More About Coconut Virgin Oil

Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) which is metabolized differently from the long-chain fatty acid (LCFA). Unlike LCFA, MCFA does not produce cholesterol according to Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad, Scientist II of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST). Virgin coconut oil has been tested at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Department of Health (RITM-DOH) as a possible cure of the dreaded disease called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Asia, specifically China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Singapore, including the Philippines.

According to Dr. Conrado Dayrit, Sr., the father of the current Secretary of the Department of Health, Dr. Manuel Dayrit, coconut virgin oil is produced from the following steps:

Select about 8 mature coconuts. Make sure dehusked shell is intact and has no breakage and there is water inside the nut. To test, shake it.
Split the shell into halves, take out the meat from the shell with a sharp knife, a scraper or shedder (kudkuran). You can have this done in the neighborhood market.
Collect the shredded meat together to be cold-pressed into coconut milk. Press the bunch of shredded meat with the coconut water by any means that does not require heat. The first cocomilk called "kakang gata" comes out. Strain this "first" milk through a cheesecloth (katsa) to separate the sediments. There are cold-pressing machines available in the bigger wet markets like Marikina, Sta. Ana, Nepa-Q-Mart in Cubao, to cold-press your shredded cocomeat.
Your 8 nuts will make about 4 glasses of coco milk in the pitcher. Let milk settle overnight. The coco milk will separate into three parts: 1/3 oil will rise to the top, the shredded meat settle at the bottom, and coconut water in between.
To separate the oil, refrigerate until the oil turns into coconut butter form. Skim the coco butter and separate into another container. Let it stand at room temperature to become virgin coconut oil ready to take. Avoid direct sunlight for the oil to stay clear. Shelf life is good for 90 days.

According to Dr. Trinidad's study on coconut flour with the Philippine Coconut Authority, coconut virgin oil can also be extracted as a by-product of the coconut flour production from coconut milk industry. The process is as follows:

The 'sapal' is blanched by injection of live steam at a minimum temperature of 85 °C for about seven minutes or the 'sapal' can be immersed in boiling water for 1.5 minutes. This is done to kill salmonella organisms, a food poisoning agent.
The wet 'sapal' is dried using a tray type mechanical dryer to a specified moisture content by either gas fired, electrically heated or steam heated.
The dried coconut 'sapal' is passed through a special type of screw press under a specified setting to reduce oil content to as minimum level as possible without much change in color. The coconut flakes are produced and ground to reduce particle size to fine mesh.
The by-product of this process is high quality virgin oil.

This procedure can be done in small scale and in bigger scale. Studies on the nutritional and health benefits of coconut flour from 'sapal' specific in the prevention for risk of chronic diseases e.g. cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus, were conducted at the FNRI-DOST under the leadership of Dr. Trinidad. The information on the specification of the expeller used in the production of coconut flour/virgin oil can be referred to the Product Development Division, Philippine Coconut Authority.


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