiers, as drugs and also in cosmetics. Its metabolism is different from that of the normal vegetable oils containing long chain fatty acids. Hence, it cannot be generalized as an oil similar in properties to that of a 92% long chain saturated fatty acids containing oil/fat. More studies are required to prove the good effects of coconut oil, medium chain triglycerides (MCT) and the fatty acids on humans especially on the ill effects on cardiovascular and other diseases. The review covers the production of coconut oil, its Coconut oil is consumed in tropical countries for thousands of years. Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that this population is generally in good health. Coconut oil has a long shelf life and is used in baking industries, processed foods, infant formulae, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and as hair oil. chemistry, MCT and its applications taking a holistic approach on the good and bad effects of coconut oil reported in the literature.
l 15 Indian Coconut Journal
Coconut Oil: Chemistry,
Production and Its Applications -
A Review
Gopala Krishna A.G.,* Gaurav Raj, Ajit Singh Bhatnagar, Prasanth Kumar P.K.
and Preeti Chandrashekar
Department of Lipid Science & Traditional Foods, Central Food Technological Research Institute
(CSIR), Mysore - 570020
Coconut oil is produced by
crushing copra, the dried
kernel, which contains about 60-
65% of the oil. The oil has the natural
sweet taste of coconut and contains
92% of saturated fatty acids(in the
form of triglycerides), most of them
(about 70%) are lower chain
saturated fatty acids known as
medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
MCFAs are not common to different
vegetable oils with lauric acid at 45-
56%. Various fractions of coconut oil
have medium chain triglycerides and
are excellent solvent for flavours,
essences, emulsifiers etc. These fatty
acids are used in the preparation of
emulsifiers, as drugs and also in
cosmetics. Its metabolism is different
from that of the normal vegetable oils
containing long chain fatty acids.
Hence, it cannot be generalized as an
oil similar in properties to that of a
92% long chain saturated fatty acids
containing oil/fat. More studies are
required to prove the good effects of
coconut oil, medium chain
triglycerides (MCT) and the fatty
acids on humans especially on the ill
effects on cardiovascular and other
diseases. The review covers the
production of coconut oil, its
Coconut oil is consumed in
tropical countries for
thousands of years. Studies
done on native diets high in
coconut oil consumption show
that this population is
generally in good health.
Coconut oil has a long shelf
life and is used in baking
industries, processed foods,
infant formulae,
pharmaceuticals, cosmetics
and as hair oil.
chemistry, MCT and its applications
taking a holistic approach on the good
and bad effects of coconut oil reported
in the literature.
Coconut oil is an edible oil that
has been consumed in tropical
countries for thousands of years. As
it has a long shelf life and a melting
point of 76 °F, it is used in baking
industries. A negative campaign
against saturated fats in general, and
the tropical oils in particular, led to
most food manufacturers abandoning
coconut oil in recent years in favor
of hydrogenated polyunsaturated
oils, particularly soy, which contain
trans fatty acids. Studies done on
populations consuming diets high in
coconut oil show no adverse effects
on the health of the population (1).
Coconut oil has >90% saturated
fatty acids, hence is less attractive
to consumers. Saturated fat is one
that has no unsaturation or double
bonds and tends to be solid at room
temperature. Coconut oil is rich in
short and medium chain fatty acids.
Shorter chain length allows fatty
acids to be metabolized without use
of the carnitine transport system.
16 l
July 2010
Various fractions of coconut oil are
used as drugs. Butyric acid is used
to treat cancer, while lauric acid is
effective in treating viral infections.
Hence, the literature is reviewed
in the context of increase of fat
related disorders / diseases through
consumption of highly unsaturated
Importance of coconut as oil seed
The coconut palm is the most
important perennial source of oil,
which is grown in India. The
cultivation of coconut is spread over
the entire coastal belt and also some
interior tracts. Compared to all other
oil seed crops coconut has the
highest productivity as well
as consistency in production.
Compared to other oil seed crops
coconut is less susceptible to
abnormal climatic condition.
Coconut oil production in India
Rotaries and expellers are used
for crushing the dry coconuts
(known as copra) for recovery of oil.
The total production of edible grade
coconut oil in the country is about
4.0 lakh tons which is 1.5 lakh tons
more compared to that produced in
1980’s (2).
Specification for coconut oil (3)
Indian-Standard; IS: 6220-1971
specifies the quality parameters of
copra for grading for different uses
in India. This standard prescribes
the methods of grading and the
requirements of copra for extraction
of oil and for table use, together
with methods of sampling and test.
The 3 types of copra are defined:
type 1 (grades 1, 2 and 3), ball copra
for table purpose; type 2 (grades 1
and 2), cup copra for table purpose;
and type 3 (grades 1, 2 and 3),
milling copra for oil extraction. The
material shall be the kernels
obtained from the fruits of Cocos
nucifera Linn. Requirements cover
physical and chemical properties,
packing, marking, sampling and
manipulative methods. Part III
prescribes detailed laboratory
techniques for determination of:
colour (lovibond scale); sp. gr. (sp.
gr. bottle); refractive index;
moisture (by distillation); volatile
matter (at 105 degree C/1 h);
impurities (filtration and drying);
Table 1. Indian specification for coconut oil (4)
Expressed Solvent-extracted
Characteristics Refined Grade Grade Grade Refined Semi Grade
Grade 1A (Raw) 1B (Raw) 2 (Raw) grade refined 1 (raw)
Moisture & insoluble 0.1 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.1 0.25 1.0
impurities (max) (%)
Colour Lovibond 2 4 11 30 2 10 30
colour scale in Y+5R
Refractive index 1.4480 to 1.4480 to 1.4480 to 1.4480 to 1.4480 to 1.4480 to 1.4480 to
at 40 °C 1.4490 1.4490 1.4490 1.4490 1.4490 1.4490 1.4490
Specific gravity 0.915 to 0.915 to 0.915 to 0.915 to 0.915 to 0.915 to 0.915 to
at 30 °C/30 °C 0.920 0.920 0.920 0.920 0.920 0.920 0.920
Saponification value 250 250 250 250 250 250 250
Iodine value wijs) 7.5 to 10 7.5 to10 7.5 to10 7.5 to10 7.5 to 10 7.5 to10 8.0 to13
Acid value (max) 0.5 2.0 6.0 8.0 0.5 1.0 10
Unsaponifiable (max) 0.5 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.5 0.8 1.0
Polenske value (min) 13.0 13.0 13.0 - 13.0 - -
Flash point, °C (min) - - - - 225 100 90
Ceylon-Standard; CS 32: 1968
describes the specification for
coconut oil intended for export.
Coconut oil is classified into 4
grades: refined, deodorized
(neutralized, bleached, final steam
deodorization); refined (no steam
treatment); white oil (higher free
fatty acids); and industrial oil (crude
oil, not edible without processing).
Part I specifies requirement
for chemical and physical
characteristics, analytical standards,
appearance, freedom from
adulterants and suspended matter,
packaging and marking. Part II
describes and illustrates equipment
for sampling, with special reference
to large bulk vessels, together with
free fatty acids; I value (modified
Wij’s); saponification value;
unsaponifiable matter and mineral
acidity (titration with 0.01N NaOH
to methyl orange) (4).
Common methods of production
of coconut oil
Different types of coconut oil for
edible purposes are available viz,
virgin coconut oil from wet coconuts
(unrefined grade); coconut oil from
dry coconuts (unrefined grade); and
coconut oil by solvent extraction
method (refined from coconut
expeller cake). Virgin coconut oil is
claimed to have more health benefits
compared to coconut oil extracted
from copra.
l 17 Indian Coconut Journal
Copra milling by traditional
The extraction of oil from copra
is one of the oldest seed crushing
operations. In India and Sri Lanka
copra is still crushed for oil
extraction in the primitive chekkus
as well as in rotary ghanis, expellers
and hydraulic presses.
The chekku is a fixed wooden or
stone mortar inside which revolves
on a hard wooden pestle. The pestle
is attached to a long pole which is
moved round via bullocks, donkey
or by human labor. About 20 – 40
kg of copra can be handled by a
Copra processing by continuous
This is done with the help of
expellers. The oil expeller is
essentially a mechanical screw
press in which the oil is expelled
from the copra by the pressure
exerted by a continuous rotating
warm shaft in the barrel or cage of
the press. The barrel is built with
openings to allow the escape of oil
and these can be adjusted
according to the type of seed being
Hydraulic presses
These are used in the large
installations. They are of two main
types-open or Anglo-American
presses and the closed or cage type
presses. In this the space between the
plates above ram and the head is
divided by plates between which
copra is put wrapped in press clothes.
The common method is to extract
oil from copra or the dry coconuts.
Conventionally coconut oil is
produced by expelling dry copra,
followed by refining during which
oil is exposed to high temperature.
The copra based refined coconut oil
or the solvent extracted and refined
coconut oil will have a bland taste
due to the refining processes.
Wet coconut processing
The wet coconuts are subjected to
pressing to ooze the oil out along with
coconut milk. This is processed
afterwards without employing heat,
shear, chemicals, refining and is
known as virgin coconut oil. Virgin
coconut oil has applications in
pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It is
colorless with characteristic coconut
flavor and finds several applications
in medicinal, cosmetics and cooking
purposes. Traditionally, virgin coconut
oil is produced by fermentation
method, where coconut milk expelled
from freshly harvested coconuts is
fermented for 24-36 hr, and during this
period, the oil phase gets separated
from aqueous phase. Further, the
resulting wet oil is slightly heated for
a short time to remove the moisture
and finally filtered. The main
disadvantages of this process are low
oil recovery and fermented odor,
which masks the characteristic coconut
flavor of the oil.
In conventional methods for
virgin coconut oil, freshly extracted
milk is centrifuged to obtain cream
which is heated upto 60-80°C before
centrifuging to obtain the oil.
Systematic research work has been
carried out at CFTRI for the
production of several value added
products from coconut, one of them
being virgin coconut oil. In the
CFTRI process, virgin coconut oil is
obtained by ‘wet processing’ without
heat, shear and chemicals with
an overall yield of 87.5%.
Physicochemical properties and fatty
acid compositions were evaluated.
Sensory studies are also carried out
and found that virgin coconut oil is
superior to the commercial sample.
Scale-up runs were carried out for
the production of virgin coconut oil.
The process technology has been
transferred to several user industries
through Coconut Development
Board, Cochin.
Physico-chemical characteristics
of coconut oil
Coconut oil is insoluble in water.
At temperature above its melting
point it is completely miscible with
Table 2. Codex standards for coconut oil (5)
Characteristic Coconut oil
Colour – Platinum cobalt scale (max) 50
Relative density at 40°C/20° C 0.908-0.921
Refractive Index at 40°C 1.448-1.450
Moisture & other volatiles at 105°C 0.1
Free fatty acids, calculated as lauric acid % by mass (max) 0.3
Peroxide value (millequivalents of active oxygen per kg) Not more than 15
Iodine value 6.3-10.6
Sap. value 248-265
Unsaponifiables, % by mass, max g/kg 15
Reichert value 6 – 8.5
Polenske value 13 –18
18 l
July 2010
most of the non-hydroxylic solvents
such as light petroleum, benzene,
carbon tetrachloride etc. In alcohol,
coconut oil is more soluble than most
common fats and oils.
Chemical composition
Coconut oil contains a high
proportion of glycerides of lower
chain fatty acids (Tables 3, 4 & 5).
The oil is highly stable towards
atmospheric oxidation. The oil is
characterized by a low iodine value,
high saponification value, high
saturated fatty acids content and is a
liquid at room temperatures of 27°C.
Unsaponifiable matter
All natural fats contain minor
quantities of substance other than
fatty acid glycerides. The
unsaponified constituent is mostly
sterols. The unsaponifiable
constituent of coconut oil include a
small amount of tocopherols and
phytosterols (Table 3).
Chemistry of fatty acids and
Medium chain triglycerides
Medium chain triglycerides
(MCTs) are a class of lipids in which
three saturated fats are bound to a
glycerol backbone. What distinguishes
MCTs from other triglycerides is the
fact that each fat molecule is between
six and twelve carbons in length (9).
MCTs are a component of many foods,
with coconut and palm oils being the
dietary sources with the highest
concentration of MCTs. MCTs are also
available as a dietary supplement (10).
MCTs have a different pattern of
absorption and utilization than long-
chain triglycerides (LCTs) that make
up 97 percent of dietary fats. For
absorption of LCTs to occur, the fatty
acid chains must be separated from
the glycerol backbone by the lipase
enzyme. These fatty acids form
micelles, are then absorbed and
reattached to glycerol, and the
resultant triglycerides travel through
the lymphatics en route to the
bloodstream. Up to 30 percent of
MCTs are absorbed intact across the
intestinal barrier and directly enter
the portal vein. This allows for much
quicker absorption and utilization of
MCTs compared to LCTs. MCTs are
transported into the mitochondria
independent of the carnitine shuttle,
which is necessary for LCT-
mitochondrial absorption. Oxidation
of MCTs provides 8.3 calories per
gram, while LCTs provides 9.2
calories per gram (11).
Coconut Oil as a source of
medium-chain triglycerides
All fats and oils are composed of
triglyceride molecules, which are tri
Table 3. Physico-chemical Characteristics of coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil Unrefined coconut Refined coconut
from wet coconut Oil from copra oil
Appearance Colorless Slight brownish Colourless
Odour Coconut smell Coconut smell Odourless
Melting point °C 24 24 24
Moisture (%) <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Iodine value (cg I2/g) 12-15 12-15 10-12
Peroxide value (meq. O2/kg) 0-1 0-1 0-1
Saponification value(mg KOH/g) 245-255 245-255 250-255
Phospholipids(%) 0.1 0.1 0.0
Unsaponifiable matter(%) 0.42% 0.19%
Tocopherols mg/kg 150-200 150-200 4-100
Phytosterols mg/kg 400-1200
Total phenolics mg/Kg 640 618 20
Fatty acid composition(relative %)
Saturates 92.0 92.0 92.0
Monounsaturates 6.0 6.0 6.0
Polyunsaturates 2.0 2.0 2.0
Table 4. Fatty acid composition of coconut oil and some other vegetable oils
Vegetable oils C8:0 C10:0 C12:0 C14:0 C16:0 C18:0 C18:1 C18:2 C18:3 C20:0 C22:0 Others
Coconut 7.0 5.4 48.9 20.2 8.4 2.5 6.2 1.4 - - -
Palm kernel - 1.2 51.6 22.9 12.2 1.3 10.8 - - - - -
Sunflower - - - - 6.3 3.0 43.7 47.0 - - -
Rice bran - - - 0.4 22.9 1.8 42.5 30.5 1.4 0.5 -
Safflower - - - 0.3 11.9 2.3 29.2 55.9 0.4 - -
Sesame - - - - 10.3 5.8 42.9 41.0 - - -
Groundnut - - - - 14.0 3.8 41.9 34.7 1.0 1.2 3.4
Palm - - 0.2 1.1 42.6 3.8 41.9 10.4 - - -
Olive - - - - 12.0 2.5 75.7 7.9 0.5 - - 1.4
Soybean - - - - 11.6 4.0 18.8 56.1 8.5 - - 1.0
Grape seed - - - - 7.2 4.8 19.4 68.1 0.1 - - 0.4
Linseed - - - - 7.1 2.0 19.9 17.3 53.7 - - 0.4
l 19 Indian Coconut Journal
diet (14). It is the MCT in coconut oil
that make it different from all other fats
and for the most part gives it its unique
character and healing properties.
Almost all of the medium-chain
triglycerides used in research,
medicine, and food products come
from coconut oil.
MCT are easily digested,
absorbed, and put to use nourishing
the body. Unlike other fats, they put
little strain on the digestive system
and provide a quick source of energy
necessary to promote healing. This
is important for patients who are
using every ounce of strength they
have to overcome serious illness or
injury. It’s no wonder why MCT are
added to infant formulas. MCT are
not only found in coconut oil but also
are natural and vital components
of human breast milk. MCT are
considered essential nutrients for
infants as well as for people with
serious digestive problems like
cystic fibrosis (15, 16). Like other
essential nutrients, one must get
them directly from the diet.
Literature on coconut oil
Philippines, Indonesia, India, Sri
Lanka, Mexico, West Malaysia, and
Papua & New Guinea are the 7
countries which produce major
quantities of coconut in the world.
Coconut is available in two forms
viz., wet and dry materials
commonly known as wet coconut
and dry coconut or copra. The oil can
be extracted from both these raw
materials. However, in India and
Srilanka, it is a general practice to
use only copra for oil extraction and
the oil is used for food and cosmetic
purposes. In Phillippines, the oil is
extracted from wet coconut also and
is known as virgin coconut oil. In
some countries solvent extraction of
the dry coconut followed by refining,
bleaching and deodorization is
carried out to get the refined
bleached and deodorized coconut
oil. The technology for the
production of coconut oil through
expellers is well developed and
many medium scale industries in
India produce oil by this method.
However, some small scale
industries produce the oil by
processing fresh coconut also using
local expeller press. Problems of
sediments and rancidity persist in
these oils.
The literature on coconut oil
which has been reported as
published papers and patents from
1970 onwards were reviewed and
were classified under the following
Table 5. TAG (triacyl glycerols or triglycerides) molecular species in coconut oil from India, Malaysia and
Indonesia (12 & 13)
Species Oil (I) (MAL) 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
CaCC 1.1 - - - - - - - - - - -
CaCLa 3.4 - - - - - - - - - - -
CCLa 12.8 13.1 16.6 15.1 16.4 15.9 16.2 14.4 14.3 16.7 14.7 16.1
CpCpLa - 1.2 0.8 1.1 1.3 1.0 1.4 0.9 1.1 1.3 0.7 0.9
CpCLa - 3.5 4.0 3.9 4.2 4.2 4.2 3.3 3.6 4.3 3.7 3.5
CLaLa 17.8 17.2 21.4 19.8 19.7 19.8 20.0 19.5 19.2 21.1 19.9 20.3
LaLaLa 20.7 21.9 25.8 23.3 24.1 22.8 23.6 23.5 23.6 23.5 23.6 23.9
LaLaM 16.1 17.2 15.1 15.6 13.8 14.6 13.6 15.4 16.5 14.2 16.2 14.8
LaLaO 1.8 2.3 1.3 1.5 2.0 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.8 1.8 1.2 1.6
LaMM 10.1 10.2 8.6 9.5 7.8 9.1 8.2 9.1 9.4 7.4 9.5 8.6
LaMO 2.1 2.1 0.9 1.4 1.6 1.3 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.2 1.2 1.2
LLO/LaMP 6.2 5.8 4.8 4.8 5.0 4.9 4.8 5.7 5.5 4.8 5.4 4.7
LaOO 1.6 1.4 0.3 1.8 1.1 1.0 1.2 0.9 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.1
LOO/LaPP 2.9 3.0 0.4 1.3 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.9 1.7 1.8 2.0
PLO 0.9 - - - - -- -- ---
MOO - 0.7 - 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.3 0.5 0.5 0.5
MPO 0.8 - - - - -- -- -- -
OOO 0.2 - - - - -- -- -- -
POO - 0.3 - 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.5
POP 0.8 - - - - -- -- -- -
PPP 0.2 - - - - -- -- -- -
esters of glycerol and fatty acids. The
fats upon hydrolysis yield fatty acids
and glycerol. There are two methods
of classifying fatty acids,
monounsaturated fatty acids, and
polyunsaturated fatty acids. The
second method of classification is
based on molecular size or length of
the carbon chain in the fatty acid.
The vast majority of the fats and
oils whether they are saturated or
unsaturated or from an animal or a
plant, are composed of long-chain
triglycerides. All fats we eat consist of
LCT while, coconut oil is unique
because it is composed predominantly
of MCT. The size of the fatty acid is
extremely important because
physiological effects of medium-chain
fatty acids in coconut oil are distinctly
different from the long-chain fatty
acids more commonly found in our
20 l
July 2010
A. Production Methods and Oil
A number of reviews are
available on the different types of
extraction and processing methods
for the preparation of coconut oil,
coconut flour, protein and coconut
cake and meal. Cornelius (17) has
reviewed the aspects of coconut
processing such as growing,
harvesting, handling, storage,
composition of nut, processing,
primary products (copra, ball copra,
desiccated coconut, fibre and shells),
coconut oil (extraction methods,
composition of coconut oil), uses of
oil, coconut cake and meal,
nutritional aspects, and the coconut
industry in the 7 major producing
areas (Philippines, Indonesia, India,
Sri Lanka, Mexico, West Malaysia,
and Papua & New Guinea). Dendy
and Grimwood (18) have reviewed
the various processes for wet
treatment which have been proposed
for extraction of oil and protein from
fresh coconut meat: The Chayen,
Robledano, ICAIT, Krauss-Maffei,
Roxas and Sugarman processes,
integrated processes, methods used
by the Texas A&M University and
the Tropical Products Institute,
London. The problem of obtaining
cheap protein-based food products,
coconut milk and cream, frozen
milk, syrup, etc. is then examined.
A few indications are given
regarding the nutritive and chemical
aspects of coconut protein. Baltasar
(19) has reviewed the extraction
process of coconut oil by the dry
processing technology. Coconut oil
extraction employing dry processing
technology is discussed under the
following headings: preparation of
raw material; drying or cooking;
feeding the expeller presses;
handling and filtering of crude oil;
oil cooling system; and extraction by
the solvent method. Loncin et al (20)
reviewed the utilization of palm oil
and coconut oil in the form of
interesterified fat. The utilization of
transesterified palm oil with 25%
coconut oil for production of cooking
fat of uniform consistency little
affected by temperature. (solid fat
index at 10, 20 and 30 degree C being
45.6, 33.6, 9.2, consistency in 0.1 mm
ASTM penetration depth after 9 days’
storage at 15, 21 and 25 degree C was
19, 38 and 44). Due to its low
oxidation during heating, liquid oil is
suitable for table and frying use.
Enzymatic process
Coconut oil is extracted from
coconut paste by a new enzymatic
process (1) and the method used less
energy than the conventional
processes. A Sri Lankan inventor (21)
has developed a simple method for
making high quality coconut oil and
desiccated coconut. Using more
manpower and little or no electricity,
it involves breaking the coconut,
scraping it and drying in a specially
designed solar drier. The desiccated
coconut produced can be used for
mechanical extraction of colourless,
odourless coconut oil suitable for
direct consumption (22). Mojika (23)
developed a simple process for
producing coconut oil and food grade
copra cake which has been patented.
Nambiar (24) developed a method for
the production of refined oil from the
milk of fresh ripe coconuts and has
been granted an Indian patent.
Wet processing of coconut
Nambiar (25) has developed a
method of processing fresh ripe
coconut to obtain refined oil and to
simultaneously recover coconut
products including solid coconut
products for human consumption
which has also been patented in
India. Castellanos and Asturias (26)
investigated the wet milling
processes for the extraction of oil
from decorticated fresh coconut
under a variety of experimental
conditions to get oil of better quality
and it required less refining.
Hagenmaier et al (27) identified the
critical unit operations in the wet
processing of fresh coconuts for the
recovery of oil and food grade
Solvent extraction
Cancel et al (28) has standardized
conditions for coconut oil extraction
from coconut milk press-cake.
Gonzalez et al (29) studied the
solvent extraction of residual oil
from wet coconut meal using
isopropanol. Bernardini (30) has
described a new single solvent direct
extraction process (by CMB,
Pomezia) which obviates the need
for pressing. Aliwalas and Buccat
(31) studied the filtration-extraction
of granulated coconut on a bench
scale. Claudio et al (32) carried out
laboratory scale studies on the
preparation of a highly nutritious
coconut flour from granulated
coconut. Preliminary feeding expt.
indicate a PER comparable with
casein. Prepared foods (cakes,
doughnuts, cookies, pastries) with
20-30% wheat flour replaced by
coconut flour obtained high taste
Fatty acid composition
Banzon and Resurreccion (33)
carried out a study on the fatty acid
l 21 Indian Coconut Journal
distribution in coconut oil obtained
by four processing methods and
secured from four Philippine types
of coconuts. There was no observed
change in the fatty acid distribution
in samples of coconut oil obtained
by 4 methods, namely: solvent
extraction, fermentation, freeze-
thawing and heating. Neither was
there such a change observed in
coconut oil samples obtained from
4 types of coconuts.
Phenolics and antioxidant activity
Kapila and Dissanayake (34)
studied the phenolic compounds
present in the nonsaponifiable
fraction of coconut oil by high-
performance liquid chromatography
with florescence detection. Mass
spectra of the phenolic compounds
were also obtained separately by
LC–MS to confirm the presence of
the phenolic compounds. Caffeic
acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid
and catechin were observed in
coconut oil. Phenolic acid fraction
of the coconut oil prepared by
boiling coconut milk (traditional
coconut oil) was more complex
compared with that of coconut oil
prepared by pressing copra
(commercial coconut oil). Total
phenol content of traditional coconut
oil was nearly seven times higher
than that of commercial coconut oil
(618 ± 46 vs. 91 ± 11 mg kg )1 ),
suggesting that the phenol content
varies with the extraction method.
Kapila, Chamil and Sagarika (35)
compared the antioxidant activities
of coconut oil extracted under hot
and cold conditions. The coconut oil
extracted under hot conditions
(HECO) contained more phenolic
substances than the coconut oil
extracted under cold conditions
(CECO). However, high temperatures
used in the hot extraction of coconut
oil favor the incorporation of more
thermally stable phenolic
antioxidants into coconut oil.
Therefore, the consumption of
HECO may result in improvement
of antioxidant related health benefits
compared with the consumption of
Moura (6) studied the changes in
some components of the
unsaponifiable fraction of coconut oil
during refining. 8 lots of coconut oil
were sampled at 5 points in the refining
process. The unsaponifiable matter
(UNS) comprised hydrocarbons
(including squalene), aliphatic
alcohols and triterpenoid alcohols,
sterols and a final group containing
free fatty acids (FFA), campesterol and
some unidentified components.
Tocopherols were not detected in the
coconut samples analysed. Manalac
and Harder (36) analysed the
tocopherol content of coconut oil from
a commercial processing plant at
different stages of refining. One
sample of crude oil containing
721.06µg/g lost 94.5% resulting in
38.9µg/g in the final product.
It is observed from the above
literature reports that there is
variation in the composition of
coconut oil with respect to natural
antioxidants level with the method
used for its extraction which may
have a bearing on the nutritional
quality of the oil.
B. Blending of coconut oil with
other vegetable oils
Oxidative stability
Coconut oil addition to other
vegetable oils improves their
oxidative stability indicating that
coconut oil can be used as a natural
antioxidant through the blending
process. Bhatnagar et al (37) have
observed that addition of coconut oil
to either safflower oil, sunflower oil,
rice bran oil increased the oxidative
stability of the resultant blend.
Phase separation
Murthi et al (38) studied the
storage stability of edible oils and
their blends. Among the blends,
sesame oil or groundnut oil blended
with refined cottonseed oil showed
the least increase in FFA. PV of raw
edible oils and their blends tended
to rise steadily to a maximum,
declining gradually thereafter.
Acceptability became poor for raw
edible oils after 120 days, when the
PV was between 5.9 and 16 m-
equiv./kg, and for refined oils after
90 days (PV was 4.4-9) and for the
blends after 90-120 days (PV 4-45).
The consumer preference in various
areas was for oil blends containing
cottonseed oil with sesame oil or
groundnut oil, coconut oil with palm
olein, and rapeseed oil with mustard
oil. Blends containing palm oil were
less acceptable, as a waxy solid mass
separates out in these oils.
Coconut oil emulsions
Garti and Arkad (39) studied the
process of preparation of cloudy
coconut oil emulsions containing
dispersed TiO2 using atomizer.
Rogov et al (40) studied the viscosity
of the fat components of margarine
emulsions. Technological procedures
in margarine manufacture (dosage,
transport, mixing) are affected by the
viscosity of the fat component.
Viscosities of some fats (hardened
fat, qualities 1, 2 and 3, coconut oil,
vegetable oil blends, etc.) and of the
fat components used for margarine
22 l
July 2010
emulsion preparation were
determined at 40 degree C. The
viscosities of different fat blend
emulsions applied in Russian
margarine formulations were also
determined and are tabulated.
Nutritional effects of coconut oil
Bellenand et al (41) studied the
effects of coconut oil on heart lipids
and on fatty acid utilization in
rapeseed oil. The cardiac lipidosis
was proportional to the content of
erucic acid in the diet. At 60 days,
the high level of 22:6 in the cardiac
phospholipids of rats fed rapeseed oil
was reduced by the addition of
sunflower oil but not by coconut oil.
Thus, the blending of rapeseed oil
with coconut oil apparently is less
desirable than that of rapeseed oil
and sunflower oil. McCutcheon et al
(42) studied the cardiopathogenicity
of rapeseed oils and oil blends
differing in erucic, linoleic and
linolenic acid content on male Wistar
rats using semipurified diets. Lowest
lesion incidence was obtained with
safflower oil and hydrogenated
coconut oil. It has been postulated
that linolenic acid plays a role in the
etiology of cardiac necrosis observed
when rats are fed diets containing
low erucic acid rapeseed oils.
Theuer (43) developed fat
compositions for infant formulas
containing vegetable fats with a fatty
acid simulating that of human milk.
Grandadam (44) developed
processes to recover the proteins of
the coconut from copra cake, or
directly from fresh coconut meat by
different processes. The improved
Itipat process of double pressing
allows recovery of 93.45% of the oil
and 91.9%. Aliwalas (45) studied the
following process for oil extraction
from coconut meat: (i) wet method
(using a De Laval centrifuge), (ii)
hydraulic pressing, (iii) pressing plus
solvent extraction, (iv) filtration
extraction (direct solvent extraction).
Oil extraction efficiencies obtained
were: (i) 79.56% (increased to 96.3%
by subsequent solvent extraction),
(ii) 76.47%, (iii) 99.65%, (iv) 96.58.
Protein contents of isolates from (i)
ranged from 59 to 75%. Protein
efficiency ratio (PER) biological
value (BV), true digestibility (TD)
and net protein utilization (NPU) of
coconut flour from (ii), (iii) and (iv)
were: PER 2.42, 2.55, 2.42; BV 77,
84, 79; TD 76, 74, 72; NPU 68, 64,
66. Values for coconut isolate
prepared by heat coagulation of
cream or aqueous portion of fresh
coconut milk from (i) were: PER
1.50, 2.20; BV 72, 80; TD 88, 92;
NPU 59, 65. The traditional rural
method gave an oil extraction
efficiency of 82.45, and a protein
isolate with PER 1.25, BV 62, TD
86 and NPU 58.
Reena Rao and Lokesh (46, 47),
Anitha Nagaraju and Lokesh (48, 49)
and Reena and Lokesh (50) have
used immobilized lipase systems for
the synthesis of structured lipids
from coconut oil and omega 6 and
omega 3 fatty acids and carried out
nutritional evaluation of the same in
rats. They found beneficial effects in
the lipid profile after enzymatic
acidolysis of coconut oil with omega
6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
Indian Specification for blending
of vegetable oils
As per the Prevention of Food
Adulteration Act 1954 Rules
and Regulations and updated
amendments following is the
specification for a vegetable oil
A.17.24. “Blended Edible
Vegetable Oil” means an admixture
of any two edible vegetable oils
where the proportion by weight of
any edible vegetable oil used in the
admixture is not less than 20 per
cent. The individual oils in the blend
shall conform to the respective
standards prescribed by these rules.
The blend shall be clear, free from
rancidity, suspended or insoluble
matter or any other foreign matter,
separated water, added colouring
matter, flavouring substance,
mineral oil, hydrocyanic acid, castor
oil and tricresyl phosphate. It shall
also conform to the following
standards, namely;
Based on the PFA specifications,
a process has been developed at the
Central Food Technological
Research Institute, Mysore under
sponsorship from the Coconut
Development Board, Cochin and is
ready for commercialization.
C. Edible applications of
coconut oil
Coconut oil has a high degree of
saturation with a high content of
saturated fatty acids. Because of
high content of saturated fatty acids
coconut oil is highly resistant to
oxidative rancidity, coconut oil is
used as a component of infant milk
powders because of its easy
digestibility and stable flavor.
Coconut oil is extensively used in
the food industries as a
confectionery fat particularly in the
preparation of ice creams. In
imitation chocolates coconut oil is
used in place of cocoa butter along
with cocoa powder.
l 23 Indian Coconut Journal
materials. These MCTs can also be
used as a glaze and polishing agent
for confectionery products such as
gummy- type candies. Solid MCTs
can help to enhance aeration
properties in bakery products (55,
MCT derivatives- structured
Medium chain triglycerides can
be used to custom design fats. MCTs
with conventional long chain fats give
products with unique physical and
nutritional products. MCT derivatives
show unique properties compared to
their corresponding physical blends.
They may contribute nutritional and
functional benefits to value added
foods (57, 58, 59).
D. Non-edible applications
of coconut oil
One of the major non-edible
applications of coconut oil is in the
soap industries; one important
chemical derivative of coconut oil
is methyl esters of coconut fatty
acids, which are produced by
treating coconut oil with methyl
alcohol. These methyl esters
constitutes an important raw
material for the chemical industries
as they are more stable and are
easier to separate by fractional
distillation. Coconut oil has many
other industrial uses in the
pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plastics,
rubber substitutes, synthetic resins
etc. Coconut oil has also been found
useful for mixing with diesel. These
mixture in the proportion as 30:70
has given excellent road
performance of diesel vehicles.
Methyl esters of coconut oil fatty
acids is also being used as lubricants
and biodiesel in aviation industry.
Indian Specification for blending of two oils
a. Moisture and volatile matter Not more than 0.2 per cent by weight
b. Acid Value
Nature of oil Acid value
1. Both raw edible vegetable oils in the blend Not more than 6.0
2. One raw edible vegetable oil and one refined edible
vegetable oil in the blend Not more than 5.0
3. Both refined edible vegetable oils in the blend Not more than 5.0
c. Unsaponifiable matter:
1. Blend with rice bran oil Not more than 3.0 per cent by weight
2. Blend with other edible vegetable oils Not more than 1.50 per cent by weight
d. Flash point (Penske Martin closed method) Not less than 250ºC
1. Test for argemone oil shall be negative for the blend
2. However, blend may contain food additives permitted in these rules and Appendix ‘C’.
Use in the synthesis of medium
chain triglycerides
Medium chain triacylglycerols
are unique categories of lipids
produced by the esterification of
glycerol with medium chain fatty
acids, which come from high lauric
oils. Coconut and palm kernel oils
are the only commercially important
sources of medium chain fatty acids
(52). These oils are hydrolyzed to
liberate their fatty acids from
glycerol, and then the fatty acids are
separated by fractional distillation.
The lower boiling or top fraction of
the fatty acids contains the medium
chain acids (53).The esterification
reaction between glycerol and the
medium chain fatty acids is carried
out at high temperatures with or
without use of a catalyst. The water
liberated in the reaction is removed
continuously to drive the reaction to
completion (54). When the
esterification reaction is complete,
excess fatty acids are removed from
the reaction mixture by vacuum
distillation. To remove the volatile
odor and flavor components as well
as any residual fatty acids, the crude
MCTs are deodorized to get a final
product that has a bland flavor and
is odorless and colorless.
Functional benefits of medium
chain triglycerides
Medium chain triglycerides are
widely used in the flavor industries
as they are more polar and therefore
more hydrophilic and can dissolve
a variety of polar substances that are
insoluble in conventional fats and
oils. Hydrocarbons, esters and
natural oils as well as alcohols,
ketones and acids are miscible with
MCTs. These properties make
MCTs superior carrier for flavors,
vitamins and colors when compared
to conventional oils. MCTs have a
lower molecular weight than
conventional oils. This gives MCTs
a lower viscosity than conventional
oils, even at low temperatures.
MCTs oils have no unsaturated fatty
acids present; therefore they are
exceptionally stable to oxidation.
MCTs have excellent keeping
qualities and therefore help to
increase shelf- life of finished
products. MCTs are ideal for
treating the surfaces of crackers to
act as a moisture barrier. They
adhere well to surfaces, including
metals. They are excellent release
agent for surfaces that come into
contact with food products or raw
24 l
July 2010
E. Clinical Applications of
medium chain triglycerides and
saturated fatty acids
Children with cystic fibrosis
supplemented with up to 75 ml of
MCTs per day experienced greater
weight gain and reduced fecal fat
compared to a trial period on a
control diet (9). When MCTs are
given concurrently with a pancreatic
enzyme preparation, absorption is
improved (58). MCTs have been
used in other malabsorption
syndromes, including short-bowel
syndrome, celiac disease, and
hepatic disease (15).
MCTs may help with weight
maintenance in AIDS patients. An
enteral formula containing 85
percent of fat calories from MCTs
(35% of total calories from fat) led
to decreases in stool fat, number of
bowel movements, and abdominal
symptoms, as well as increased fat
absorption compared to baseline
(59). No improvement was seen in
subjects taking a control LCT-
containing formula. Another
controlled trial confirmed these
results (60). MCT-containing
caloric supplements do not appear
to cause weight gain in AIDS
patients compared to a control diet.
In 1978, Kabara and others (61)
reported that certain medium chain
fatty acids, such as lauric acid have
adverse effects on other pathogenic
microorganisms, including bacteria,
yeast and fungi. These fatty acids
and their derivatives actually
disrupt the lipid membranes of the
organisms and thus inactivate them
Healing properties of coconut oil
Coconut oil is antiviral, anti-
fungal (kills yeast too) and
antibacterial. It attacks and kills
viruses that have a lipid (fatty)
coating, such as herpes, HIV,
hepatitis C, the flu, and
mononucleosis. It kills the bacteria
that cause pneumonia, sore throats,
dental cavities, urinary tract
infections, meningitis, gonorrhea,
food poisoning and many more
bacterial infections (63). It kills the
fungus/yeast infections that cause
candida, ringworm, athletes foot,
thrush, jock itch and diaper
Use of saturated fats in therapeutic
Saturated fatty acids can be
used to: boost the immune system,
for weight management, as
antimicrobials, to support the
structure of gut mucosa, and as
dietary adjuncts in cases of chronic
degenerative disease, such as
cardiovascular disease, liver
disease and cancer. As far as the
integrity of the gut mucosa is
concerned, the use of short and
medium chain fatty acids can
reduce mucosal irritation
characteristic of aliments such as:
IBS, ulcerative colitis, and
dysbiosis, to name a few. In
particular, short chain fatty acids
are antihistaminic and may find use
in the treatment of allergic-type
conditions, such as asthma,
urticaria and food sensitivities.
Studies have also shown that short
chain saturated fatty acids can be
used in the treatment of dental
caries, peptic ulcers, BPH, genital
herpes, and hepatitis (64).
Saturated fatty acids of coconut oil
having medicinal properties
Roughly 45 to 50% of fatty acids
of coconut oil form lauric acid.
Lauric acid is known to kill viruses
and bacteria that are enveloped in a
phospholipid membrane. Examples
of viruses with a fatty capsule are:
influenza viruses and HIV. Coconut
itself contains about 75% fiber, not
bran fiber from wheat and grains
(which contains phytic acid that
absorbs calcium and other mineral
from your body before it is
excreted), but dietary fiber that feeds
beneficial colon flora. As the fiber
is metabolized by the naturally
occurring bacteria, they by default,
crowd out other potentially harmful
pathogens and produce short chain
fatty acids (SCFA’s) like acetic acid
(minute amounts of vinegar and
butyric acid (originally isolate in
butter) both compounds are known
to have varying degrees of anti
microbial activity. These fatty acids
are absorbed directly into the colon
and serve as energy in that way.
Butyric acid has been shown to have
anti-tumor properties. Many
researchers have reported that
coconut oil lowers cholesterol. The
cholesterol-lowering properties of
coconut oil are a direct result of its
ability to stimulate thyroid function.
In the presence of adequate thyroid
hormone, cholesterol (specifically
LDL-cholesterol) is converted by
enzymatic processes to the vitally
necessary anti-aging steroids,
pregnenolone, progesterone and
DHEA. These substances are
required to help prevent heart
disease, senility, obesity, cancer and
other diseases associated with ageing
and chronic degenerative diseases
l 25 Indian Coconut Journal
Anti-Cancer Effects of Coconut
In 1987 Lim-Sylianco (64)
published a 50-year literature review
showing the anti-cancer effects of
coconut oil. In chemically induced
cancers of the colon and breast,
Cohen et al (65) showed that coconut
oil was by far more protective than
unsaturated oils. For example 32%
of corn oil eaters got colon cancer
whereas only 3% of coconut oil
eaters got the cancer. Animals fed
unsaturated oils had more tumors.
This shows the thyroid-suppressive
and hence, immuno-suppressive
effect of unsaturated oils.
Coconut oil is consumed in
tropical countries for thousands of
years. Studies done on native diets
high in coconut oil consumption
show that this population is generally
in good health. Coconut oil has a
long shelf life and is used in baking
industries, processed foods, infant
formulas, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics
and as hair oil. The oil contains 92%
of saturates consisting of medium
chain fatty acids in the form of
triglycerides, and about 8% of
unsaturates consisting of oleic and
linoleic acids as triglycerides. The oil
has a small amount of unsaponifiable
matter (< 0.5%), is colourless and
has a odour typical of the coconuts.
The oil has small amounts of
tocopherols and tocotrienols and
phytosterols. The oil is known to
have antiviral and antibacterial
effects and excellent healing
properties. It gets easily absorbed in
the body and is a nature mimic of
the human breast milk fat and hence
used in infant formulae. With all
these good quality attributes, the side
effects of the oil has also been
reported especially in cardiovascular
diseases due to the presence of less
of unsaturated fatty acids in the
triglycerides of the oil. It is
hypothesized that due to lower
amount of PUFA, there is a
possibility of atherogenecity
development during long term usage
of the oil. However, more research
is needed to clearly understand the
many good effects of the oil.
The authors thank Dr. V. Prakash,
Director, CFTRI, Mysore and the
Coconut Development Board, Kochi
for enthusing us to write this review
and Dr. B.R. Lokesh, Head, Dept. of
Lipid Science & Traditional Foods,
for critically going through the
1. Thampan, P.K., Glimpses of coconut
industry in India, Coconut
Development Board, Cochin 1988.
2. Import
of vegetable oils, The Solvent
Extractors’ Association of India,
Mumbai, India.
3. Indian Standards Institution
Specification, Grading for copra for
table use and for oil milling. India,
Indian- Standard; IS: 6220-1971,
10pp. Methods of sampling and test
for oils and fats, Indian Standard
specification for coconut oil IS:542-
1968. Indian Standards Institution
New Delhi. 1971.
4. Specification for coconut oil. Ceylon,
Ceylon-Standard: CS 32: 1968 24pp.
Bureau of Ceylon Standards. 1968.
5. Codex Alimentarius (FAO/WHO),
Codex Standards for Named Vegetable
Oils, Codex Stan 210-1999. Codex
Alimentarius, V.8-2001. Rome, Italy, p
6. Moura Fe J de A, Changes in some
components of the unsaponifiable
fraction of coconut oil during refining.
Dissertation Abstracts International.
Section B. Sci. and Engg., 1971 32 (6)
3424-3425 order no. 72-1709.
7. Lucita R Lauretes, Felicito M
Rodriguez, Consorcia E. Reano,
Genardo A Santos, Antonio CLaurena,
Evelyn Mae Tecson Mendoza.
Variability in fatty acid and
triacylglycerol composition of the oil of
coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) hybrid and
their parental. J. Agric. Food Chem.,
(2002) 50 1581-1586.
8. Frank D Gunstone, John L Harwood,
Albert J Dikstra. The lipid handbook.
CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group.
9. Babayan, V.K. Medium chain
triglycerides. In dietary fat requirements
in health and development. (CJ Beare-
Rogers, ed) AOCS press, Champain,
Illinois (USA) 1988 73-86.
10. J. A. Heydnger, D. K. Nakhasi, Medium
chain Triacylglycerols. J. of Food
Lipids, (3) 1996 251-257.
11. Ralph Hoahland,George G. Snider,
Digestability of certain higher saturated
fatty acids and triglycerides. J. Nutri.,
1943 26(3) 219-225.
12. Malongil B. Reena, Sunki R. Y. Reddy,
Belur R. Lokesh, Changes in
triglyceride molecular species and
thermal properties of blended and
interesterified mixtures of coconut oil
or palm oil with rice bran oil or sesame
oil. Eur. J. of Lipid Sci. and Tech., 2009
111: 346-357.
13. A. M. Marina, Y. B. Che Man, S. A. H.
Nasimah, I. Amin, Chemical properties
of virgin coconut oil. J. Amer. Oil
Chem. Soc., 2009 86 301-307.
14. Furman, R.H., Howard R.P., Brusco
O.J., Alaupoic P, Effects of Medium
chain length triglyceride on serum
lipids. In medium chain triglyceride. U
Penn Press Pennysylvania 51-61.
15. Johnson R.C., Cotter R. Metabolism of
medium chain triglyceride lipid
emulsions. Nutr. Int., 1986 2 150-158.
16. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Robert Ross,
William D. Parsons, Peter J.H. Johns,
Medium chain triglycerides increase
energy expenditure and decrease
adiposity in overweight men. Obesity
Res., 2003 11(3) 395-402.
17. Cornelius J.A., Coconuts: a review.
Trop. Sci., 1973 15 (1) 15-37.
26 l
July 2010
18. Dendy DAY, Grimwood BE, Coconut
Processing for the production of
coconut oil and coconut protein food
and feed products. Oleagineux, 1973 28
19. Baltasar S.F., Coconut oil extraction
employing the dry processing
technology. Phillip. J. Coconut Studies,
1977 2 (4) 40-42.
20. Loncin M., Palm oil. Fette Seif.
Anstrichm., 1974 76 (3) 104-112.
21. Leonard E., Sri Lankan inventor who
makes life easier for his countrymen.
1983, Cocomunity, APCC/QS/45/83,
22. Small-scale oil extraction from
groundnuts and copra. International
Labour Office; United Nations
Industrial Development Organization,
Technical Memorandum, United
Nations Industrial Development
Organization; 1983, No. 4, xi + 111pp.
ISBN 92 2 103503 4.
23. Mojica I.N. Jr, Process for producing
coconut oil and food grade copra cake.
1978, Philippines-Patent 11661/C.
24. Nambiar T.V.P., Method for the
production of refined oil from the milk
of fresh ripe coconuts. 1977. Indian-
25. Nambiar T.V.P., A method of processing
fresh ripe coconut to obtain refined oil
and to simultaneously recover coconut
products including solid coconut
products for human consumption. 1977,
26. Castellanos P.S., Asturias C.R.,
Extraction of oil from fresh coconut.
Oleagineux, 1969 24 (7) 419-21; 24 (8/
9) 505-09.
27. Hagenmaier R. D., Cater C. M., Mattil
K. F., Identification of the critical unit
operations in the wet processing of fresh
coconuts for the recovery of oil and food
grade protein. 1971, Abstr. Papers.
American Chemical Society, J. Amer.
Chem. Soc., 1971 162: AGFD 8.
28. Cancel L.E., Rosario Hernandez J. A.,
Hernandez E. R. de, Coconut oil
extraction from coconut milk press-
cake. J. Agric. Uni. Puerto Rico, 1976
60 (3) 281-293.
29. Gonzalez A.L., Buccat E., Claudio-TR;
Bueser-NM; Landig R. C., Manalac G.
C., Studies on solvent extraction of
residual oil from wet coconut meal
using isopropanol. Phillip. J. Sci., 1973
102 (1/2) 31-43.
30. Bernardini E., Direct extraction of oil
from oilseeds without pressing. Riv.
Itali. de. Sost. Gras., 1970 47 (8) 385-
31. Aliwalas A.R., Buccat C.P., Filtration-
extraction of granulated coconut on a
bench scale. Phillip. J. Sci., 1970, 96
(3) 215-285.
32. Claudio-TR; Capulso S.A., Gonzales
A.L., Fuente F. S. de la; Manalac G.C.,
Laboratory scale studies on the
preparation of coconut flour from
granulated coconut. Phillip. J. Sci., 1968
97 (1) 45-56.
33. Banzon J.A., Resurreccion A.P., Fatty
acid distribution in coconut oil obtained
by four processing methods and secured
from four Philippine types of coconuts.
Phillip. J. Coconut Studies, 1979 4 (2)
34. Kapila N. Seneviratne, Dissanayake M.
Sudarshana Dissanayake, Variation of
phenolic content in coconut oil
extracted by two conventional methods.
International J. Food Sci. and Technol.,
2008 43 597–602 597.
35. Kapila N. Seneviratne, Chamil D.
HapuarachchI , Sagarika Ekanayake,
Comparison of the phenolic-dependent
antioxidant properties of coconut oil
extracted under cold and hot conditions.
Food Chem., 2009 114 1444–1449.
36. Manalac G.C., Harder Soliven A.,
Tocopherol content of coconut oil at
various stages of processing. Phillip. J.
Sci., 1970 96 (3) 239-48.
37. Bhatnagar, A.S., Prasanth Kumar P.K.,
J. Hemavathy and A.G. Gopala Krishna.
Fatty Acid Composition, Oxidative
Stability, and Radical Scavenging
Activity of Vegetable Oil Blends with
Coconut Oil, J. Amer. Oil Chem.
Soc.,2009 86(10) 991-999.
38. Murthi T.N., Sharma M., Devdhara V.
D., Chatterjee S., Chakraborty B.K.,
Storage stability of edible oils and their
blends. J. Food Sci. and Technol.
(India), 1987 24 (2) 84-87.
39. Garti N., Arkad O. Preparation of
cloudy coconut oil emulsions
containing dispersed TiO2 using
atomizer. J. Dispersion Sci. and
Technol., 1986 7 (5) 513-523.
40. Rogov B.A., Stetsenko A.V.,
Kuznetsova N.M., Viscosity of the fat
components of margarine emulsions.
Maslozhirovaya Promyshlennost, 1984,
No. 11, 19-20.
41. Bellenand J.F., Baloutch G., Ong N.;
Lecerf J., Effects of coconut oil on heart
lipids and on fatty acid utilization in
rapeseed oil. Lipids, 1980 15 (11) 938-
42. McCutcheon J.S., Umermura T;
Bhatnagar M.K., Walker B.L.,
Cardiopathogenicity of rapeseed oils
and oil blends differing in erucic,
linoleic and linolenic acid content.
Lipids, 1976. 11 (7) 545-552.
43. Theuer R.C., Fat compositions for
infant formulas. 1981 US Patent 4, 282,
44. Grandadam Y., The proteins of the
coconut. Industries Alimentaires et
Agricoles, 1973 90 (9/10) 1253-1268.
45. Aliwalas A.R., Gonzales A.L., Claudio
T.R., Benet R., A study of the wet and
dry methods of extracting oil from
coconut meat. Phillip. J. Sci., 1969 98
(2) 139-149.
46. Reena Rao, Enzymatic synthesis of
structured lipids by immobilized lipase
systems in organic solvents. Ph.D.
Thesis, CFTRI, Mysore, University of
Mysore 2001.
47. Reena Rao and B.R. Lokesh,
Nutritional evaluation of an omega 6
fatty acid containing structured lipid
synthesized from coconut oil. Lipids,
Mol. and Cell. Biochem., 2003 248 (1-
2) 25-33.
48. Anitha Nagaraju, and B.R. Lokesh,
Interesterified coconut oil blends with
groundnut oil or olive oil exhibit greater
hypocholesterolemic effects compared
with their native physical blends in rats.
Nutri. Res., 2007 27 580-586.
49. Anitha Nagaraju, and B.R. Lokesh, Rat
fed blended oils containing coconut oil
with groundnut oil or olive oil showed
an enhanced activity of hepatic
antioxidant enzymes and a reduction in
LDL oxidation. Food Chem., 2008 108
50. Malongil B. Reena and Belur R.
Lokesh, Hypolipidemic effect of oils
l 27 Indian Coconut Journal
with balanced amounts of fatty acids
obtained by blending and
interesterification of coconut oil with
rice bran oil or sesame oil. J. Agric.
Food Chem., 2007 55: 10461-
51. Indian Standard Blended Edible
Vegetable Oils-Specification, BIS. IS:
14309, ICS, 67.200.10 (1995). Babayan
V. K., Medium chain Triglycerides and
structured lipids. Lipids, 1987 22(6)
52. Babayan V.K., Medium chain
Triglycerides-their composition,
preparation and application. J. Amer.
Oil Chem. Soc. 1968 45(1) 23-25.
53. S. Nandi, S. Gangopadhyay, S. Ghosh,
Production of medium chain glycerides
from coconut and palm kernel fatty acid
distillates by lipase-catalyzed reactions.
Enz. and Microbial Technol. 2005 36
54. Garfinkel A, Spano M.L. Ditto W.L.,
Weiss J.N., Controlling cardiac chaos.
Sci., 1992 257 1230-1235.
55. S. Ghosh, D.K. Bhattacharyya, Medium
chain fatty acid-rich glycerides by
chemical and lipase-catalysed plyester-
monoester interchange reaction. J. Amer.
Oil Chem. Soc., 1997 74 (5) 593-595.
56. Hans Kaunits, Nutritional properties of
coconut oil. J. Amer. Oil Chem. Soc.
1970 47(10) 462A-465A.
57. Ellen Marie Straarup, Carl-Erik Hoy,
Structured Lipids Improve Fat
Absorption in Normal and
Malabsorbing Rats 2000 130 (11) 2802-
58. Dayrit C.S., Coconut oil in health and
desease. Its and monolaurin’s potential
as cure for HIV/AIDS. Read at the
XXXVIII Cocotech meeting, Chennai,
59. Gina L. Nick, Coconuts as a functional
food in the prevention and treatment of
AIDS. Towesnd letter for doctors and
patients, June, 2006.
60. Robert J.J., Pharmacological effects of
lipids. AOCS Press, Champaign,
Illinois, 1978 1-14.
61. Isaacs C.E., Thomas H., The role of
milk derived antimicrobial lipids as
antiviral and antibacterial agents. Adv.
Exp. Med. Bio, 1991 310 159-165.
62. Bruce Fite, ND, The healing miracle of
coconut oil. Piccadilly Books Ltd.
Healthwise publications, Colorado
Springs, Co. 2000 1-46.
63. Kabara J.J. (Professor Emeritus, Mich
State University and Consut) Health oils
from the tree of life (Nutrition and
health aspects of coconut oil).
64. Lim Sylianco C.Y., Anticarcinogenic
effects of coconut oil. Phillip. J.
Coconut Studies, 1987 12 (2) 89-
65. Cohen L. A., Thompson D. O.,
Maeura, Choi K., Blank M. E., Rose
D. P., Dietary fat and mammary cancer.
1. Promoting effects of different
dietary fats on N-nitrosomethylurea-
induced rat mammary tumorigenesis.
J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 1986 77 (1) 33-
The administrator revealed that the PCA-Davao Reseach Center conducted a Field Release Evaluation where a total
of 1,948 parasitoid adults were released in infested barangays in Region XI and parallel laboratory tests.
"The parasitoids collected in the field inflicted about 30-50 percent parasitism on the pest&apos;s larva or pupa"
Garin noted adding that laboratory results showed that around 7 to 47 adult parasitoids emerged from one larva/pupa 18
to 26 days from injection for parasitization.
"With the earwigs, we now have three indigenous species for biological control of this foreign pest" the administrator
enthused as he underscored the need to adopt a long-term integrated pest management system.
The administrator further stressed that use of chemical insecticides through trunk injection or spraying should only be
in severe cases and at first treatment, with the long term and sustainable approach to be comprised of biological control,
use of entomophatogen fungi, good farming practices and strict quarantine controls.
"Our research centers are now mass rearing these parasitoids for immediate use in areas that may suffer recurrence of
Brontispa infestation" he concluded.
For hundreds of years coconut oil has been a staple in the diets of those who live in tropical regions as an important
source of nutrients. Coconuts and extra virgin coconut oil are pure foods that can play an important role in a well
balanced diet.
Research has shown that unrefined coconut oil can be very beneficial. Some of its benefits include: nutrient absorption,
boosting energy, promoting weight loss, preventing cardiovascular disease, blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia,
strengthening of bones, promoting healthy skin and hair, proper digestion and metabolism, skin conditions and moisturizing
the skin.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of medium chain triglycerides. It has antiviral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
properties. Recently, the western world has discovered coconut oil for its ability in promoting weight loss and preventing
premature aging. Coconut oil contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that are advantageous in losing weight and
because it is easy to digest it supports the healthy function of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Its antioxidant properties
have been shown to slow the aging process. It is safe for cooking at high temperatures. And it is delicious!!
Crazy for coconut oil

File (1)

... It has a beneficial potential for human health, especially for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's [11,12]. Of note, the above oil contains saturated fatty acids, including 62-76% medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) [13], which makes this oil a unique product among other dietary fats. Accordingly, in the present paper, after reviewing the available literature, we hypothesize the use of Coc for the protection and prevention of PD; Coc even provides the improvement of symptoms in its mild cases. ...
... Besides, vitamin E could modulate the expression of the MATP gene via its antioxidant potential: so, it decreases the PD risk [77]. It was documented that individuals who consumed the highest quartile (12)(13)(14)(15) of vitamin E showed a significantly lower risk of PD [78]. Etminan et al. [79] added that even moderate intake of dietary vitamin E was associated with a lower risk of PD. ...
Full-text available
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by depletion of dopamine resulted from the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The prevalence and incidence of PD is influenced by several factors, such as age, gender, ethnicity, genetic susceptibilities, and environmental exposures. Coconut oil (Coc) is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides that are easily metabolized and give rise to ketones. Also, it contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E and polyphenolic compounds. It has been documented that Coc possesses significant pharmacological activities against obesity, insulin resistance, and neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to describe the use of coconut oil in preventing PD and slowing its progression. Also, we tried to identify possible mechanisms by which Coc may exert its beneficial role in PD. The available literature related to Coc PD effects , in both animal models and clinical trials was screened. This review showed that Coc can be supplemented to decrease the risk of PD.
Full-text available
The vegetable oils are obtained from the oilseeds and also from other oil bearing parts of plants like fruits (mesocarp and/or stones), tubers, germs, sprouts, and so on. A host of methods are employed to obtain the oil from different matrices and each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The traditional methods of oil extraction are exhaustive and have low efficacy, while conventional method of mechanical pressing is simple and involves low cost but considered as an inefficient method because of low oil recovery when compared with chemical extraction methods. Due to higher oil recovery and economic gains, chemical methods of oil extraction are preferred globally; however, the chemical solvents used exhibited detrimental effect on the environment, oil quality, and human health, which impelled the development of new technologies. New advanced eco-friendly techniques namely, enzyme-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, ultrasound-assisted extraction, and supercritical fluid extraction can easily overcome the shortcomings of the conventional methods and holds the potential to meet the ever-increasing demand of edible oils. Practical applications Limited land availability and growing demands for vegetable oils call for the development of improved cultivars for harnessing higher yields as well as more efficient oil extraction technologies to augment oil recovery from different oilseed crops without compromising with the oil quality. Widely practiced traditional and conventional methods of extraction have various disadvantages namely, use of solvents, protractive protocols, and have adverse effects on environment, oil quality, and human health. Therefore, in order to overcome the demerits associated with the existing methods, green extraction technologies have been developed as an alternative, which offer various advantages like less extraction time, high extraction yields, and quality and minimized solvent consumption. The information compiled in this review on various extraction technologies will help oilseed processors and researchers in choosing the most appropriate method of oil extraction in order to achieve high yields without compromising the inherent quality of oil.
Background Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative ailment having pathological hallmarks of plaques due to amyloid β (Aβ) peptides and neurofibrillary tangles in brain. These cerebral plaques and neurofibrillary tangles potentially affect the neuronal synaptic transmission and ultimately cause cognitive decline. In the absence of an effective treatment module for AD, alternative therapeutic strategies are being explored. Scope and approach Given the fact that dysregulation of brain glucose metabolism is an early detectable trait of AD, coconut oil and its variants/derivatives have generated considerable interests as an invaluable therapeutic agent for AD. The role of coconut oil-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are rapidly metabolized into ketone bodies to serve as an alternate source of energy for the cerebral tissue is well recognized. Recently, evidences underlying the mode of action of coconut oil in alleviating the symptoms of AD have started emerging. In this review, a comprehensive snapshot of the recent developments and biochemical basis of coconut oil-induced amelioration of AD symptoms including its dietary role in suppression of neuro-inflammation, reversing the process of neurodegeneration, enhancement of cell survival pathways and inhibition of secretion of Aβ peptides are presented. Investigations in animal models and clinical trials in humans using coconut oil and its derivatives aimed at reversing the AD-induced cognitive decline are also discussed. To conclude the knowledge gaps in the treatment of AD using coconut oil and way forward are presented. Key findings and conclusion Scientific evidences point toward the immense therapeutic value of coconut oil in the prevention or treatment of AD through its multi-pronged biochemical effects. Nevertheless, identification of bioactive components, besides MCFAs, responsible for the neuroprotective effects, clinical trials to fix the dosage and consolidation of information flow are warranted.
Polymeric materials are widely used in packaging for almost all sectors including medical appliances, food and agriculture industries etc. Scientists have been working intensively to improve the stability of polymers against environmental influences since their first development. However, in the past 10 years, polymeric materials have become industrial waste products and have caused serious environmental pollution especially in plastic packaging. The existing waste management strategies such as incineration and landfilling are not optimal and less efficient due to their side effects. The difficulties in disposing of the polymer-based waste and the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere during the incineration of the non-biodegradable polymers have greatly increased public awareness. Therefore, the development of biodegradable and bio-based green biocomposites is essentially important as an alternative to the existing polymers in favor of pollution-free environmental society. This work furnishes information on the recent advances in the development of agro-based green biocomposites for packaging applications for engineers and researchers working in composite industries.
Full-text available
Background and Aim: Red ginger (RG) has reportedly been used in folk medicine for the management and prevention of hypertension. One of the hypertension study models in experimental animals is the unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). This study aimed at evaluating the effect of RG-extract (RGE) nanoemulsion on UUO-induced hypertension and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) production in rats. Materials and Methods: RG was extracted using ethanol, combined with virgin coconut oil, polysorbate 80, and polyethylene glycol 400 to form the oil phase. The particle sizes of RGE nanoemulsions were analyzed using a particle size analyzer. The UUO method was used to induce chronic kidney disease in rats (504 mg/200 g and 360 mg/200 g b/w per oral for 7 days). The systolic and diastolic blood pressure was determined non-invasively in conscious state by tail plethysmography using an automated blood pressure monitor. ACE in serum was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: The RGE nanoemulsions exhibited a particle size of 32.8 nm and a polydispersity index (PI) of 0.268, indicating a homogenous nanoemulsion. UUO rats treated with RGE nanoemulsion (360 mg/200 g b/w) experienced a significant decrease in both their systolic blood pressure (p
Full-text available
The diet heart hypothesis has driven nutrition recommendations and policy for decades. Recent studies have questioned the hypothesis and sparked great controversy over the assumed connection between saturated fat intake and heart disease. Recent evidence suggests that dietary patterns should be the focus of dietary recommendations, not any one food or nutrient. Furthermore, to classify foods as simply saturated fat, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats is to ignore the many other potential nutrients and health benefits. Coconut is classified as a saturated fat and therefore listed as a food to limit to reduce heart disease risk. However, different saturated fats, medium-chain or long-chain, act differently metabolically and thus have different health effects. The medium-chain fatty acids predominate in coconut are absorbed differently and have been associated with several health benefits, including improvements in cognitive function and a more favorable lipid profile compared to longer chain fatty acids. Coconuts provide a healthful source of saturated fats and should not be considered the same as foods with longer chain saturated fats. Future recommendations should take this research into consideration. It is the purpose of this review to discuss the research regarding the connection between saturated fat intake, specifically coconut consumption, and health, while focusing on dietary patterns and lifestyle behaviors.
People from worldwide have been using plant-based substances (Natural Products) to enhance the appearance since the existence of mankind. In the ancient Egypt, around 3000 BC, there is evidence of using cosmetics, and their usages have been a necessary part in our everyday life in all cultures. Initially, natural products have been used for beauty products; occasionally augment with paints and dyes. Natural products have approached back with present trend cosmetic products which are mainly derived from plant sources. Since from longer time, plant products (Natural Products) are source of food and medicines. A broad range of natural products is used in cosmetics preparations, skin care such as treatment of dryness, treatment of eczema and acne, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, hair care products such as hair growth imputes, hair color, scalp complaints like dandruff, and skin protection, and also toiletry preparations. Essential oils are major source of plants; essential oils have been used in preparation of perfumes, hair care substances, emollient of the skin. For example, natural products have been used in cosmetic industry avoiding side effects with traditional preparations for herbal beauty such as Emblica officinalis (Amla), Acacica concinna (Shikakai), and Callicarpa macrophylla (Priyangu) have been used strongly in skin care and hair care. Moreover, Indian women are still using natural products such as Pterocarpus santalinus L. and Curcuma longa (skin care), Lawsonia inermis L. (hair color), and natural oils such as coconut, olive, shea butter, jojoba, and essential oils in perfumes for their bodies. The present book chapter represents the importance of natural products in cosmetics.
The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.) finds extensive usage in a nation’s economy by providing a wide spectrum of edible products like kernel, water, oil, milk, sap sugar, etc., therefore being recognized as “tree of life”. The coconut and its derived products contain significant amounts of biologically active constituents like antioxidant vitamins, phenolic compounds, and amino acids which contribute to its antioxidant properties. The coconut products exhibit plenty of biological effects following the mechanism of (i) transcription factor and gene expression activation, (ii) free radical scavenging, (iii) metal sequestration, and (iv) regulating the enzymatic activity and signal transduction, thus promoting health. The present chapter provides insight into various aspects of coconut palm covering history of origin, current coconut production scenario, botany, and different edible parts of coconut. This chapter presents the antioxidant properties of coconut products using a comprehensive approach for the first time underlining their mechanism of carrying biological effects. The health benefits of coconut products will also be highlighted in this chapter by with scientific evidence provided with the studies supported through the systematic scientific approaches.
The installation of distribution transformers in environmentally sensitive areas is a growing concern of electric utilities, and everywhere it sees a strong local resistance. Special and costly measures must be taken to address this concern, for example, by reducing the risk of transformer oils being inadvertently released into the environment. To solve this problem, promising natural esters based on edible oil-seeds were studied in the last few decades to ascertain their suitability based on industry-recognized standards. Some common natural esters available today in the transformer oil market are mostly produced from seeds of soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, and others [1-5]. However, due to the inherent disadvantage of high pour point, coconut oil has been sidelined for many years. Recent research on the coconut oil indicates that this can be used as a dielectric liquid at a distribution level transformer in a tropical region. Unlike main seed oil, the use of coconut oil in a transformer has not yet started despite its superior dielectric and physicochemical properties. It is a totally biodegradable and edible vegetable oil. Prototype transformers filled with coconut oil are in operation in Sri Lanka since 2001 where it has been studied satisfactorily by the researchers [6]. The superior oxidation stability, non-toxicity, and good dielectric properties of coconut oil are previously well known but no detailed comparison has been published on the electrical, thermal, and physicochemical properties of coconut oil, commercial natural esters, and mineral oil. This paper aims to present a comparison of the relative advantages, limitations, and scope of coconut oil for use in a transformer.
Structured lipids (SL) were produced from enzymatic interesterification (EIE) of palm kernel stearin (PKS), coconut oil (CNO), and fully hydrogenated palm stearin (FHPS) blends in various mass ratios. The EIE reactions were performed at 60 °C for 6 hours using immobilized Lipozyme RM IM with a mixing speed of 300 rpm. The physicochemical properties, crystallization and melting behavior, solid fat content (SFC), crystal morphology and polymorphism of the physical blends (PB), and the SL were characterized and compared with commercial cocoa butter and cocoa butter alternatives (CBA). EIE significantly modified the triacylglycerol compositions of the fat blends, resulting in changes in the physical properties and the crystallization and melting behavior. SFC and slip melting point of all SL decreased from those of their counterpart PB. In particular, SL obtained from EIE of blends 60:10:30 and 70:10:20 (PKS:CNO:FHPS) exhibited a high potential to be used as trans‐free CBA as they showed similar melting ranges, melting peak temperatures, and SFC curves to the commercial CBA with fine needle‐like crystals and desirable β' polymorph.
Full-text available
The antioxidant activities of coconut oil extracted under hot and cold conditions were compared. The coconut oil extracted under hot conditions (HECO) contained more phenolic substances than the coconut oil extracted under cold conditions (CECO). The antioxidant potential of HECO was higher than that of CECO as demonstrated by DPPH assay, deoxyribose assay and in vivo assay of serum antioxidant capacity. It is the common belief that virgin coconut oil extracted under cold conditions preserves several thermally unstable antioxidants and, as a result, better beneficial qualities can be expected for virgin coconut oil. However, high temperatures used in the hot extraction of coconut oil favour the incorporation of more thermally stable phenolic antioxidants into coconut oil. Therefore, the consumption of HECO may result in the better improvement of antioxidant related health benefits compared with the consumption of CECO.
Continuous and batch-type extractions of coconut oil were made from coconut milk press-cake. The effect of particle size, solvent flow, and temperature was studied with hexane as the solvent. Particle size was one of the most important factors affecting the efficiency of continuous extraction. Residual oil in experiments with milled press-cake was about 0.8% while it was about 8.0% with unmilled press-cake. Temperatures of 30°, 35°, and 45° C left a residue with 2.8, 1.3, and 1.0% oil, respectively. Batch-type extraction studies showed that a holding time (stirring) of 5 min, a ratio of 4:1 (ml solvent:g of press-cake), and a temperature of 25° C were the best conditions for this type of extraction.
Food Grade Rutile TiO2 was dispersed in coconut oil with the help of hydrophobic emulsifiers such as sorbitan esters and lecithin. The dispersed mixture was melted and blended with hydrophilic emulsifiers such as ethoxylated sorbitan esters and the preheated (60°C) blend was further sprayed by atomizer into cold water (20°C). The oil-in-water emulsions contained encapsulated TiO2 in the internal phase. The technique is simple and allows preparation of stable emulsions with average droplet size of 1-10 microns.
The coconut is called the tree of life for it has been providing us, humans, food and drink, materials for housing, fuel and many industrial uses. And its medicinal uses are many and varied. The latest medical potential of products of the coconut first identified by Jon Kabara and others in the 70s, is the anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity of its medium chain fatty acids, particularly lauric acid (C12:0) in its monoglyceride form (monolaurin or ML).